Bye bye big banks - New KiwiSaver default fund providers celebrate

It's been a day of celebrations for KiwiSaver default providers, especially for the two new fund managers - Simplicity and Smartshares.

Friday, May 14th 2021, 3:13PM

by Staff reporters

Sam Stubbs.

Sam Stubbs, founder of Simplicity, says he's ecstatic to have been included as a default provider.

“This is going to allow us to be even more so the cat among some very fat pigeons in the finance industry. This will give us the scale to disrupt even more, which is what we intend to do.”

According to Stubbs, the list of default providers is not only a government endorsement of Simplicity’s low-fee system but an inditement of how some of the big banks have failed New Zealanders.

“It sends a signal to me for how greedy ANZ and ASB are.

"These companies had a massive opportunity to price to win. They clearly haven’t won default status and I suspect the reason is that they didn’t want to cannibalise their huge fee revenue by pricing to win the business.”

Stubbs says the government's move to give low-fees providers default status will make New Zealanders "...literally billions of dollars richer over a generation".

“It is a very significant move by the government especially to see that the two largest providers ASB and ANZ, are now no longer default providers.”

Smartshares’ SuperLife has been made one of the six default KiwiSaver providers with its chief executive Hugh Stevens (pictured below) saying it "...reflects a focus on low fees and a straightforward, transparent investment approach".

The Smartshares’ SuperLife KiwiSaver scheme holds more than $1.2 billion on behalf of 31,350 New Zealanders.

Stevens says the scheme has proven popular with members.

“We provide financial wellbeing with a compelling combination of low fees and a passive approach to investing that we believe delivers better long-term results.

“Our KiwiSaver scheme has easy-to-use conservative, balanced and growth funds but also provides KiwiSavers who want more choice with access to a wide range of Smartshares Exchange Traded Funds.

"Our new default balanced fund will be an attractive option for cost-conscious New Zealand investors.”

He says the scheme's selection is a "...huge endorsement of our scheme, our approach and what we are already delivering – both in terms of returns and service for our members”.

Kiwi Wealth retail and product general manager Melissa Vasta says they are "exceptionally delighted" to be kept on for another term as a default provider.

"For us, default is a key part of our business, it's the beginning of peoples' KiwiSaver journey and it's really important, not only for retirement but also for people getting into first homes these days.

"It's a great endorsement of what Kiwi Wealth has been doing to date and we have been market-leading with our Future You tool and our online experience has always been great."

Vasta says she's pleased the two new providers have been chosen after an open and transparent process.

"The government has picked who they believe can deliver to their view of what default needs to offer New Zealanders so there's going to be a lot of work, but I'm sure they will be up to it."

Vasta says those who missed out would be obviously disappointed "'s something everyone has put a lot of work into."


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Tags: default funds Hugh Stevens kiwi wealth KiwiSaver Melissa Vasta Sam Stubbs Simplicity Smartshares

« Axed KiwiSaver funds haven't done a good jobMann on a mission to diversify financial advice »

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