23 May 2013

AMP to change KiwiSaver asset allocations

8:38 am on 23 May 2013

AMP plans to change the asset allocations in its KiwiSaver funds, saying it will give members more diversified investments.

AMP has more than 260,000 KiwiSaver scheme members across its two schemes, equal to 16% market share.

It says it will cut the cash allocation in the default fund and increase its holdings in New Zealand and global bonds.

It says KiwiSaver non-default members will now have a dedicated stake in listed infrastructure companies around the world.

The head of AMP New Zealand multi asset group Peter Verhaart says it is the first major review of the schemes since KiwiSaver was launched.

He says the motivation for the change is a long term asset allocation, so it's a question of looking at the existing market conditions and then looking forward to assess what is the best return for the level of risk taken.

Mr Verhaart says the previous strategic asset allocations have served the AMP portfolio well and it's positioning for the next period of investment over the next 18 years.

He says AMP is pulling some money out of New Zealand equities and investing more in Australian shares.

And he says putting more default scheme money into New Zealand and global bonds is a long term strategy.

Mr Verhaart says the dedicated infrastructure stake for non-default members, sets it apart from other schemes that are heavily exposed to the domestic market.

"It's more around the allocation to sectors such as global listed infrastructure, commodities and even emerging markets.

"Those asset classes tend to offer some really good diversification against those more traditional asset classes like New Zealand equities, Australian equities and New Zealand bonds, for example."

Mr Verhaart says AMP is now spread across more sectors than many its competitors.

In February, after the merger with AXA, AMP announced plans to transfer its non-default AMP Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme members to an enhanced scheme.

The proposal, if approved by the Financial Markets Authority, will take place in August.