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The KiwiSaver contenders

March 2 will see either Fisher funds, OnePath or Milford Asset Management emerge triumphant from the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Awards having been crowned KiwiSaver Manager of the Year for 2010.

Friday, February 25th 2011, 2:30PM

Good Returns spokes to all three providers to try and find out what makes them amongst the best three KiwiSaver managers in the country last year.

For Fisher Funds managing director Carmel Fisher, being nominated in the KiwiSaver category is especially pleasing.

"Their finalists for KiwiSaver are slightly different in that they focus a little bit on client service, communications, all round offering really," she said.

Fisher believes the company's approach to communicating with their clients is one of their key pluses.

"We've always believed that if you communicate well with investors about how you're investing their money and why, then they become better investors over time because they understand the process and engage with it, and we've certainly done that with KiwiSaver. For a number of KiwiSaver members, their KiwiSaver accounts represent the first time they've ever invested, so there is an education process to be done and we take that seriously."

She also said that fact that KiwiSaver is a long-term investment means the investor will go through numerous market cycles, adding to the importance of effective communication.

"For a lot of people their KiwiSaver account is locked up for a long period of time, so the more they can be educated and communicated with on the way through, even though they can't access their money, at least they understand what its doing and why its behaving the way it does."

"Then I think they will be more engaged with it and take more interest in it, which they should as its their retirement savings," she said.

For Milford Asset Management managing director Anthony Quirk, communication is also an essential part of the company's approach to KiwiSaver management.

"We've made a big commitment to have very good communication to our investors on our website and communicating with them directly so we've made quite a deliberate effort in that area," he said.

"This means we're very transparent in terms of what we report to clients on the performance, what's done well, what hasn't done well, we're very open with them in lots of different areas which I think is appreciated, which I think Morningstar has recognised as well."

He said they had received positive feedback from their KiwiSaver customers both in terms of their performance - which Quirk acknowledged as the "bottom line" - and on how they report.

"We do get people transferring from other providers who make good contrast with the information they get with us to what they received previously, so it's something we've been very conscious is an important thing to do."

"Investors not only want to know that their funds are managed well, they want to understand how they're managed."

For OnePath general manager, funds management, David Boyle, their nomination is a reflection of the company's track record of investing in different market cycles over 25 years and the experience that comes from managing the country's oldest and largest superannuation schemes.

"These are some of the reasons for our default KiwiSaver provider status where the strength and stability of the manager was paramount for meeting rigorous criteria, along with a demonstrated ability to process and administer the scheme at the highest standard."

Boyle said over the last three-and-a-half years the company has focused on meeting the needs of more than one-in-five New Zealanders with a KiwiSaver scheme.

"We offer the widest range of investment choices including five multi-sector funds and the lifetimes option, delivering the best quality and services to our members," he said.

"In general we have delivered above market performance in the numerous investment sectors we work in."

« Fidelity Life Options Kiwi named top performing KiwiSaver fundOnePath walks away with KiwiSaver award »

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