Zenith New Zealand research on hold due to Covid-19

Zenith Investment Partners has found its plans to expand into research of New Zealand fund managers has been thwarted by Covid-19.

Friday, July 24th 2020, 6:14AM 1 Comment

Zenith bought FundSource from the NZX last year.

Chief operating officer Jason Huddy said the firm planned to expand Zenith’s qualitative fund management research into New Zealand.

“We certainly have plans not only to expand our research coverage of Australian and international managers to New Zealand for New Zealand advisers but to include New Zealand-based managers. But we’ve hit a roadblock. We can’t have any analysts travel to have a meeting with fund managers,” he said.

The business in New Zealand had been renamed to Zenith Investment Partners NZ and there was a website to give New Zealand advisers international fund insight, he said. But the 14 analysts working for Zenith faced a challenge in travelling to New Zealand while the borders were closed due to Covid-19, he said.

Huddy said video conferencing was possible but Zenith preferred to have a face-to-face meeting in the first instance.

“After that it’s easier to do Zooms or Teams meetings but we haven’t been able to have that connection yet so it’s hard to kick off that background research work.”

Zenith has also cancelled the fund manager of the year awards this year.

Huddy said the team was still in a holding pattern waiting to see whether a trans-Tasman bubble would make travel possible but it would not be possible to wait much longer before initiating conversations in some form with managers.

“In that case we would have to go to plan b and explore a video conferencing facility but it’s not ideal.”

Tags: Fund manager of the year funds management FundSource investment Zenith

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Comments from our readers

On 27 July 2020 at 7:04 am Pragmatic said:
Does the 'power' come from producing yet-another fund appraisal, or demonstrating how these various combinations can impact on investment expectations? I suspect that the former is now well commoditised (you can get a positive report on just about anything if you dig deep enough), with the latter reliant upon having a local presence (ie: NZ is both parochial and relationship-centric).

...and sorry - I couldn't help myself commenting on the cancellation of the FMOTY awards: perhaps this is a useful signal for others to follow, so that we can dispense with these altogether?

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