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Rothschild relaunches

Rothschild Australia Asset Management is looking to re-enter the New Zealand market after an absence of more than a year.

Monday, July 19th 1999, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister


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Rothschild Australia Asset Management (RAMM), which manages A$7 billion, has decided to relaunch its operations in New Zealand a year after winding them down.

"A number of new business opportunities have arisen in the New Zealand market which encouraged Rothschild to re-think its New Zealand strategy," director Stephen Karrasch says.

Rothschild had been active in New Zealand for a number of years, specialising in the international equity market. In total it manages A$42 million on behalf of New Zealand investors in a range of seven sector funds and two diversified funds.

However, more than a year ago it closed its Auckland office and serviced the New Zealand market from Sydney.

Karrasch says there are three main reasons for RAMM upping its presence in the New Zealand.

The first, and main one, relates to favourable developments of tax rules. Rothschild says recent interpretation of tax laws means it is possible to develop a fund that essentially doesn't have to pay any tax.

Rothschild says the ability to establish an Australian-domiciled fund for New Zealanders that doesn't pay tax is a new development. It is aware of one manager that has obtained a binding ruling from the Inland Revenue Department that allows it to run one of these tax-efficient funds.

Essentially the fund can invest in assets outside of Australia, and because of the way the trust deed is drafted New Zealand investors would not have to pay tax.

Rothschild is also keen to get in on the growing penetration of masterfunds and wraps accounts. It has been successful in this area in Australia and is confident it can get on master trust menus because of the Rothschild reputation and heritage.

Thirdly, Rothschild performance in the international equity area has improved recently.

To assist with the New Zealand expansion Rothschild has appointed Neville Giles of FMS Partners as its agent, based in Auckland.

Giles is also responsible for the marketing the soon-to-list Calan Healthcare trust.

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