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Asteron puts KiwiSaver scheme on notice

In the latest amendment to its prospectus Asteron has strongly signaled it may soon close its KiwiSaver fund.

Thursday, April 15th 2010, 10:22PM 1 Comment

by David Chaplin

The prospectus amendment, dated April 1 this year, says the Suncorp-owned fund manager and insurer, "regularly reviews its business operations in the light of market developments".

"In particular, over the 12 months preceding the date this prospectus was amended Asteron has monitored the evolution of the KiwiSaver market and conducted an ongoing assessment of the opportunities that exist within that market," the amended prospectus says. "While no decision has been made to do so, it is possible that Asteron may make a decision in the future to exit KiwiSaver."

If Asteron shuts down its KiwiSaver scheme, it would be only the third to do so, after the Australian-owned Eosaver and the union-backed IRIS KiwiSaver schemes closed last year.

According to the Workplace Savings NZ (formerly ASFONZ) website, as at March 31 this year, the Asteron scheme claimed 6,604 members and $35.58 million in funds under management.

The Asteron KiwiSaver scheme was also hit by exposure to the Guardian CashPlus Fund, which was forced to restructure in December 2008 after mortgage components of the fund were frozen.

Subsequently, the Guardian CashPlus Fund was split with the mortgage investments shunted into the Guardian CashPlus Mortgage Units Fund.

The CashPlus Fund, which held the remaining liquid assets, was renamed the Guardian Cash Fund on December 21 last year.

According to the Asteron KiwiSaver prospectus, as at June 30 last year approximately 16% of the Asteron KiwiSaver Capital Fund was invested in the CashPlus Mortgage Units Fund.

By April 1 this year about half of the original $239,456 invested by the Asteron Capital Fund into the CashPlus Mortgage Units Fund had been repaid, the prospectus says.

At June 30 last year, three other Asteron KiwiSaver funds - Conservative, Balanced and Balanced Growth - had collectively invested about $135,000 in the CashPlus Mortgage Units Fund.

Sean Carroll, head of Suncorp NZ, was not available for comment at presstime.

 

« Huljich re-launches non-KiwiSaver fundsAsteron KiwiSaver shuts, recommends Grosvenor »

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Comments from our readers

On 16 April 2010 at 4:05 pm jonesy said:
no surprises there, im even in awe that asteron is still around anyways
Commenting is closed

 

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