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The axe falls at Kiwi Wealth

As expected most Kiwi Wealth executives lose their jobs after Fisher Funds takeover.

Monday, February 20th 2023, 7:39PM 9 Comments

Fisher Funds has begun its rationalisation of Kiwi Wealth with key executives losing their jobs.

Those to go include former chief executive Rhiannon McKinnon, chief investment officer Steffan Berridge, chief technology officer Craig Ward and chief customer Officer Morne Redgard.

One executive to survive the cull is general counsel Vanessa Simons. Kiwi Wealth chief operating officer Craig Holloway survives the initial cull and "will be staying on to support the integration for a period of 12 months from Wellington."

Fisher Funds acquired Kiwi Wealth at the end of last year. It says, in a statement, "the first step of the integration is the establishment of a single leadership team under Fisher Funds chief executive Bruce McLachlan assuming responsibility for continued delivery of great outcomes for Kiwi Wealth and Fisher Funds clients."

McLachlan, "sincerely" thanked Rhiannon for building Kiwi Wealth into a successful wealth management business.

“Rhiannon guided Kiwi Wealth through a significant period of growth and a challenging sales process and has built a team absolutely dedicated to the success and financial wellbeing of their clients."

He went on to say, "we wish her all the very best as she continues to her next challenge.”

Berridge will be leaving the business after a four-month period assisting the integration.

“Steffan will play an important role in supporting the integration of the businesses and ensuring our clients’ investment outcomes remain at the forefront throughout. His assistance will be invaluable as we continue to progress through this complex work and we are incredibly grateful for his ongoing support,”  McLachlan bsays.

Fisher Funds says it "wishes" to retain a significant number of the Kiwi Wealth team and "expects to continue to have a meaningful Wellington presence for the foreseeable future, enhancing the growth aspirations for a national footprint."

Tags: Fisher Funds

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Comments from our readers

On 21 February 2023 at 3:19 pm Anon E Mouse said:
Does this mean existing Kiwi Wealth Kiwisaver fund members can look forward to massive cost increases ?

Last year Fisher Funds poorly performing (22/25) Growth Kiwisaver Fund charged clients 2.51% for the privilege of losing 15.9% of their money for the year while the equivalent Kiwi Wealth Growth Fund Kiwisaver client was charged 1.12% and did less badly according to Morningstar.
On 22 February 2023 at 7:49 am Murray Weatherston said:
Usually the most precarious employment position is as a senior exec of a target company acquired by a competitor. The proof is in the pudding in this case.
On 24 February 2023 at 7:11 am Pragmatic said:
These departures will come back to haunt Fishers, as some of those leaving represent significantly more impressive individuals than the incumbents.
On 24 February 2023 at 8:33 am Crusty Skeptic said:
Pragmatic, I suspect you are right. Guess time will tell.
On 24 February 2023 at 10:38 am turnsall said:
It looks like the exec was set up just prior to being acquired with a purposely low skill/experience group to make them easy to dispose of, hopefully they made the most of their temporary position. Doesn't seem like much lost from that group.
On 6 March 2023 at 9:33 am Eyeinthesky said:
I have been intrigued watching Fisher Funds KiwiSaver acquisitions of late.
Particularly, the AON acquisition.

There were some funds in there where the underlying manager was Milford as a specific example,and other managers with superior performance, and the other managers had a greater range of optional funds.

The FMA approved the transfers on the basis that the investor moving from AON to Fisher Funds had to be no worse off.

The comparative performance for the matched Fisher funds to the underlying AON Milford ones was, well, pretty abysmal.

So, how did that work in the FMA's eyes?
They approved transfers that gave the investor inferior performance once the transfer was completed.

Can anyone enlighten me as to something I may have missed here?
On 15 March 2023 at 4:03 pm deeznuts said:
Anon E Mouse - Some interesting comments there. Usually, one would look at a longer timeframe than 1 year. Their Growth fund ranks no. 3 when looking at 5 yr & 10-year performance. Also, the fees on that fund are not 2.51%. Please check their PDS for that information.
On 19 March 2023 at 10:18 am Anon E Mouse said:
https://cdn.morningstar.com.au/mca/s/documents/KiwiSaver-December-2022.pdf
On 23 March 2023 at 4:41 pm deeznuts said:
https://fisherfunds.co.nz/investment/kiwisaver/fees-and-expenses#what-are-the-fees-for-the-fisher-funds-kiwisaver-s

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