Fisher Funds in celebration mode

TIM HUNTER
Last updated 12:48 26/02/2013
Carmel Fisher
CHRIS GORMAN/Fairfax NZ
Fisher Funds' Carmel Fisher.

Related Links

KiwiSaver obstacle to Tower sell-off

Relevant offers

Industries

Migrants, please come south Feijoas barred from China and Taiwan, but could have huge market there Glen Sowry: Making his own luck Changing people seek healthy living partner Being the only woman on site takes its toll Electricity prices get a jolt as Transpower puts lake levels on watch Budget 2017: Nine years of spending under National Potential removal of Viaduct loading zones rattles local businesses Wage growth certainly wouldn't be described as hot, Prime Minister Bill English says Supreme Court rules investor in Ross Asset Management has to repay $454K

Champagne corks were popping this morning at Fisher Funds offices overlooking Auckland's Takapuna Beach as the firm celebrated becoming the biggest New Zealand-owned KiwiSaver provider.

Fisher's acquisition of Tower Investments for $79 million takes its total funds under management from $1.4 billion to $5.5b, ranking the firm fourth largest behind AMP, ANZ and ASB.

The combined KiwiSaver operations will manage $1.6b for 222,338 people.

Fisher Funds managing director Carmel Fisher said she was delighted to have concluded the transaction.

"For us KiwiSaver was the big attraction," she said. KiwiSaver and fund management in general benefited from significant economies of scale, "so we hope we can pass those savings on to clients."

Investors in Tower funds would notice no change initially and for at least six months the funds would continue to be run separately.

Fisher has rights to use the Tower brand for 12 months.

All Tower Investments staff, numbering about 69 people in Auckland and Wellington, will move to Fisher Funds on the same terms and conditions.

Fisher said she expected Tower's status as a default KiwiSaver provider, handling about $460m of client funds, would remain intact, although nothing had been confirmed as yet. "We've been talking to the minister throughout this process," she said.

The acquisition was a big mouthful for Fisher Funds, which had net assets of $5.3m at balance date in March last year.

The firm borrowed $17m from ANZ to buy Huljich KiwiSaver in May 2011 for $20.9m, and has taken on more bank debt and a new shareholder to help finance its Tower buy.

The new shareholder is TSB Bank, which will become Fisher's second largest shareholder after buying a 26 per cent stake for an undisclosed sum.

TSB managing director Kevin Murphy said the bank had offered KiwiSaver "from day one" but it was relatively low profile.

"This partnership allows us to expand."

After TSB staff were trained up in the Fisher and Tower products they would be distributing KiwiSaver through bank branches.

Tower shares eased 2c to $1.88 in morning trade.

Tower managing director Rob Flannagan said an announcement on how the $79m proceeds would be used "will be made in due course".

Ad Feedback

- BusinessDay.co.nz

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content