Milford AM considers super space

Milford Asset Management is considering entering into the superannuation market following the success of its KiwiSaver programme in New Zealand, while it will launch seven funds for the Australian market later this year.  

The firm, which was set up in New Zealand in 2003, launched into the Australian market in 2017 and currently ran three managed funds; Australian Absolute Growth, Diversified Income and Dynamic.  

However, in New Zealand, as well as its investment arm, it ran a KiwiSaver option and had six funds available to investors; Cash, Conservative, Balanced, Aggressive, Moderate and Active Growth.  

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“We are looking at potentially getting into the super market over here, not yet but we are looking at what we could bring over from the New Zealand. There is a similar infrastructure and we know how to talk to clients about it and what they need from those type of products,” said Kristine Brooks, head of distribution at Milford. 

“The difference with KiwiSaver is that it is not compulsory so it is encouraging to see assets are growing despite that and the people who are using it are highly engaged.” 

The KiwiSaver market was around NZ$70 billion ($64 billion) in assets under management compared to $2.9 trillion in Australia.  

Meanwhile, the firm would be launching seven new vehicles this year, at a time when many firms were slowing down to deal with the pandemic fallout.  

This would be one private equity fund, one global real assets fund, two global equity funds and three exchange traded funds (ETFs). 

The global real assets fund had previously been run as an internal fund which the company was rolling out to investors following client feedback while the global equities fund was already running in New Zealand. However, the second global equity fund was new to Australian market and Brooks said it filled a “gap in the market”.  

The ETFs would be ASX-listed version of the firm’s Australian Absolute Growth, Dynamic and upcoming Global Real Assets fund.  

“There is a lot of demand for ETFs and the transparency they offer, we are seeing an evolution in the adviser market and ETFs are suited for high-end advisers and self-directed investors. We are giving advisers the options on how they want to purchase our funds,” she said. 

“In New Zealand, the D2C space is very strong and there are fewer advisers but here it is the opposite, we are seeing momentum in adviser channels so we are making a push into the adviser market and will also look at private wealth and family offices in the future.” 

In light of this, it had hired two distribution staff in Queensland and would be hiring two more in Victoria in the near future. 

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