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 as of July 2023
A short summary review of the KiwiSaver provider
Updated: 25th Jul 2023
Reviewed by: Ronak Karmokar
Summer KiwiSaver Scheme review
The Summer KiwiSaver Scheme is one of the smaller KiwiSaver schemes in New Zealand and boasts 10 different KiwiSaver Funds. These funds range from lower-risk cash funds to higher-risk equities funds. A useful feature is the 'My Plan' option, which allows you to customise your portfolio of investments by choosing a combination of any of the funds.
Summer uses active investment management across its funds and adopts a socially responsible investment policy. The policy includes investments in environmental, social and governance (ESG) companies and excludes investments in controversial activities such as weapons, tobacco and whale meat.
Summer charges an annual fund fee ranging from 0.50% to 0.90%, in addition to a monthly account fee of $3. Switching between different funds within the scheme is free of charge, and there are no fees for joining or leaving a provider if you choose to switch. No performance fees are charged by the provider for any of its funds.
Summer KiwiSaver offers a range of funds to choose from that cater to different risk levels. Additionally, their 'My Plan' option provides more flexibility, allowing you to make investment decisions that align with your specific goals.
Useful news related to the Summer KiwiSaver Scheme
Facts & History of the KiwiSaver provider
Summer was established with the goal of assisting people to make the most of their KiwiSaver opportunity. The Summer KiwiSaver Scheme is managed by Forsyth Barr Investment Management Limited although Octagon Asset Management Limited handles the day-to-day investment management. The ultimate holding company is Forsyth Barr Group Limited.
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
The Summer KiwiSaver Scheme manages 10 funds and has total KiwiSaver Assets Under Management (AUM) of over $NZ 273 million and 5,131 KiwiSaver clients.
The investment team, structure and their alignment with clients
Paul Robertshawe - Chief Investment Officer
Paul joined Forsyth Barr in 2021 and moved to Octagon Asset Management Limited when it was appointed investment manager.
He has 25 years of experience in New Zealand’s funds management industry and has been running equity portfolios for the past 17 years.
Paul holds a BBS degree in Finance and Accounting from Massey University and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and the Institute of Finance Professionals (INFINZ).
Neil Paviour-Smith - Director - Forsyth Barr Investment Management
Neil has over 25 years' experience in various roles in New Zealand capital markets. He joined Forsyth Barr as Research Director before being appointed Managing Director in 2001.
Neil is Chair of the NZ Regulatory Board of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ), Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington and a former Director of NZX and CAANZ. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ (INFINZ), having been Chairman of the NZ Society of Investment Analysts 1999-2001. He is registered as a financial adviser, a Fellow Chartered Accountant, Chartered Fellow of the IOD and a member of the CFA Society NZ and Stockbrokers & Financial Advisers Association of Australia. Neil was an inaugural recipient of a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2005.
Craig Alexander - Head of Fixed Interest and ESG
Craig joined Forsyth Barr in 2013 and moved to Octagon Asset Management Limited when it was appointed investment manager.
He has over 25 years of experience spanning New Zealand’s banking, insurance and fund management industries.
Craig holds a commerce degree from Lincoln University of Canterbury.
Jason Lindsay - Head of Equities
Jason joined Forsyth Barr in 2019 and moved to Octagon Asset Management Limited when it was appointed investment manager.
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 the Institute of Finance Professionals (INFINZ).
Divyang Patel - Chief Operating Officer
Divyang joined Octagon Asset Management Limited in 2022 as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this he spent 10 years in various operational roles, concluding his last venture as Head of Operations.
Divyang has a Bachelor of Commerce (Commercial Law and Accounting) from Victoria University of Wellington and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Matt Hardwick - Business Development Manager
Matt joined Octagon Asset Management Limited in 2022. As Business Development Manager, Matt is responsible for Octagon's go to market strategy as well as client services as communications.
Previously Matt was Head of Corporate Affairs at Z Energy, He has over 20 years' experience in investor relations working across multiple industries and market cap companies in London, Singapore and European Emerging Markets.
Matt holds an MBA in Finance from Thunderbird, the graduate management school of Arizona State University as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington.
Christine Smith-Han - Equity and Strategy Analyst
Christine Smith-Han re-joined Forsyth Barr in January 2017 after spending three years lecturing first and second year finance students at Otago University and moved to Octagon Asset Management Limited when it was appointed investment manager.
Prior to her role at the University, she had worked at Forsyth Barr for the previous six years.
As an equity analyst, Christine is responsible for providing financial modelling, valuation, sector and stock specific research to support the construction of the New Zealand and Australia equity portfolios. Christine is also responsible for the implementation of Octagon’s multi-manager global equities strategy and she conducts quantitative research on economic financial data to support the investment decisions of the team.
Christine completed a Masters in Business (Finance) from Otago University.
Tobias Newton - Equity Analyst
Tobias joined Forsyth Barr in 2020 and moved to Octagon Asset Management Limited when it was appointed investment manager.
Prior to this he had spent the previous three years in the Deals team at PricewaterhouseCoopers, finishing there as a Senior Analyst.
Before joining PwC he completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Canterbury and is a CFA charterholder.
As an equity analyst, Tobias is responsible for providing financial modelling, valuation, sector and stock specific research to support the construction of the New Zealand and Australian equity portfolios.
Paige Hennessy - Equity Analyst
Paige joined Octagon Asset Management Limited in January 2022 having previously spent two years as an Associate Analyst in the investments team at ACC.
Prior to joining ACC she completed a conjoint Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Victoria in Wellington and is a CFA charterholder.
As an equity analyst, Paige is responsible for providing financial modelling, valuation, sector and stock specific research to support the construction of the New Zealand and Australian equity portfolios.
Liam Donnelly - Fixed Interest and ESG, Analyst
Liam started with Forsyth Barr in 2017 in a part-time role in the Dunedin office, which he balanced with his University of Otago studies in Accounting, Finance and Music.
After graduating, he made the move to Wellington to commence the role of Quantitative Analyst in Forsyth Barr’s Research team. Liam is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.
Liam joined Octagon Asset Management in 2022. His responsibilities include analysis and modelling to support the construction and management of Octagon’s Fixed Interest and Cash strategies, as well as the continued development and implementation of Octagon’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework.
Hament Ranchhod - Operations and Administrative Analyst
Hament joined Octagon Asset Management Limited in April 2022 as an Operations and Administration Analyst.
He has over 30 years of experience in middle and back office operations within the financial services industry.
He completed a Bachelor of Business Studies degree at Massey University.
The Scheme’s Manager is Forsyth Barr Investment Management Limited. They are a subsidiary of Forsyth Barr Group Limited. Forsyth Barr is a New Zealand owned firm operating since 1936 that assists personal, institutional and corporate clients.
The investment manager for the Summer KiwiSaver Scheme is Octagon Asset Management Limited. Launched in November 2021, Octagon Asset Management (OAM) is a boutique funds management company with a team based in Wellington, Auckland, and Dunedin. OAM believe in their process and their people invest their money alongside you. OAM are 100% New Zealand owned.
The investment decisions are made with the help of the information collected by the Equity and Strategy Analysts at Octagon Asset Management (Christine, Tobias, and Paige). They are responsible for providing financial modelling, valuation, sector and stock-specific research to support the construction of the New Zealand and Australian equity portfolios. As a strategy analyst, Christine is also responsible for the implementation of Octagon’s multi-manager global equities strategy, and she conducts quantitative research on economic financial data to support the investment decisions of the team.
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 our investment decisions or the investment decisions of an investment manager (or both) in respect of the fund. A relevant person for these purposes includes Forsyth Barr and Octagon Asset Management Limited’s directors and senior managers, as well as the employees of Octagon Asset Management 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.
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.
Trustees Executors Limited acts as the Supervisor of the Scheme. 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.
The Supervisor has not contracted an external custodian for the Scheme. It holds the assets of the Scheme through its wholly-owned nominee company, T.E.A. Custodians Limited.
The Investment Manager monitors compliance with the SIPO by reviewing daily reports setting out compliance (or non-compliance) for the previous day with:
If the Investment Manager has breached the SIPO, the Head of Summer, the Board, and the members of the Compliance Committee are notified by email.
As part of its Compliance Assurance Programme Forsyth Barr’s Compliance Team provides assurance that this monitoring is working as intended and is effective.
The Compliance Committee meets every month to, amongst other things, consider the Scheme’s compliance with this SIPO, and compliance monitoring reports from the Compliance Team.
The Board meets at least every two months to, amongst other things, consider the Scheme’s compliance with this SIPO.
The Investment Manager 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 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 year, three year 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 Head of Summer, 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.
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. The manager will use this information to guide their investment decision.
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 Supervisor.
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 process.
Forsyth Barr Limited has been appointed by the Manager as an administration manager and provides (or may delegate to an external service provider) asset valuation, unit pricing and financial accounting.
The Manager has appointed Octagon Asset Management Limited as the Investment Manager to perform the day-to-day investment management of the Scheme. The Investment Manager’s responsibilities in particular include:
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 Investment Manager will exercise its voting power in relation to any of the Scheme’s assets when the Investment 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.