Investment funds in New Zealand

Chapman Tripp

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.

Practice head(s):

Penny Sheerin

Other key lawyers:

Tim Williams; Mike Woodbury; Bradley Kidd; Phoebe Gibbons; Emma Dale; Kara Daly

Testimonials

‘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.’

Key clients

ANZ Bank

AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited

BNZ

Bank of China

Fisher Funds

Nikko Asset Management

Conrad Funds Management Limited

Foundation Life

Craigs Investment Partners

Calder Stewart

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Tracey Cross; Rachel Taylor; Alasdair McBeth

Testimonials

‘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.’

Key clients

Adminis Limited

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

Cove Limited

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

i-Select Limited

InvestNow Saving and Investment Service Limited

JMIS Limited/Clarity Funds Management Limited

Lifetime Asset Management Limited

Medical Assurance Society

Marsh Limited

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

Public Trust

PIMCO Australia Pty Limited

Perpetual Guardian

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

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

David Ireland; Catriona Grover

Other key lawyers:

Tom McLaughlin

Testimonials

‘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.’

Key clients

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’)

Ngāi Tahu

New Zealand Guardian Trust Company

Public Trust

NZX

Consilium NZ

Michael Hill International Limited

UniSaver New Zealand

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Lloyd Kavanagh; Jeremy Muir

Other key lawyers:

Maria Collett-Bevan

Testimonials

‘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.’

Key clients

BNZ

Westpac

ASB/Sovereign

AMP

ANZ

Kiwi Wealth

Trustees Executors

Milford Asset Management

Munich Reinsurance

Payments NZ Limited

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Haydn Wong

Other key lawyers:

Amon Nunns; Sarah McQueen; Katie Dow

Key clients

AMP

ANZ Bank

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

Work highlights

  • 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.

Russell McVeagh

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.

Practice head(s):

Dan Jones

Testimonials

‘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.’

Key clients

ASB Bank Limited

Bank of New Zealand

Citibank N.A.

Fidelity Life

Fonterra

Guardians of NZ Superannuation

JP Morgan

Mint Asset Management

NZ Funds Management

NZ Banking Association

Oyster Management Limited

Pathfinder Asset Management Ltd

Westpac New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Nick Summerfield; Gill Goodwin

Testimonials

‘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.’

Key clients

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)

Work highlights

  • 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.