We didn't pay $50 per KiwiSaver member: Fisher
Fisher Funds chief executive Carmel Fisher says her firm did not pay $50 for every Credit Union member who joined her scheme.
Tuesday, March 20th 2012, 6:00AM
by Benn Bathgate
The New Zealand Association of Credit Unions (NZACU) agreed to sell its KiwiSaver scheme to Fisher Funds largely because of new KiwiSaver regulations set to take effect this year.
Mercer was acting as the scheme's trustee and manager, but under new regulations KiwiSaver funds are required to have an independent trustee.
"Mercer is the administrator and fund manager. When this new law comes in you've got to tidy up all the different entities when it comes to KiwiSaver," said NZACU chief executive Henry Lynch.
Fisher Funds managing director, Carmel Fisher, said the upcoming regulations - and the adviser regulations already in place - may prompt more KiwiSaver fund consolidation.
"I think any regulatory change in this whole area [KiwiSaver] throws up opportunities," she said.
"Even the changes around advice and what constitutes advice and who's allowed to say what when they're talking about KiwiSaver, that must make some providers question whether they want to take on the liability, the training requirements and so on."
The deal will see Fisher Funds welcome an extra 4,000 KiwiSavers onto its books and Fisher said this expansion will benefit existing members.
"We've been quite open about the fact we're committed to the KiwiSaver space and we know that scale allows us to charge lower fees for all our membership, so there is an advantage to scale."
She also said Fisher Funds remained "open to any opportunities" within the KiwiSaver space.
"I'm sure we're not the only ones looking at any KiwiSaver scheme that might be in play," she said.
Fisher also dismissed reports in the New Zealand Herald that it paid the NZACU $50 for each active KiwiSaver scheme member.
"We haven't paid anything, so it's not entirely accurate to talk about the cost of the scheme," Fisher said.
"This is not like Huljich where we bought that scheme, and obviously there was a price or value put on each member, we haven't done that with the Credit Union."
Benn Bathgate is a business reporter for ASSET and Good Returns, email story ideas to email@example.com
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