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[The Wrap] Cagey Milford lifts dividends despite profit decline

Tracking down the financial statements of fund managers is straightforward for most local managers but with a few it can be tricky to identify the reporting entity.

Friday, August 4th 2023, 11:11AM

by Jenny Ruth

Managers of managed investments schemes (MIS) are legally required to file their financial statements with the Companies Office, which is a reasonable requirement so that MIS members can check the financial position of the people managing their money.

Some managers have multiple companies registered – if you type in “Jarden”, the Companies Office will provide 62 different entities.

While some clearly aren't related to the stockbroking, merchant banking and wealth management firm, most of them are.

But the financial statements aren't filed under Jarden Limited, the company referred to on its website, or Jarden Corporation Limited or Jarden Group Limited or Jarden Investments Limited. They're filed under Jarden Securities Limited.

Listings for Milford are even trickier because the Companies Office provides 340 results.

After drawing a blank on Milford Asset Management Limited, the ultimate parent company, and a few others, I asked chief financial officer James Bourke for assistance: “I’m after the accounts for Milford Asset Management Limited (or is there another ultimate entity for the fund’s management business?).”

I noted that I'd been able to locate financial statements for a number of other fund managers.

Bourke responded: “To confirm, Milford Asset Management Limited is the parent entity. We don’t disclose private company information, (and there isn’t an obligation to disclose), other than to note that the parent company continues to invest heavily into the business, enhancing the client experience and value proposition.”

Alas, Bourke was being less than candid.

Thanks to the Financial Markets Authority, I later learnt two of the Milford companies, Milford Funds Limited and Milford Private Wealth Limited, both ultimately owned by Milford Asset Management, do actually disclose results.

Milford Funds reported a 9.6% decline in net profit to $11.3 million for the year ended March with management fees falling 10.1% to $156.4 million.

While its base fees were up 6.1%, it received no performance fees after collecting $26.4 million in performance fees the previous year.

Despite the fall in profit, the company paid its parent $11.2 million in dividends, up from the $10.5 million payout the previous year.

The private wealth company lifted annual net profit 9.9% to $1.9 million and paid the parent $1.5 million in dividends after no payout the previous year.

Tags: Milford Asset Management Opinion

« Annus horribilis for NZ Funds ManagementTough times ahead for NZ economy: Nikko economist »

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