Botherway explains OnePath clean-out

The recently-announced shake-up at OnePath has nothing to do with the ING frozen funds debacle, according to ANZ Wealth general manager Simon Botherway.

Thursday, December 1st 2011, 7:45AM 1 Comment

The restructuring saw a number of roles disestablished, with some prominent names losing their jobs as a result.

Several Good Returns readers speculated that the clean-out had something to do with getting rid of those associated with the frozen funds, but Botherway told Good Returns the frozen funds had nothing to do with the changes.

He said the restructuring was made to eliminate duplication between ANZ Wealth and OnePath, and to address the fact the bank has essentially pulled out of the structured credit market.

"If you look at what we've done there we did have a structured credit team that has basically been managing us out of a number of positions. 

"We are very much down to a very few small remaining positions in structured credit.  It's not a portfolio we are intending to manage and certainly not to manufacture in the future.

"There's no sense of retribution or payback [for the frozen funds] or anything going on there, it's just a reflection of the fact we are no longer in that business."

Botherway said the changes would see a number of people in the Wellington-based ANZ Wealth investment team move up to Auckland.

However, he said the overall size of the investment team hadn't changed much.

"We've ended up with a very similar number... we've had two positions disestablished in structured credit and two new positions in fixed interest.  Across the board we've had four positions disestablished, four fewer people in investment functions.

"Bringing together various functions into a single investment function means we have had some roles that were duplicated.

"It's about really aligning those processes and making sure they are consistent.  ANZ has a policy of achieving consistency in investment process not just in New Zealand or Australia but group-wide."

Botherway said the merger has eliminated the role of chief investment officer, with the heads of the various areas of investment responsible for their own performance (but ultimately reporting to him as general manager).

Despite his fund management experience Botherway said he doesn't get involved in day-to-day investment decisions.

"I do attend various meetings and I'm always happy to throw in my 10 cents' worth but I'm not close enough to the underlying stocks and issuers to really foot it with those guys who work in those areas."

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Comments from our readers

On 1 December 2011 at 10:37 am Simon said:
"There's no sense of retribution or payback [for the frozen funds] or anything going on there, it's just a reflection of the fact we are no longer in that business."

Of course.
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