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No points for coming last

Friday, May 22nd 2009, 4:28PM 4 Comments

by Philip Macalister

The debate on how our fund managers stack up against those in other countries has certainly seen some polarised views. The one we subscribe to is that the report was a bit harsh, but there is room to improve. There has been another vein of argument bubbling along which has used this report as a lightening rod to diss all fund managers. A final thought is this. A couple of the niche managers, and relatively new players in the market, have gone on record saying the rules and practices of the funds management industry are awful and should be changed. Isn't this a little hypocritical? Why did they want to become fund managers and play in an industry which was so bad? Love to know the answer to that one. This week's Blog on the topic has a number of comments including the responses from several fund managers and industry players. Read them here. Last week I commented on the IFA's decision to name and shame advisers.This week we have had the IFA defending the decision and the Professional Advisers Association distancing itself from what is happening and urging advisers to make a distinction between itself and the IFA. To add a little flavour to the debate our Insurance columnist, Russell Hutchinson has waded in with his opinion. The other big news of the week, which Good Returns was the first to report, is that Sovereign''s managing director Simon Blair is leaving our shores. Details in People. Today's story is a take on investment markets from GAM''s Asia Pacific boss, Helen Ng. Her view, which is explained here, is that equities are still a risk, but don't rule them out. Other investment news this week is an update on tougher rules for the non--bank sector, BNZ entering the market to raise another $150 million and our regular Rates Round Up. The Insurance news section has been busy too, with the Newpark/PIS deal off again. Our story here has views from both camps and they seem to be telling different stories. We have an update on what is happening at AIG Life. The IPO is progressing and it seems the company in New Zealand is going back to the AIA brand. Also this week is our latest monthly column from AXA: Trauma insurance - life insurance for the living Trauma or critical illness cover is one of the life insurance industry's best kept secrets. Have a great weekend. Philip
« NZ fund managers no duncesProductivity, vision take back seat as English delivers debt-control budget »

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Comments from our readers

On 24 May 2009 at 12:02 pm Barry Milner said:
A few issues on which I would like to make brief comment.

It seems to me a bit harsh to have even taken Bruce Ryder and Craig Lunn before the tribunal given that the investments complained of were made months before there was tangible evidence that the finance sector was in trouble and at a time when the "whiter than white" news media were still carrying advertisements for finance company debenture investments in their financial columns, which could be seen by some as an endorsement of those investments. Financial columnist of the year Tim Hunter and economist/fund manager Gareth Morgan been quick to condemn advisers, but where were their words of warning prior to the first finance company collapse. In my view Hunter, like most journalists, is an historian reporting events after the fact and Morgan's outpourings are little more than thinly disguised self advertising.

That bank employees will be required to have lesser qualifications than advisers is frankly unbelievable. Has the fact that it is the banks and the actions of some of their employees that have brought the world's economy to its knees totally escaped the notice of the regulators?

Lastly, it comes as no surprise to me that New Zealand fund managers are bottom of the league table, I gave up advising on investments years ago because of a total lack of faith in local investment managers abilities to outperform bank term deposits. There is the odd niche manager who performs up to expectation, but not many. In real terms the rest have contrived to lose billions of dollars of investor value.
On 24 May 2009 at 1:26 pm Independent Observer said:
Thoughts on the week that was:

Name & shame: All industry bodies need to reinforce firm industry standards in an effort to win the trust of consumers back. The approach that the IFA has taken (irrespective of whether the individuals broke the law or not) is appropriate.

The NZ Funds Management Report Card: Having read through the report, it is apparent that the Morningstar survey is a sad reflection of sensationalism over robust analysis. Other reputable global industry observers (BCG, Cerulli) rank Australasia (as NZ is too small to feature independently) favorably. They also recognize the Chinese (and most Asian jurisdictions) funds management industry as being embryonic and well below any measurable standards. The Morningstar conclusions appear indicative of Morningstar's qualitative research standards...
On 25 May 2009 at 8:33 pm Red Dog The Pirate Guy said:
Barry Milner is correct in that the decision to name Lunn and Ryder is what I call selective morality.

IFA named these guys because they were essentially insurance reps who clipped the ticket on selling a bit of money as a "clip on".

Yet there are a substantial number of other people out there who might have some sort of financial planning qualification from Massey,or a commerce degree,and who market themselves as financial planning specialists,yet have got the public in as bad a situation as Lunn & Ryder.
Of course not all are members of IFA.

Unfortunately they and many others were dumb enough to give the coin to Roddy of the jet set lifestyle ,whereas if they had backed the man with the VW they would have been ok.

How about this quote from an investment plan.......

"After filling in short term investment profile,your attitude to risk is a balanced portfolio,wanting reasonable growth above inflation and income to live on."

The solution provided was to invest in four finance companies.,

"......All will come with Investment Statement.Rates above fixed per annum,no entry or exit fees apply.No fee will be charged by Mr XXXX Financial Planner either."

Of course Mr XXX omits to mention that his palm is being greased by someone else..........Guess who ????

As part of the plan,there is of course the usual disclaimer absolving the ticketclipper from any responsibility ..."

"Money doesn't talk,it swears"....Bob Dylan.
On 3 June 2009 at 11:07 pm Red Dog The Pirate Guy said:
Got my newsletter from Carmel ex Guru Fisher.

Fisher Funds tell me the smart money is buying.

They note that their Aussie Fund has increased 41% and the Int Growth Fund 31% since the bottom in Nov 2008.

It is now six months later.

These are huge rises.

Why did they not issue this newsletter at an earlier stage ?

Because they don't actually know any more than I do,that is why.
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ASB Bank 4.45 2.29 2.59 2.65
Basecorp Finance 5.49 - - -
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China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
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Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50 1.99 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 ▼3.40 ▲3.50 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.25 2.35 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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HSBC Special - ▲2.25 - -
ICBC 3.69 2.25 2.35 2.65
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.67 2.97 3.13
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.40 3.20 3.50 3.50
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.35 2.65 2.65
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank 4.54 2.79 2.79 3.15
SBS Bank Special - 2.29 2.29 2.65
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.09 - -
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The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 2.79 3.09 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.09 3.29 3.45
TSB Special 4.54 2.29 2.49 2.65
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.09 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
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Westpac Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 2.73 2.99 2.80

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