Investment funds in New Zealand
The dedicated funds, KiwiSaver and superannuation practice at Chapman Tripp has a prominent position in the market, having advised the five major domestic commercial banks, six of New Zealand’s major fund managers, four large insurers, four major domestic investment banks and brokers, major workplace savings schemes and leading corporate trustees on regulatory matters. Funds management and securities law specialist Penny Sheerin leads the practice from Auckland, where Tim Williams has more than 20 years' experience as a leading practitioner for the development of innovative investment products and advice on regulatory change. Mike Woodbury in Wellington specialises in retirement schemes and financial services regulation, and he acts for the trustees, managers or sponsors of major schemes throughout New Zealand. Auckland-based associates Phoebe Gibbons and Emma Dale are rising stars.
‘Tim Williams and Mike Woodbury are highly recommended for their expertise in this sector.’
‘It has a large partnership with depth of knowledge and expertise. It focuses on good client outcomes and understands the nature of our unique fund offerings.’
‘It has sound legal knowledge in the sphere we operate in and always provides matter of fact advice. It is focused on building strong client relationships.’
‘The firm is proactive and influential in the industry and has been instrumental in shaping the law, its application and its ongoing refinement. This background gives Chapman Tripp a depth of expertise and an ability to assist clients in shaping solutions that is hard to rival.’
‘It is a “go-to” law firm when solutions to complex opportunities need to be developed and implemented. This part of the firm goes well beyond delivering advice and opinions.’
‘The partner we engage with is Mike Woodbury. He stands out as a leader in his field because of his involvement over a good number of years with shaping, implementing and proactively refining the law and regulations across the industry. As a result, he has a deep understanding of the industry and a large network of key participants.’
‘From a clients point of view Mike Woodbury is exceptional in that he brings to the table a complete package of commercial, operational and legal expertise in order to develop creative and workable solutions and can carry them right through to implementation and project management.’
‘Mike Woodbury makes sure we understand the areas in which there is uncertainty. It means we can confidently rely on his advice, recommendations and guidance.’
AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited
Bank of China
Nikko Asset Management
Conrad Funds Management Limited
Craigs Investment Partners
- Advised Conrad Funds Management Limited, a managed investment scheme manager licensed by the Financial Markets Authority, on the establishment of its wholesale CFML Mortgage Fund and Kiwi Residential 1st Mortgage Fund, and the conversion of the CFML Mortgage Fund into a retail managed fund.
- Advising AMP Wealth Management New Zealand on the decision to wind up a Personal Superannuation Fund.
- Advised Nikko Asset Management New Zealand on the establishment of its new KiwiSaver Scheme and accompanying GoalsGetter robo-advice product.
- Assisting BNZ with a rewrite of the BNZ KiwiSaver offer documents.
- Advised Bank of China Limited on compliance matters relating to the establishment of its first New Zealand branch in Auckland.
DLA Piper New Zealand's national investment funds and financial services practice remains a key player in the market because of its in-depth knowledge of financial services law, including the Financial Markets Conduct Act, the Financial Advisers Act and the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019. The firm advises on fund establishment, financial markets conduct (including insider trading, market manipulation and disclosure), listing rule compliance and fund investment, securities and derivatives trading. The practice is led by Tracey Cross in Auckland and, in Wellington, Alasdair McBeth and Rachel Taylor, who count managers, investment managers, financial service providers, custodians, distribution channels, administrators and supervisors among their clients. Wellington-based senior associates Tom Barnes and Neisha Mistry, and special counsel Nicole MacFarlane in Auckland, are also recommended.
Tracey Cross; Rachel Taylor; Alasdair McBeth
‘The firm has an ability to find a solution that works within the law and where the law is not clear, the willingness to find a position. Tom Barnes and Alasdair McBeth are awesome – they know their stuff and a great to work with.’
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
AMP Financial Services (NZ) Limited / AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited
Aon New Zealand
Bank of New Zealand
Britannia Financial Services Limited
BNP Paribas Securities Services
Board of Trustees of the National Provident Fund
Covenant Trustee Services Limited
Defence Force Superannuation Scheme
Devon Funds Management Limited
EBT Capital Limited
Epoch Partners AG
Evergreen Capital Partners Limited
Fidelity Life Assurance Company Limited
Financial Advice New Zealand Incorporated
Fisher Fund Management Limited
Foodstuffs North Island Limited
Forsyth Barr Funds Management Limited
Forte Funds Management Limited
Government Superannuation Fund Authority
Greenplan Forestry Limited
Greenplan Holdings Limited
Harbour Asset Management Limited
Implemented Investment Solutions Limited
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
InvestNow Saving and Investment Service Limited
JMIS Limited/Clarity Funds Management Limited
Lifetime Asset Management Limited
Medical Assurance Society
Milford Asset Management Limited
New Zealand Fire Service Superannuation Scheme
Nikko Asset Management New Zealand Limited
Police Superannuation Scheme
Presbyterian Beneficiary Fund Trustee Limited
Presbyterian Church Property Trustees
PIMCO Australia Pty Limited
Ranfurly Strategic Limited
Russell Investment Management Limited
Staples Rodway Asset Management
Simplicity NZ Limited
Senior Trust Capital Limited/Senior Trust Management Limited
Trustees Executors Limited
Trustees of the Maritime KiwiSaver Scheme/Retirement Scheme
Trustees of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Staff Superannuation and Provident Fund
Trilogy Funds Management Limited
The Methodist Church of New Zealand Superannuation Fund
Westpac Banking Corporation
- Advised InvestNow Saving and Investment Service Limited on the introduction of bank term deposits on an online investment platform.
- Advised Lifetime Asset Management Limited (LAM) on its product offerings and in relation to the acquisition of managed investment schemes.
- Acting for most licenced supervisors – including Public Trust, Trustees Executors Limited, Covenant Trustee Services Limited and Guardian Trust – with regard to their various duties and responsibilities relating to their various appointments.
- Advised the Presbyterian Beneficiary Fund on technical amendments to charitable superannuation scheme trust deed.
- Advising for several clients – including Clarity Limited, Medical Assurance Society, Aon, Marsh Limited, Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, AON New Zealand and Milford Asset Management – on the current reform to the Financial Advisers Act 2008 which will require all those providing regulated financial advice to be licensed.
Dentons Kensington Swan's Wellington office is home to a highly respected managed funds practice, which has a nationwide and Trans-Tasman client base. It played a key role in Financial Markets Conduct Act reforms, including the proposed Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 reforms that will replace the Financial Advisers Act. The firm is also active in innovative areas of the market such as fintech , with a particular focus on robo-advice. AMP Financial Services, ANZ Bank and Guardian Trust are among its clients. David Ireland and Catriona Grover lead the practice. Ireland has more than 26 years' experience in funds management law and he advises large and boutique providers of investment funds and investment management services. Grover specialises in investment funds, including KiwiSaver, managed funds and superannuation schemes. Senior associate Tom McLaughlin also plays a key role in the practice.
David Ireland; Catriona Grover
Other key lawyers:
‘This practice is a team of lawyers who are highly competent technically. What sets them apart from other firms is their approachable nature along with their commercial pragmatism.’
‘Catriona Grover and David Ireland are highly competent technical lawyers, extremely approachable and also very pragmatic. I have found the rest of their team similar to deal with.’
‘The firm is one of the best providers of legal services in this area. It demonstrates a real depth of industry knowledge which translates into accurate and fit for purpose advice.’
‘It provides excellent partner availability with expert knowledge in many aspects of managed investment schemes including restricted legacy schemes and two complex wind up matters.’
‘The firm delivers great response times and industry knowledge, with a high degree of technical excellence, and pragmatic and commercially astute advice.’
‘We rate David Ireland and Cat Grover highly, particularly in terms of response times, quality and appropriateness of advice, accessibility and value for money.’
‘The team does not give cookie-cutter advice. Responses are tailored for our business and take into account the wider business objectives and strategy where appropriate. I feel like they focus – at all levels from partner down – on delivering real value to our business.’
‘The team is always timely, professional and takes the extra step to go above and beyond, often raising things or working through matters that have not explicitly been raised going over budget!’
‘I value the fact they are so proactive in keeping up-to-date with the latest changing and emerging regulations.’
‘Catriona Grover is outstanding. I can’t say enough about the value she provides to us. First and foremost, she is always technically on point and knows her stuff inside out in this space, including the more recent changes in the fintech arena. She takes into account the overall business when advising us, and as a result, her advice is both strategic and also tailored for our circumstances.’
‘Catriona Grover has proven herself to have invaluable experience across the retail and wholesale investment space, the advice regime and more recently we have also been able to depend on her to take a lead in the fast-moving fintech space, where she has assisted us in finding our way through the ever-changing emerging regulations and boundaries.’
‘David Ireland is great in the financial advice area, across changes to the code of conduct and the upcoming changes to the advice regime.’
‘Tom McLaughlin is an outstanding senior associate and I have no doubt he will be a partner in the not too distant future. He is the go-to person for us on a number of matters, and is always able to provide quick and insightful advice.’
‘Tom McLaughlin is a real superstar and his advice and assistance in the delivery of robo-advice has been invaluable.’
Kiwi Wealth Limited
ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited
AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited
Funds Administration New Zealand Limited (‘FANZ’)
Equity Trustees Limited
Civic Financial Services Limited (‘Civic’)
New Zealand Guardian Trust Company
Michael Hill International Limited
UniSaver New Zealand
- Acted for Ngāi Tahu in the establishment of its iconic account-based iwi savings vehicle Whai Rawa in 2006, and in its subsequent administration.
- Advised Kiwi Wealth – the first financial services provider in New Zealand to be approved by the Financial Markets Authority to deliver personalised digital financial advice – on the development its Future You tool, which allowed KiwiSaver members to pick a fund and set a contribution rate to help them achieve their retirement goal.
- Acted as sole legal advisers to Kiwi Wealth on the establishment of the four new wholesale funds, implementation of new custodial arrangements, the appointment of third party providers, and transition of the assets into the new structure.
- Advised AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited on the move by a stand-alone employer scheme to transfer its entire membership base and assets to NZRT without member consent, relying on FMA’s power to approve the transfer.
- Acted for Michael Hill International in relation to its New Zealand obligations – both in relation to the listed parent and the New Zealand subsidiaries that form part of the Michael Hill Group.
MinterEllisonRuddWatts is a leading adviser to investment funds work and also has a prominent role in the emerging fintech and cryptocurrency spaces. It has in-depth expertise in the regulation of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in New Zealand. The firm is a trusted adviser to the country's four major trading banks – ANZ, Westpac, ASB and BNZ – as well as international banks and asset managers. In Auckland, Lloyd Kavanagh, who has a particular focus on governance, investment and managed funds, fintech incubation, and financial services regulation, and Jeremy Muir, who has in-depth knowledge of managed funds, financial markets conduct law, and alternative assets, are co-heads of the practice. Auckland-based senior associate Maria Collett-Bevan is a rising star. Kara Daly in Wellington joined Chapman Tripp.
Lloyd Kavanagh; Jeremy Muir
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has an excellent reputation in the financial services market and with regulators.’
‘The industry experience of the partners is very valuable. The partners we work with are extremely responsive to requests. They apply a wide ranging thought process to the pros and cons of any particular course of action.’
‘MinterEllisonRuddWatts has a dedicated practice to financial services including managed funds. That is relatively rare in the New Zealand legal market, and is what sets them apart from many of their peers.’
‘The fact that it is a full-service firm also is of significant benefit, so that other issues that regularly arise in the financial services area, such as taxation, anti-money laundering, fair trading, competition and insider trading etc, can all be addressed by other parts of that firm.’
‘We consider the firm and its staff to be very approachable and have the necessary expertise and market knowledge to make dealings with them worthwhile and value for money. They are very commercial in their interactions with us, not just quoting laws and regulations to us.’
‘Lloyd Kavanagh and Maria Collett-Bevan are dedicated to the financial services industry, which makes a big difference to us. We value their expertise, knowledge and connections within that industry. The individuals are all easy to approach and provide timely advice and recommendations.’
‘We appreciate being able to have a chat and bounce ideas with the relevant individuals, without necessarily being on the clock and charged for that discussion. This builds a degree of confidence and trust, and makes the firm more a valued partner than an external service provider.’
‘One of the leading firm in terms of both expertise and bench strength. They are relatively progressive in terms of thinking more widely about the implications of upcoming legislative change and disruption in the market, and have a well developed first to market communication strategy and CLS strategy.’
‘Jeremy Muir is technically excellent, great to deal with and pragmatic. Lloyd Kavanagh is a senior statesman of the market.’
Milford Asset Management
Payments NZ Limited
- Advising Pioneer Capital Management Limited on a significant restructuring of the Pioneer Group.
- Acting for Pie Funds on the launch of the new Juno KiwiSaver Scheme.
- Implementing financial adviser structures, obligations, licensing and adviser training requirements as a result of the new Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill for Westpac, BNZ, ASB, Milford, Share, Crombie Lockwood and Youi.
- Advised Milford Asset Management Limited on the establishment of new retail managed fund.
- Advised Bank of New Zealand on the establishment of a new managed investment scheme.
Bell Gully in Auckland has a diverse investment funds practice that is involved not only in on-going regulatory change, but also handles significant transactional work. Last year, this included setting up a new fund intended to help Iwi/Māori groups diversify their portfolios. The firm advises numerous leading issuers and supervisory organisations including New Zealand Guardian Trust, Covenant Trustee Company, ANZ Bank and fund managers AMP, Suncorp and Craigs Investment Partners. Haydn Wong leads the practice, which draws on expertise from the firm's corporate, banking and finance practices. He acts for some of New Zealand’s largest fund managers and supervisors in funds management, KiwiSaver, superannuation and insurance matters. Amon Nunns is a key adviser to Stride Property Group, which controls one of New Zealand’s largest diversified investment property portfolios.
Other key lawyers:
Amon Nunns; Sarah McQueen; Katie Dow
Craigs Investment Partners
The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited
Asteron / Suncorp
Covenant Trustee Services Limited
First State Investments
Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation
Stride Property Limited
- Advised on the establishment of an iwi/Māori Direct Investment Fund (Te Pūia Tāpapa Fund) by various iwi, pan-tribal organisations, Māori land trusts and Māori incorporations.
- Acted for TSB Community Trust on the acquisition of the remaining 51 per cent of Fisher Funds Management Limited that TSB did not already own, and the on-sale of a 24.9 per cent interest to TA Associates, a global growth private equity firm.
- Advising Guardian Trust on a range of activities in relation to its role as supervisor of managed investment schemes.
- Advised Investore on an offer of NZ$100m six-year, senior secured fixed-rate bonds maturing on 18 April 2024 to New Zealand institutional and retail investors.
- Acting for funds managed by Colonial First State on the acquisition financing and equity funding for Gas Services NZ Limited in relation to its acquisition of the Ahuroa gas storage facility from Contact Energy.
The funds management, Kiwisaver and superannuation practice at Russell McVeagh in Auckland works with fund managers, trustees, supervisors, financial advisers, custodians, investors and employers to navigate the changing regulatory environment, notably the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act. It handles the establishment, operation, restructuring and winding up of funds and investment schemes, as well as assisting with the development and tax-efficient design of investment schemes. The firm has been involved with KiwiSaver since its inception, and is well versed in other superannuation schemes. Dan Jones leads the practice and he is known for advising fund managers, banks and trustees on the regulatory obligations.
‘Russell McVeagh does not have a dedicated practice to financial services, but the quality of its personnel in this area is what sets it apart from many of its peers. In addition, it is a full-service firm, which is of significant benefit as we find that many other issues regularly arise in the financial services area.’
‘Russell McVeagh has a reputation in New Zealand for being one of the premier law firms and their staff have the necessary expertise and ability to make dealings with them beneficial and worthwhile. We appreciate their commerciality in their interactions with us and their willingness to go the extra mile to help us and support us.’
‘Dan Jones [is] very competent and knowledgeable in the financial services industry, which makes a big difference to us. We value [his] connections within that industry. The individuals are all easy to approach and provide timely advice and recommendations.’
ASB Bank Limited
Bank of New Zealand
Guardians of NZ Superannuation
Mint Asset Management
NZ Funds Management
NZ Banking Association
Oyster Management Limited
Pathfinder Asset Management Ltd
Westpac New Zealand Limited
- Advised Fonterra Co-operative Group on compliance obligations under the Financial Markets Conduct Act and on the transition to the new listing rules.
- Acted for JPMorgan on its direct custody agreement with Bank of America, including advising on the rules and operation of the NZClear System and its application to the direct custody agreement.
- Advised the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation in relation to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s acquisition of a 27% stake in NZ Gourmet.
- Advised Mint Asset Management Limited in relation to the establishment of a new diversified growth fund, including the entry into a new establishment deed and the amendment of its product disclosure statement.
- Advised Oyster Management Limited in relation to the establishment of the 33 Corinthian Proportionate Ownership Scheme.
Anthony Harper in Auckland joins this year's ranking having established a specialist team in 2018 which followed the arrival of Nick Summerfield from Kensington Swan, who co-leads the financial services team with Gill Goodwin who has more than 30 years' experience in investment funds work. The new group has quickly attracted clients such as insurer Sovereign Services, fund managers Westpac and Silverfin Capital, and supervisor Public Trust. The practice handles all aspects of investment funds work but has particular strength in property-related funds with clients such as Maat Consulting and numerous boutique providers. Its expertise extends to mortgage funds, and it is a key adviser to supervisors of investment fund offerings.
Nick Summerfield; Gill Goodwin
‘What sets Anthony Harper apart from the rest is its response time. It is very responsive, which is very important to us, and the quality of work is excellent.’
‘The responsiveness is excellent, but also the proactiveness. They are always looking out for us and very much a part of the team.’
‘The firm has great personable lawyers and Nick Summerfield is an excellent operator.’
‘Nick Summerfield and Gill Goodwin, who was recently appointed as Deputy Chairperson to the NZ Human Rights Review Tribunal, are experts in managed funds and deliver strategic, pragmatic and timely advice.’
‘The firm provides pragmatic and cost-effective solutions.’
Silverfin Capital Limited (investment fund manager)
Public Trust (licensed supervisor)
Westpac New Zealand Limited (bank and investment fund manager)
Sovereign Services Limited (AIA / Sovereign) (licensed insurer)
Maat Consulting Limited (investment fund manager)
First Mortgage Managers Limited (first mortgage investment fund manager)
Heritage Trustee Company Limited (licensed supervisor)
Fund Managers Central Limited (first mortgage investment fund manager)
BetterSaver Limited (fintech business)
Life Insurance Policy Exchange Limited (insurance policy trading market)
Forsite Limited Partnership (tech business)
- Advised Maat Consulting Limited on a significant capital raise, to be used towards an investment in an incorporated joint venture, which will develop and lease a major retail outlet.
- Advised Sovereign Services Limited on a major initiative to review all aspects of the combined AIA and Sovereign business in response to the Australian Royal Commission and reviews carried out by the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
- Advised property syndicator and licensed investment fund manager Silverfin Capital Limited on a retail offer of interests in an investment fund that will own and manage a portfolio of farming sites across New Zealand.
- Advised Silverfin Capital Limited on an offer of interests in an investment fund to own and manage an industrial property in Christchurch.
- Advised Life Insurance Policy Exchange Limited on the expansion of its product range to provide for buying and selling partial interests in policies.