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Major clean out at OnePath

ANZ Wealth has announced a major shake up of its investment management team which sees many well-known and long serving managers losing their jobs.

Friday, November 18th 2011, 11:20AM 19 Comments

ANZ Wealth general manager Simon Botherway has announced the new structure and senior appointments to its Investment Management team.

Graham Ansell will continue in the role of Head of Fixed Interest, but now for the combined OnePath and ANZ Wealth teams.
Mark Brown has been appointed Head of Equities.  Brown has been a senior Investment Manager in the OnePath equities team for many years and has established a strong performance track record over that period.

The new structure means the following roles have been disestablished: Chief Investment Officer - OnePath, Senior Fixed Interest Manager  - OnePath, and Head of Investments - ANZ.

The Structured Credit team is now disbanded as ANZ Wealth has exited from managing these particular investment products.

Losing their jobs are:

Philip Houghton-Brown. He has been a member of the senior leadership team for the majority of his 15 years here, including in his role of Chief Investment Officer.

"I'd like to acknowledge Phil's enormous contribution to the success of OnePath during that period which is reflected in strong investment returns for our clients and OnePath winning numerous industry awards," Botherway says in an email. "Additionally Phil's leadership during the GFC was invaluable as was his contribution to the success of all our KiwiSaver funds."

Amanda Smith. Smith has served as Head of Equities at OnePath for over 14 years. "Amanda has decided this is the right time for her to pursue new opportunities," Botherway says. "She has led the high-performing equity team with authority and purpose whilst achieving excellent investment results for our clients."

Senior Fixed Interest Manager, Andrew Michl and Head of Structured Credit, David Jansen also lost their jobs. Botherway mentions Jansen's "dedication to the task of rationalising and liquidating discontinued products following the GFC and Andrew's management of the high-yield bond funds."
"While there are some changes to the team, ANZ Wealth remains committed to delivering the highest quality investment proposition for our clients," Botherway says.

"The changes are designed to integrate and simplify the structure, remove role duplication and align processes and functions across all the investment activities we deliver.

"There is now a centralised Wealth team for both equities and fixed interest resulting in a stronger combined resource, incorporating the experience of the OnePath and ANZ investment teams."


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Comments from our readers

On 18 November 2011 at 12:15 pm AFA Mike said:
Looks like the Frozen Funds group have finally got their come-uppance. Should have happened 2 years ago!
On 18 November 2011 at 1:05 pm What Goes Around Comes Around said:
Like you, Mike, I'm surprised it has taken this long for some of the culprits to be 'let go' by ANZ. The Commerce Commission and 'expert witness' reports were damning of the actions (and capabilities) of the ING investment people concerned.

At long last, this may be the final chapter of the Frozen Funds debacle. RIP.
On 18 November 2011 at 1:07 pm What Goes Around Comes Around said:
Like you, Mike, I'm surprised it has taken this long for some of the culprits to be 'let go' by ANZ. The Commerce Commission and 'expert witness' reports were damning of the actions (and capabilities) of the ING investment people concerned.

At long last, this may be the final chapter of the Frozen Funds debacle. RIP.

On 18 November 2011 at 2:29 pm Private Banker said:
An interesting part of this change is that it looks like it is bringing the investment operations of the ANZ National Bank Private Bank into the OnePath fold. It will be interesting to see if this goes down ok with the private banking customers and advisers. I guess that the private banking advisers get to replace the independent advisers who have been fleeing the OnePath fold!
On 18 November 2011 at 2:51 pm Jono said:
Disestablished???? Nice word....
On 18 November 2011 at 4:40 pm Frozen Funds Fiasco said:
There could be some jobs going in Nigeria for the Structured Credit team if they have difficulty finding work in New Zealand (after the damage to their reputations following the Frozen Funds Fiasco). Well done Simon Botherway for having the courage to remove (at long last) some of the people responsible for the Frozen Funds Fiasco.
On 18 November 2011 at 10:31 pm Gary O said:
I'm pretty sure some of the above people have nothing to do with Structured Credit or Frozen Funds; given their job titles include 'fixed interest' or 'equities'. I guess most advisers don't know the difference.

You advisers never take any blame do you? No worries about collecting the fat trail commission off under performing investments; but when it goes pear shaped you are very quick to blame the Investment Manager or look around for anyone to blame other than yourselves.

I can only imagine 'independent' (don't make me laugh) advisers are fleeing OnePath because they can no longer rely on their sugar daddy to pay them fat commissions and go on lavish retreats at the clients expense.

On 19 November 2011 at 1:16 am Simon said:
Botherway is acting out of self-preservation. To see how much these “experts” did NOT know about CDOs—but could have known if they had bothered reading—just check out what they said during 2007 and early 2008 and compare that with what the rest of the financial world was saying.

The ABX.HE was falling. They did not notice. Bond prices were dropping. They did not notice. Share prices dropped. They did not notice. The CDO and CLO markets died during 2007, but ING sent out a road show early in 2008 to tell everyone their cash was safe.

A rooky bank clerk with a little bit of curiosity could have done better.

On 19 November 2011 at 5:43 am Philp East said:
Nice to see the culprits now being removed, the Frozen funds Group did not get the full justice it deserved.

Hats off to all thos emembers who took the fight so far and i am sure the incident will always be etched on our memories.

As a result ofd ANZ learning that they did not live in our world or any world that resembled reality , i now have to suffer the very expensive advertising campaign they embarked upon post Frozen Funds Group action.
On 19 November 2011 at 3:02 pm John Milner said:
My thoughts exactly Gary O. How ironic your comments were about advisers not understanding the difference between the titles of fixed interest and equity managers. Those advisers who invested their clients funds in the CDO products were chasing equity returns within what they thought was a fixed interest, low risk, product!

What I also found ironic was the frozen funds group was assisted by the very advisers who invested them in the CDO's. These very advisers were knee deep in the stuff. They appeared to hide within the group, throwing stones at OnePath, when they were actually part of the problem.

OnePath provided a product to advisers who were gagging for something to win over clients who were fleeing to term deposits. They asked - they got. OnePath, like all of those frozen fund advisers AND THE REST OF THE WORLD got it wrong. They have paid the price in the return of funds and loss of brand. What about the advisers - when is it your turn. The Church case has now been and gone. Are you advisers still waiting for that phone call?
On 20 November 2011 at 10:47 am Simon said:
No, Mr Milner.

First, the biggest single class of victims were channelled into the DYF/RIF through ANZ, not non-bank advisers.

The crash was seen to be coming as early as 2005. The issuers of rigged CDOs found it increasingly hard to get rid of their stocks of deteriorating bonds because major buyers in the United States had woken up to the fragility of the market.

If ING (as it then was) had been watching the international financial press it would have seen what was happening. The big CDO issuers targeted non-US buyers because they were the only remaining suckers.

As the warning signs mounted in 2007, ING kept blindly on, although it knew it was walking a tightrope (it told the inland revenue that the two funds were in a precarious position).ING ignored the collapse of the ABX index. It ignored the Bear Stearns hedge fund collapse.

Yves Smith (who you all presumably know of) delivered this withering comment in mid 2007 as she watched outfits such as ING buying CDOs: “How can anyone with an operating brain cell buy any of this stuff?”

ING performed no due diligence at all (tell me how anyone could check out CDOs when CDO managers refused to disclose the identity of bonds).

Short sellers knew what was happening. So did most hedge funds—overall in 2007 hedge funds finished 19 per cent up.

ING was acting for retail clients. It had an obligation to fiduciary duty which it totally ignored and dumped them in the middle of a cesspool of junk.

ING ignored every alarm signal before and during the crisis.

As for advisers who "hid", why did they (such as Paul Markham and Malcolm Eves) so publicly identify themselves?
On 20 November 2011 at 10:44 pm Forthright said:
What started as a simple news release of a restructure seems to have morphed into the same old know it all’s, either having a go at OnePath or advisers. Leave it alone, I for one don’t care who did what or who got what.
What matters to me is ING/ANZ/OnePath put the investors interests first and put it right. If you were part of the solution, good on you, if you were part of the problem, I don’t care. If you did nothing, my advice is to say nothing; the NZ investment universe has enough know it all’s to cope with already.
On 22 November 2011 at 6:10 am simon leppen said:
Always hard when people lose their jobs in a re-structure. However, some but not all of these people seem to have been instrumental in the ING / OnePath CDO debacle and it is amazing they have continued to collect a salary for so long having destroyed so much value.
Best wishes to Phil and Amanda. As for the fixed interst / structured credit guys it is best not to comment.
On 22 November 2011 at 8:21 am Collin said:
Many of these comments are misplaced from the perspective that the people who run the funds (portfolio managers) are seldom the same people who's idea it is to launch the funds. Portfolio managers very seldom make these decisions within a fund manager. The portfolio managers are basically just doing their jobs once someone else in the organisation decides to launch a fund that invests in a new investment fad and that ultimately fails. You cannot blame someone just because they are the best people available to manage someone else's bad idea.
On 23 November 2011 at 7:55 pm simon murdoch said:
I do not know these people.

However it will be a bold person who employs someone in a fund management role who was involved in the structured credit fiasco at ING /Onepath.

Sure the job of a portfolio manager is to manager the fund to get the best return (with due regard for risk) for the investors.

Those involved in the ING / Onepath CDOs clearly failed.

On 23 November 2011 at 8:01 pm fiona carley said:
Who are these people?

Surely the CEO, Head of Structured Credit and maybe Senior Fixed Interest Manager were involved in destroying the shareholder and client value from the CDO funds. Maybe not.

If the portfolio managers are "just doing their jobs" then I hope they got paid minimum wage and have no golden goodbye (yeah right!!!)

Good on ANZ they coughed up a lot of shareholder money to help out the investors a bit - especailly good on Helen Troupe.

On 23 November 2011 at 8:44 pm harriot miller said:
Good on these guys for staying around to help tidy up (albeit in a small way) the mess they seem to have created.

If they did create the mess in structured credit then a question for Mr Brotherway - one hopes they did not triple dip - i.e. did they get paid for creating a mess, paid again for tidying up and paid a third time (redundancy) for leaving?

Hopefully the customer guardian, Mr Brotherway, will comment and confirm no triple dipping.
On 24 November 2011 at 3:42 am Simon said:
This is just a continuation of the ducking and diving for cover that began when the funds were frozen in March, 2008. First it was “unprecedented circumstances;” then it was the fault of a few errant ANZ sales staff; now it is “someone else’s bad idea.” (Is this an attempt to blame Jim Reardon, who departed back in 2004?)

Take this defence to its ultimate end, and nobody at all was at fault.

Among the people OnePath is letting go of (or has let go of in the past) were several whose credentials were highly touted as experts in whose hands retail money could be safely placed. Their talents were shouted from the rooftops (“managers with proven expertise.”) One was even said to be “perhaps New Zealand’s most experienced manager of CDO products.” Another headed “an incredibly talented group.”

During the crisis, they waved their putative expertise like ensigns in a breeze, confidently telling the public that this was only a temporary phase, that the tranches would revert to par, that only 10 per cent of the funds were in subprime, that there was no leverage in the funds (carefully omitting to say that the derivatives the funds had invested in were heavily leveraged), and so on and on.

They claimed in 2007 that, with the CDO market in free fall “it was a good time to buy”; that the funds were really invested in corporates such as Burger King, Hertz cars, “those sorts of things. So investors are getting a better appreciation of what exactly these funds are invested in.”

The problem was merely one of “contagion.” Oh, and also of “illiquidity” (which means nobody wants to buy the rubbish on offer).

So now, we're told, these “proven managers” are not really responsible. They simply believed whatever ING’s CDO trading desk told them and got on with their jobs.

There is something rather touching watching “experts” running for the bomb shelter even as they declare their ignorance.

Anyone who read the Financial Times could see disaster looming. Half an hour surfing on google back in 2002 and 2003 would have shown that CDO's were not to be touched for anyone except speculators.

I have said it before and say it again: anyone who manages funds needs to read their press files. If these ING people didn’t have a press file, they had no business handling other people’s money.

This applies equally to ANZ which, when disaster struck, suddenly turned from a high-carat international bank with skilled observers watching the global financial scene into an awestruck neophyte claiming to be clueless about why the DYF and RIF collapsed. If you believe ANZ, it was all Morningstar’s fault (“Morningstar is an international and reputable independent research house and ANZ is entitled to rely on its advice”).

This is what happens when greed is mixed with overblown egos — common sense is engulfed.

On 24 November 2011 at 11:17 am Philip East said:
Good on Helen Troop and ANZ these people sold unsuspecting old age pensioners dodgy products and then resisted an used every trick in the book to avoid compensating the people they had robbed.

If it had not been down the courageous fight and efforts of the Frozen Funds group the people would have remunerated 6 cents in the dollar.
Commenting is closed



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