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Minting a new manager

The new funds management business set up by former ING staffers, Rebecca Thomas and Mark Ford, is gaining further momentum with the appointment of industry figure to chair.

Wednesday, November 29th 2006, 6:33AM

by Philip Macalister

Thomas says that respected economist, and ASSET magazine columnist, Donal Curtin will be chair of Mint Asset Management.

Mint is 60/40 owned by Thomas and Ford and Thomas has put in $2.5 million of her own money to get the company established.

Key staff joining the business will also get an equity stake in the company.

It will have three funds to start with, a cash plus fund, something in the CDO/CLO space and a trans-Tasman share fund which will be run by another former ING staffer, Shane Solly.

The share fund will be a little like the ING Equity Selection Fund in how it works.

Benchmarks will be on a cash-plus basis with the cash fund aiming for 50 points over the cash rate, CDO fund 300 points over and equities 500 points over.

Thomas says the funds will be sold at a retail and wholesale level. One of the key features is that the distribution fee won’t be included in the price, rather an adviser using a Mint fund will be able to establish that fee themselves.

“The cost of advice will be separately charged. There will be no double charging,” she says.

Thomas says Mint says the decision to launch now is a little “opportunistic”. She says there is demand for products like the trans-Tasman fund, based on the level of support Carmel Fisher got for her recently-listed Australian share fund Barramundi.

That offer closed over subscribed and some scaling of investors had to be done. Thomas also says it made sense to come to the market with a new product before the rules KiwiSaver and Portfolio Investment Entities (PIEs) were finalised. She expects more funds will come to the market soon so it was important to come to the market early.

Mint’s back office functions have been outsourced to MMC, a company headed by former BT Funds staffer Robert Moss.

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