25 Nov 2014

$1b asset base still too low: expert

6:44 am on 25 November 2014

The top investment manager for Tainui says its $1 billion asset base needs to be 10 times larger to make a meaningful difference to its people.

At an investment conference in Wellington yesterday, Tainui Group Holdings chief investment officer Craig Stephen said having a clear and robust strategy was the key to invest for today's and future generations.

Waikato-Tainui has 66,000 members.

The tribe holds $1.1 billion in assets, mainly in property, but Mr Stephen said too many of its people do badly in education, hold low-wage jobs and suffer high unemployment.

He said while Tainui was investing to lift the prospects of its members, its asset base was still too low.

Mr Stephen said in his view, it needed to be 10 times that before it could make a meaningful difference for the tribe.

He said that was its challenge: how could the commercial arm continue to grow the tribe's wealth to help iwi beneficiaries.

Mr Stephen favoured investing directly in firms that could offer employment and skills training.

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