23 Dec 2016

KiwiSaver provider designing its own ethical investment fund

11:34 am on 23 December 2016

One of the country's biggest KiwiSaver providers, Kiwi Wealth, has decided to build its own ethical and responsible investment fund, rather than join most of the rest of the industry and buy a newly-designed overseas product.

The investment industry did a quick change of tack a few months ago when it was on the end of an investor backlash against putting money into companies making weapons or involved in tobacco or the nuclear industry.

However, GMI, which has close to 170,000 customers with $4 billion under management for Kiwibank, said it's decided to go it alone and build its own responsible investment fund.

Chief investment officer Simon O'Grady said the feedback it received was that local investors wanted a local solution.

"We can design a more flexible made-for-Kiwis by Kiwis type outcome ... second key reason was around cost ... we're in a position to put together a much more cost effective outcome for investors," he said.

Mr O'Grady said the cost of the new fund was not expected to be more expensive.

The fund is expected to be in place by the end of March 2017.

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