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Morningstar 'neutral' on Fisher

Fisher Funds’ KiwiSaver schemes have been rated a “reasonable option” by Morningstar.

Thursday, October 6th 2016, 2:07PM

The research house has handed the provider a neutral rating for its schemes. It can award them gold, silver, bronze, neutral or negative.

Analyst Elliot Lucas said there were “a couple of drawbacks” that stopped Fisher Funds’ conservative and growth funds from being a preferred KiwiSaver option.

He said a team of 16 managed the asset allocation and underlying strategies of everything from fixed income to global equities and direct property.

“Fisher’s investment in efficient front- and back-office systems mitigates concern, but it’s still difficult for a single shop to do all those things very well. Also, fees are high relative to peers. This [conservative] fund's 1% total expense ratio for the 2014-15 financial year was the highest of the Conservative KiwiSaver strategies we assess.”

Of its Fisher TWO schemes, Lucas said an evolution had been noticeable since Fisher Funds took over from Tower.

The Tower strategies had been highly diversified and benchmark relative but Fisher had brought them in line with its usual concentrated approach. Only international equities retained the highly-diversified approach, Lucas said.

It had also shunned listed property in favour of direct property.

“While any future changes are likely to be moderate in scale, it bears watching. In the meantime, Fisher TWO’s fees are on the high side relative to peers, and its long-term track record is lacklustre. So, while we think Fisher TWO can adequately do the job, better options exist.”

Tags: Fisher Funds

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