Westpac spins off management of $650 million of equities to firm owned by former staff

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand fund management arm contracted out the management of more than $650 million of its listed New Zealand stocks and property holdings to a new firm started by its employees.

BT Funds Management (NZ), which has $4.6 billion of funds under management, will hand over its equity and property portfolios to Salt Funds Management, owned by its former equity and property managers Paul Harrison and Matthew Goodson.

BT has been divesting management of its funds to specialists around the world as part of a move to reduce risk, allow more diversification and produce a more consistent performance, said Matthew Goldsack, BT Funds Management (NZ)’s head of investment solutions.

The spin-off of funds management allows banks to focus on offering investments to a mass market through their customer base, while avoiding investment risk and ensuring their managers’ interests are aligned with those of their funds.

BT’s New Zealand’s fixed interest and cash portfolios will continue to be done in house, Goldsack said.


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