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Boutique not necessarily small

The Boutique Fund Manager Forum accepted Devon Funds Management on Friday, even though it has about $1 billion under management, significantly more than the fund's other managers.

Monday, April 8th 2013, 8:45AM

by Susan Edmunds

None of the other funds managers has more than $300 million under management.

But Forum co-founder John Berry said size wasn't the biggest consideration. "With Devon there is a cultural fit even though they are larger than others. They are owned by the principals and the way they run and interact with others is similar."

He said Devon had a small team size and was committed to developing the New Zealand funds industry.

The Forum had also been considering an Australian manager. "We did not accept them given the purpose of the Forum is to develop local talent and encourage the New Zealand boutique industry."

Berry said it was important to support the boutique culture because it drove innovation in the industry, with things such as fee caps and better disclosure to investors.

The Forum encouraged boutique managers to communicate and share ideas, he said. "With regulatory change going on, we have different persepctives to large, institutional managers and we need the boutique voice to be heard."

Berry pointed out that the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment had noted the Pathfinder/PIE submission on the Financial Market Conduct Regulations had been quite different to the views of large managers.

"We are calling for directors of fund managers to disclose if they invest $0, less than $50,000 or more than $50,000 in their funds. In our view, that's important information for investors about the alignment of interests. We don't see no investment by some independent directors as necessarily a negative but no investment by everyone on the board is."

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