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Colonial announces changes to its New Zealand team

Colonial First State Investments is making changes to its New Zealand team following an earlier decision to operate its retail funds management business under the Sovereign brand.

Thursday, June 14th 2001, 11:25PM

Colonial First State Investments is making changes to its New Zealand team following an earlier decision to operate its retail funds management business under the Sovereign brand.

Colonial First State remains committed to New Zealand, group managing director Peter Polson says. It will be concentrating on corporate markets and providing investment management for products distributed by other arms of the Commonwealth Group in New Zealand, namely ASB Bank and Sovereign.

Polson said that Colonial First State will retain its office in Wellington to support this strategy. Colonial First State Australia chief executive Chris Cuffe, will assume executive responsibility for the New Zealand operations, with the New Zealand operations reporting through to head of distribution Michael Cant.

Polson says that the new structure is part of the wider Commonwealth Group strategy in New Zealand. This refocusing of resources better positions Colonial First State to take advantage of New Zealand market opportunities and provides a logical balance between ASB, Sovereign and Colonial First State in the retail and wholesale markets.

"We believe that New Zealand holds very good opportunities for Colonial First State's products and services. In particular this new structure will enable investors to access the international investment expertise of Colonial First State, through the well known local brands ASB and Sovereign," he says.

Colonial First State Australia head of institutional business development and client service Greg La Peyre, will head up the New Zealand office. The existing corporate marketing team will continue to have responsibility for managing existing and future corporate business on a day-to-day basis.

Over the last few years, the New Zealand business has implemented a strategy to have funds managed by the larger investment teams of the international Colonial First State Group. This has been beneficial for investors. The remaining investment functions are now to be transferred to Sydney.

Polson says that the property team will remain in New Zealand, and will now report to the head of Colonial First State international property group, Geoff McWilliam.

"The New Zealand office retains the Colonial First State New Zealand staff that have been managing our existing corporate clients in the funds management and property investment market, so clients will notice very little difference," Polson says.

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