There's a lot more to selecting a KiwiSaver fund than just checking past returns and fees. If your hard-earned money is invested in KiwiSaver, you need to ask the important questions to understand where and how that money is invested.
Note: The following information is taken from Summer Kiwisaver Scheme's own website, fund updates, and the product disclosure statement published on 21 August 2020.
Facts & History of the KiwiSaver provider
Forsyth Barr brings you the Summer KiwiSaver scheme.
Forsyth Barr is a New Zealand owned company and they have a history of over 80 years of helping New Zealanders achieve their investment objectives.
Research is the cornerstone of Forsyth Barr investment advice. They have one of New Zealand's leading teams of analysts. Their global affiliations ensure comprehensive research coverage of all major investment markets.
The name “Summer” was chosen because it evokes an enjoyable time of year. A season in which people relax, and enjoy the rewards of hard work. This is a time to spend with family and friends and do the things people want to do, especially those that we look forward to. Summer is full of optimism and positivity, and the promise of enjoyable times ahead, the summer of our lives. The Summer KiwiSaver scheme.
✅ New Zealand Based Provider
For more information, please see the about us page below:
The Summer KiwiSaver Scheme manages nine funds and has total KiwiSaver Assets Under Management (AUM) of over $NZ 166 million and 4,356 KiwiSaver clients.
The investment team, structure and their alignment with clients
Martin Hawes - Chair
Martin Hawes, a financial author, seminar presenter, and an Authorised Financial Adviser, is the chair of the Manager’s Investment Committee for the Scheme.
The Investment Committee provides the Manager with a general investment view to support the asset allocation decisions made by the Manager in connection with the Summer Conservative Selection, Summer Balanced Selection, Summer Growth Selection and, to help members make tactical asset allocation decisions. In addition, the Investment Committee reviews the Scheme’s sector investments and investment performance.
Martin also contributes to communications to members and potential members about the Scheme.
Martin has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry. He is a director of Retirement Income Group Limited and its subsidiaries, a board member of the Shareholders Association and a trustee of Limbs4all, and a member of the Code Committee for Financial Advisers.
He is the past National President of Save the Children New Zealand and past Chair of Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust.
Kevin Stirrat - Director/Strategy Wealth Management
Kevin Stirrat joined Forsyth Barr in 2005. He has over 30 years of experience in the areas of money market research, trading and sales, liability management, fixed income distribution, balance sheet management, and asset management.
Kevin is the Head of Investment Strategy for Forsyth Barr. He provides dedicated research on global macro themes for New Zealand based investors including key asset allocation implications. He has specific responsibilities for firm-wide tactical asset allocation and currency hedging decisions. He also leads the investment strategy discussion within the Forsyth Barr Investment Committee.
Craig Alexander - Co-Head of Fund Management
Craig Alexander joined Forsyth Barr in 2013. He has over 25 years of experience spanning New Zealand’s banking, insurance, and funds management industries.
As Co-Head of Funds Management, Craig is responsible for the performance of Forsyth Barr’s investment management business, which is the investment manager for an array of investment unit trusts as well as the Summer KiwiSaver scheme.
In addition, Craig is the portfolio manager of the Forsyth Barr Premium Yield Fund and Forsyth Barr NZ Fixed Interest Fund.
A member of Forsyth Barr’s Investment Committee, Craig is a commerce graduate of Lincoln University and a former board member and treasurer of the New Zealand Financial Markets Association.
Jason Lindsay - Co-Head of Fund Management
Jason joined Forsyth Barr in 2019. He has over 15 years of experience spanning New Zealand’s equity research and fund management industries. Jason holds a BCA from Victoria University of Wellington and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA).
As Co-Head of Funds Management, Jason too is responsible for the performance of Forsyth Barr’s investment management business, which is the investment manager for an array of investment unit trusts as well as the Summer KiwiSaver scheme.
The Manager may decide to appoint selected external investment managers. The due diligence process to consider the appointment or removal of an external investment manager is undertaken by the Head of Funds Management.
When reporting to the Board the Head of Funds Management will consider a number of quantitative and qualitative factors. Only the Board has the authority to appoint or remove an external investment manager.
A conflict of interest in relation to a fund means a financial or any other interest, a relationship, or any other association of Summer’s, of an investment manager for the Scheme, or of a relevant person that would, or could reasonably be expected to, materially influence their investment decisions or the investment decisions of an investment manager (or both) in respect of the fund.
A relevant person for these purposes includes our and Forsyth Barr Limited’s directors and senior managers, as well as the employees of Forsyth Barr Limited who make the investment decisions for the funds.
The brokerage charged by Forsyth Barr Limited to the funds is at or below normal commercial rates. There is no direct link between brokerage received by Forsyth Barr Limited or any profit that Forsyth Barr Limited makes trading on its own account and the remuneration of the Forsyth Barr employees making investment decisions for the funds. The board receives regular reporting on the brokerage paid out of the funds to Forsyth Barr Limited to check that transaction levels remain appropriate.
For more information follow the link below to the Other Material Information document:
Governance & Compliance processes
All KiwiSaver Scheme Providers must ensure they meet regulatory standards and act with customer interests in mind.
KiwiSaver Scheme Managers must exercise care, diligence and skill in the investment of scheme assets, and act in accordance with the stated investment policy and objectives. The FMA monitors that KiwiSaver Schemes are compliant with their obligations. Additionally, KiwiSaver Scheme Trustees also have a responsibility as front-line supervisors for monitoring the management and administration of these schemes.
A supervisor is a licensed entity independent of a KiwiSaver scheme provider that supervises the provider’s management of the scheme. KiwiSaver schemes are trusts, and (except for restricted KiwiSaver schemes) the terms of the trust deed states that the supervisor (or another custodian) must hold all contributions and investments in trust for the investors.
A custodian plays a key role in protecting your investments. They hold your money and investments (i.e. keep custody of them) on your behalf. So they are the legal holder of your assets while you are the beneficial and ultimate owner.
Summer’s supervisor and custodian are Trustees Executors Limited.
For more information on Trustees Executors Limited, follow the link below:
The Manager’s Head of Funds Management monitors investment performance daily by reviewing each fund’s unit price, which will reflect any significant changes in the value of individual assets held by the Fund.
Investment performance is formally calculated (using the information provided by an external administration manager) and reported on at the end of each month. The reports set out investment performance on a monthly, quarterly, one year, two years, three years, and since inception basis, and
include gross and net absolute returns. The reports compare performance against appropriate performance benchmarks for comparative purposes only. Also included in monthly reports is each
fund’s Risk Indicator.
The investment performance reports are provided to the Board, the Funds Management Oversight
Committee and the supervisor. The Funds Management Oversight Committee and the Board each meet at least every two months to, amongst other things, consider the Scheme’s investment performance.
For more information on monitoring, follow the link below:
The investment processes followed by the manager
The Manager believes that there are opportunities in financial markets for active managers to exploit,
and that an actively managed portfolio of investments will over time provide better returns than a
simple buy-and-hold strategy.
Each fund has its own underlying philosophy outlined in the SIPO document, for example, in relation to the New Zealand Fixed Interest fund:
The Manager uses a “bottom-up” approach to select investments for Summer New Zealand Fixed
Interest, and seeks to invest in securities that are trading at an attractive price when compared to the
Manager’s assessment of their intrinsic value. To do this, the Manager reviews the terms of the
potential investment in light of prevailing interest rates and the credit risk of the issuer. Credit risk is
assessed using criteria such as the issuer’s available cash flow, gearing and level of business risk, and
qualitative analysis of business strengths and weaknesses. Similarly, the Manager will seek to exit
investments which are trading at a price that is high compared to intrinsic value. Relative value does
not always change quickly, and so the fund’s investments are often medium- to long-term.
The Manager also reviews the fund’s overall credit and interest rate exposure on a “top down” basis,
taking into account macro-economic, political, sectoral and regional considerations, including
expected monetary policy settings and changes to interest rates.
Each individual philosophy can be found in the Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives, linked below:
The Manager will manage market risk by only making investments that are consistent with the
investment strategy for the fund set out in the SIPO. In particular, the Manager will only make an
investment for a purpose, and in compliance with the restrictions, set out in the SIPO.
The SIPO will:
The Manager will ensure that key staff involved in investment decisions will have sufficient relevant skills, experience and training to meet the Manager’s professional standard of care.
The Manager will regularly stress test its investment strategies and discuss the results with the
Where the Manager appoints an external investment manager, the Manager will assess the external
investment manager’s market risk management policy and procedures as part of its due diligence
Follow the link below to the SIPO document for more information:
Social and Ethical Considerations
Socially responsible investing (SRI) or Environmental, Social and Governance investing (ESG), also known as sustainable, socially conscious, “green” or ethical investing, is any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social/environmental good to bring about social change regarded as positive by society.
Basically, SRI investing is investing in companies that have a positive impact on society, based on a number of factors.
Your money in the Summer KiwiSaver scheme is “actively invested”, meaning Summer undertakes deep and thorough research before making any investment decisions on your behalf.
While they consider socially responsible investing as a natural consequence of their investment philosophy and attitude to investing, they believe it is important to make clear their commitment, on your behalf, to socially responsible investing.
Responsible investment, including environmental, social and governance considerations, is taken into account in the investment policies and procedures of the Scheme as follows:
Before Summer makes a direct investment for the Scheme, they assess whether, in their opinion, the relevant entity is directly engaged in any of the following activities:
If their assessment is that the entity is directly engaged in any of those activities, then they don’t make the investment.
The Manager will exercise its voting power in relation to any of the Scheme’s assets when the Manager considers that it is in the best interests of the Scheme’s members to do so.
Decisions as to whether and how to vote will be made on a case by case basis. Where the Manager appoints an external investment manager, the Manager will assess the external investment manager’s voting policy and procedures as part of its due diligence process.
For more information, follow the link below:
We have looked at the best performing KiwiSaver funds based on their 5-year returns, however, looking at past performance of a fund is just one aspect when choosing a KiwiSaver fund. Other questions you should be asking include:
Our research team at National Capital looks at over 100+ funds and can recommend the right KiwiSaver investment for you.
Our KiwiSaver recommendations look at the big picture and not just the scorecard. So, what are you waiting for?
Summer KiwiSaver Scheme has the following KiwiSaver Funds. More details on each of these funds can be found in the links below.