Harbour takes top award

[UPDATED] Harbour Asset Management has taken out the top prize at this year’s Morningstar New Zealand Fund Manager of the Year awards.

Wednesday, February 24th 2016, 8:00PM

It beat finalists ANZ Investments and Nikko Asset Management to the NZ Fund Manager of the Year title.

Harbour also took the fixed interest category, ahead of AMP Capital and Nikko Asset Management.

Tim Murphy, Morningstar Australasia’s director of manager research, said: “The winners of the New Zealand Morningstar Awards have all shown themselves to be first-class stewards of investor capital. The quality of their people, process, parent, price and performance is a testament to their commitment to investors.”

Harbour was cited for performance across all asset classes. Morningstar noted that investors benefited from shrewd security selection and “well-judged portfolio positioning in difficult market conditions”.

Harbour managing director Andrew Bascand said he was surprised to have taken the top award. He said his firm's launch of new funds and other innovative solutions for clients seemed to have been one of the deciding factors.

"[The win] highlights that we need to continue to invest in our people and in our resources to make sure we have a strong research focus. We've launched three new funds so we'll focus on bedding those funds down and getting out and telling people about them."

He said the team would also need to focus on investment performance in what could be a difficult market ahead.

“It is great that Harbour is contributing strongly to the development of New Zealand’s capital market. Our clients entrust us to manage and grow their investments and bring innovative investment solutions. This is a responsibility we take very seriously. Our experienced and proven investment team manage clients’ money within a disciplined and robust investment process.

“Harbour is focused on managing a range of income and growth investment solutions on behalf of our clients, delivered within a strong governance and compliance framework.”

In the fixed interest category, Morningstar said Christian Hawkesby and Mark Brown had done an exceptional job at developing the firm’s capability.  “Their sound investment process, backed by detailed economic research and modelling, has resulted in a noteworthy track record to date. Investors looking to diversify their portfolio by including fixed interest exposure need look no further than Harbour.”

Mint Asset Management took the domestic equities category, ANZ Investments the international equities category and Milford the KiwiSaver category.

Anthony Halls was mentioned at Mint. Morningstar said his investment team demonstrated their flair and expertise at investing in New Zealand and Australian companies.

At ANZ, Alan Clarke was mentioned for his portfolio construction in “constantly changing market conditions”.

Morningstar said Milford was at the forefront of a competitive KiwiSaver sector thanks to its well-tenured and seasoned investments team, client service, industry-leading results and focus on investor education.

Managing director of Milford, Anthony Quirk, said: "We are delighted to receive this award as its criteria specifies that the product provides the best all round solutions to New Zealanders for their KiwiSaver investment. As such, it is a very pleasing recognition of Milford delivering to its investors on all aspects of our KiwiSaver offer. This award continues the real momentum in our business with strategies for further growth in KiwiSaver and other investment product areas."

Only fund managers with funds for sale in New Zealand qualify for inclusion.

The winner is based on research from Morningstar’s analysts, risk-adjusted returns and performance in 2015.

Tags: Morningstar

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