AMP Wealth Management New Zealand is launching its first ever Global Climate Fund that it says will potentially become the largest climate impact fund of its kind in New Zealand with up to half a billion dollars under management.
Aaron Klee, General Manager Investment Management & Services for AMP NZ, says the fund will also have a point of difference from most other sustainable or responsible investment funds in the market: specific investment into initiatives that deliver long-term structural change to help with mitigating the impact of climate change.
“The intention with this fund is to provide capital investment to businesses to develop and build the infrastructure necessary to shift the economy from one built on yesterday’s model, to one that builds the capability towards an economy with a materially lower carbon footprint.”
“That is materially different to just owning shares in good companies or avoiding investment in companies involved in negative industries which only go so far in delivering good outcomes for the planet. We want to fund new initiatives that help with climate change, and our customers will be part of that opportunity.”
Klee says that could involve building new renewable power generation and storage that is not reliant on fossil fuels, as well as providing capital investment towards technologies that will enable local and global economies to evolve significantly.
“That’s why we need, and are aiming for, the half a billion dollar scale for this fund, to make a real impact. The effect will encourage job creation and the development of new technologies whilst helping the reduction of carbon emissions.
“We will be looking to deploy investment into opportunities that are aligned to the fund’s purpose, but equally as important, deliver strong investment returns that enhance the long term returns of the AMP diversified funds; these are not mutually exclusive,” says Klee.
“The purpose of a Climate Fund is to invest into sustainable investments which accelerate the shift to a low-carbon economy, but this fund isn’t just about focusing on owning assets that are decarbonising, because AMP already tracks that progress across our portfolios.
“There is demand for this type of capital to produce new capabilities within the local and global economy, and this presents good investment opportunities for our customers.
“For example, the energy transition is the largest intentional reshaping of the global economy ever attempted. It is estimated that nearly US$200 trillion in invested capital will be needed by 2050.
“The opportunities are immense, and we believe the time is right to invest in these innovations and technologies and enable our customers to be part of game-changing investment opportunities that will be ahead of the sustainability curve.”
Given the purpose and specific impact this fund is seeking, AMP will also take a more active approach to its management – an addition to its current predominantly index-managed funds.
AMP is well advanced on its consideration of initial investment opportunities and expects to make its first investments through this fund early in 2024.
In 2022, AMP committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions outcome for its investment portfolios by 2050 or sooner. It has already reduced its exposure to greenhouse gas emissions in its own portfolios by approximately 70% since mid-2021. Investment into assets that accelerate the shift to a low-carbon economy are a key part of AMP’s net zero strategy.
Klee says AMP is immensely proud and excited about the difference an approach with a fund like this can make.
AMP has been actively reducing its own carbon emissions for more than three years - now it is successfully extending that same commitment to its investment funds including KiwiSaver.
AMP is the first KiwiSaver provider to formally sign up to the internationally renowned Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a partnership between the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature that helps large organisations meet their climate change targets with genuine scientific principles, rather than ‘window dressing’ changes.
AMP has acted fast since the board committed to the to achieving a net zero outcome for its AMP investment funds in March this year.
In 2021 it changed its investment approach, based on four sustainable investment pillars:
• Support the good: integrating ESG factors into investment decisions.
• Avoid the bad: don’t invest in companies causing harm, such as the fossil fuel industry.
• Reduce our carbon footprint: decarbonising our portfolios to achieve a net zero outcome by 2050 or sooner.
• Advocate for change: active engagement with companies to deliver better outcomes for shareholders and importantly, the climate.
Thanks to this fast action, AMP is already an impressive 65% of the way toward its goal of net zero.
“Fast, early progress is crucial. It’s essential there’s more walk than talk if the world is to avoid a climate catastrophe”, says Jeff Ruscoe, Managing Director of AMP Wealth Management.
“The last 10% is going to be as hard as the first 90%, so our fast start is critical in achieving our committed goals.”
While reaching net zero carbon is important, so are the investment returns for AMP members.
‘Clean investing’ is often conflated with weaker returns, but this is not AMP’s view.
“Our customers have told us they expect us to take a strong stand on the future of the planet – but they don’t want to see their own financial future suffering as a result,” says Ruscoe.
“Our investment modelling demonstrates that the transition to a lower-carbon economy, whilst challenging, will deliver better investment outcomes over the long-term.
“Since September 2021 our returns have relative to other providers and we are now sitting mid-market, which shows there doesn’t have to be a ‘green penalty’ for investment.
“We also reduced our KiwiSaver fees last year which has a positive impact on long-term results.”
One of the reasons for AMP’s fast action toward carbon zero is how closely it is measuring its progress.
“We have a daily progress update of our investment’s carbon emissions. We also track our own carbon emissions on a monthly basis,” says Ruscoe.
"We also summarise our investment portfolio progress every quarter, with a report to our board. We then make that report publicly available.”
AMP summarises its progress in a very simple chart (shared on the AMP website) showing required run rates to achieve a net zero outcome by 2040, 2045 or by 2050. It also has an interim 2030 target to make sure it is on track. So far in 2022, its exposure to emissions has decreased by 24%.
AMP’s fast progress has been recognised by the Toitu Brighter Future Awards 2022 as a finalist for climate action in the Top Reducer (closest to zero) category.
This is awarded for making the most progress towards carbon zero while being certified by Toitu Envirocare.
“AMP has only been working with Toitu for three years, compared to an average of seven years for the other finalists,” says Ruscoe. “We’re definitely moving fast.”
AMP has been recognised by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) as a Responsible Investment Leader for 2022.
“We have a hands-on team committed to helping New Zealanders reach a better future,” says Ruscoe.
“This commitment is both in terms of their retirement savings, and for the world they live in. As an organisation we are very proud of that, and to be making a real difference towards it.”
After a long and thorough selection process, Woolworths New Zealand has chosen AMP as its preferred KiwiSaver provider. This is the biggest possible win for any KiwiSaver provider in the private sector.
Jeff Ruscoe, the Managing Director of AMP Wealth Management, says “This win shows us that we made the right call when we transformed our investment offer in 2021.
“By embracing our core values, and extending those values through our teams and our investment philosophy, we gained a real competitive advantage in this pitch. The more we got to know the Woolworths NZ team, the more we realised our values-led proposition and our purpose aligned perfectly with theirs. We drive success by helping people in big ways and small every day, and we’re both committed to creating sustainable, secure futures.”
“Of course, we had to deliver an outstanding KiwiSaver package for Woolworths NZ. With our national reach, everyday help and a wide breadth of benefits, AMP was an obvious choice. But the values alignment made us feel like a natural fit.”
Ruscoe says this is just the beginning of the relationship between AMP and Woolworths NZ, so change will happen gradually.
“We’re here for Woolworths NZ’s people, whether they bring their savings to us, stay with their existing KiwiSaver provider, or don’t have KiwiSaver at all. We’re here to help, and we’re confident that will turn into more and more positive relationships over time.”
Woolworths NZ operates Countdown, one of New Zealand’s two main supermarket chains. It is also committed to establishing a new wholesale grocery business, to help foster competition in the supermarket sector.
Woolworths NZ is also New Zealand’s largest private sector employer. It employs over 21,000 New Zealanders across its Countdown stores, support offices, processing plants and distribution centres.
Ella McInerney, people director at Woolworths NZ, says it had not had a preferred KiwiSaver provider up until now.
“We are really interested in helping our team to make well-informed financial decisions and helping them to secure something from a financial point of view going forward. We see that as a responsibility given we are one of New Zealand’s largest employers with more than 21,000 team members across the country.”
McInerney says around 12,000 of its workers were already in KiwiSaver and were with a variety of different schemes.
“We are really hoping to grow that number significantly in the coming months as we engage with our team around this offer and support them to help make good financial decisions for them and their families by introducing AMP to all of our team members. We will be working really closely with AMP and our team over the next couple of months.”
“Our priority is building more knowledge within our team about KiwiSaver so they can make an informed decision about what’s right for them. We know that joining KiwiSaver won’t be right for everyone, which is why we’ve made sure to choose a preferred provider that will support our team with their holistic financial wellbeing - regardless of whether they’re signed up for KiwiSaver,” says McInerney.
Ruscoe says the Woolworths NZ team do an outstanding job, and they were real heroes during the Covid lockdowns.
“We’re pleased to be able to deliver what Woolworths NZ asked for: a source of help, available to all people throughout their organisation,” says Ruscoe.
“The purpose of that help, of course, is to help them create the financial futures they deserve. Some of the Woolworths NZ team members have KiwiSaver but might not be in the best fund for their needs. And many aren’t in KiwiSaver at all. Our team are ready to help every single person at Woolworths NZ make the most of their savings, and improve their financial well-being – both now, and in the future.”
AMP beat four other short-listed providers in the tender process. The key advantage for AMP in the process was the strong alignment of values and purpose between the two organisations.
“Woolworths NZ is all about helping people every day, in big ways and small – just like us. That’s a big commitment, when you serve three million customers every week,” says Ruscoe.
“And just like AMP, Woolworths NZ are driven by a concern for the future. They’re doing everything possible to make the future better for their people and for the planet. Woolworths NZ has a deep commitment to sustainability, with its goals for 2025 ranging across zero food waste, sustainable packaging, recycling, animal welfare and responsible sourcing. They report on their activity every year to the Woolworths Group board and to the public. With so much in common, it felt like we’d make good business partners.”
But values are one thing. Value is another. Woolworths NZ was focussed on the benefits to its employees, and AMP’s service offering delivered on all their criteria.
“We have a lot of experience with employers. More than 2,800 organisations have chosen us as their preferred provider. We listened to what Woolworths NZ needed to help achieve the best possible financial future for their teams, and it was clear we could offer exactly what they needed,” says Ruscoe.
The compelling total offer included:
· Free help from AMP’s expert advisers for every employee at Woolworths NZ, to use the AMP KiwiSaver scheme to create a better future
· The biggest choice of investment options in the market, with sustainable and responsible funds to satisfy every investment goal
· A commitment to meet the diverse needs of every Woolworths NZ employee
· Ability to view balances and change options on the AMP website and app
AMP committed to providing easy-to-understand retirement savings options for the Woolworths NZ team, to help them build a stronger financial future.
Every Woolworths NZ employee now has the option to switch to AMP KiwiSaver or join KiwiSaver if they aren’t yet a KiwiSaver member. Every employee can also take advantage of the free financial help on offer from AMP’s extensive team.
As Ruscoe points out “Saving and investing is not everyone’s wheelhouse. Our advisers keep everything simple and straightforward, so people understand what’s on offer, and what’s the best option for them.”
Blair Vernon, Chief Executive, AMP Wealth Management New Zealand, said:
“In a challenging year for many Kiwis and businesses against the backdrop of the impacts of Covid-19 this is a solid result which reflects our strong focus on ensuring good client outcomes.
“In July 2021 we delivered a new investment approach with a focus on sustainable investing, which resulted in a material fee reduction for our AMP KiwiSaver Scheme clients of up to 40%.
“As part of the transformation, our commitment to helping reduce the impacts of climate change through our core business delivered an initial reduction of ~60% in exposure to carbon emissions across our entire investment portfolio.
“The transition to an index management investment approach and the appointment of BlackRock Investment Management will deliver ongoing value for our clients.
“Looking ahead we will continue to innovate our business including further enhancing and simplifying our products and services to deliver more value for clients. In the first half of the year this includes our intention to deliver a new digital only managed fund product, leveraging our state-of-the-art technology and our sustainable investment approach to help our clients continue to grow their investments.”
AMP Wealth Management (AMP) and Vero Insurance have announced they have entered into a new agreement which extends their corporate partnership for a further five years.
Under the new agreement, Vero will continue to underwrite general insurance products provided under the AMP brand, through both insurance advisers and online via the AMP website.
Blair Vernon, Chief Executive at AMP Wealth Management, says the renewed partnership is focussed on delivering even stronger client outcomes.
“In the past two decades we’ve doubled the size of our general insurance business and paid more than $1.4 billion in claims to help our clients when they needed it the most – whether that’s fixing a ding in the car or responding to serious events like the Canterbury earthquakes, or even the recent flooding in West Auckland.
“We continue to see a significant portion of clients seeking the valuable guidance of their adviser and broker to help meet their insurance needs. We are now also seeing the emergence of those who choose to do business with us digitally, and we’re delighted with how we’re able to provide help to those clients also.
“Through the ongoing strength of our partnership with Vero we will continue to offer sustainable and trusted general insurance products to provide certainty and assurance to clients and continue to deliver product enhancements to support clients and their changing needs.”
Mark Wilkshire, Executive General Manager Customer Brand and Distribution at Vero, says that Vero’s relationship with AMP is critical to both businesses.
“Vero and AMP have had a general insurance relationship for 20 years, and the new agreement represents a significant portfolio of customers,” he says. “We are delighted to not only to continue our corporate partnership with AMP, but also to update our agreement to support the change and growth that AMP is undergoing and enables both businesses to continue to deliver great customer outcomes and sustainable insurance products into the future.”
The new agreement reflects the ongoing focus on customer conduct from both businesses, as well as simplification of product and pricing processes.
2021 results, simplifies fees, sustainable investing for clients
KiwiSaver specialist AMP Wealth Management has today reported 1H 21 net profit after tax of $21 million, an increase of 11% on 1H 20, which reflects stronger investment markets and tight cost control.
1H 21 assets under management of $13.5 billion increased $1.1 billion (9%) from 1H 20.
Net cash outflows of $267 million in 1H 21 (compared to net cash inflows of $21 million in 1H 20) are largely due to a heightened competitive environment.
1H 21 controllable costs of $18 million were down 10% on 1H 20, with a cost to income ratio of 38.6% (decreasing 4.6 percentage points on 1H 20).
Blair Vernon, Chief Executive, AMP Wealth Management New Zealand, said:
“This result reflects a solid performance as we continue to renovate our business, including further enhancing and simplifying our products and services to deliver more value for clients.
“In July, we successfully completed key stages of the transformation of our investment offer which simplifies sustainable investing and investment fees for clients while aiming to deliver stronger returns through an index management investment approach.
“BlackRock Investment Management has been appointed to provide key investment services and we will draw upon their expertise and global insights to deliver further benefits to clients through our exclusive funds.
“Sustainable investing has been embedded into all AMP named funds, not just a specific single fund, with a focus on helping to reduce the impacts of climate change. This means our clients can focus on making fund choices based on their risk tolerance and know that our strict sustainability criteria will help to align their investments with their beliefs and values.
“Contrary to some views in the market we also believe that doing good doesn’t mean sacrificing healthy returns, and in many cases, we’ve seen sustainable funds outperform their equivalent traditional funds.
“To provide further clarity for AMP KiwiSaver Scheme members, fees within the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme have reduced significantly and the fee structure has been simplified by combining the management and administration fee into one single amount.
“The reduction in fees to 79bps across AMP named funds, alongside our offer of help and guidance to clients, supported by a range of market-leading services and digital tools, in our view represents real value for money. It’s one reason AMP KiwiSaver Scheme members have an average member balance that is 17% higher than the industry average .
“In 1H 21, building on our commitment to fully-flexible working to support the wellbeing of our people we exited two of three floors in our Auckland CBD premises. Releasing two thirds of our footprint also supports our Toitu carbonzero certification and our broader sustainability targets, including further reducing our carbon emissions which we cut by over 70% in 2020 compared to 2019, while we’re on track to decrease this by an additional 30% by the end of 2021 (this includes an estimation of the electricity usage for our employees while working from home).
Find out more about the ways in which AMP Wealth Management supports its clients, communities, people, and the environment here.
Following the review of default KiwiSaver providers, specialist KiwiSaver provider AMP Wealth Management remains totally committed to KiwiSaver, despite not being reappointed to the Default panel.
Blair Vernon, AMP Wealth Management Chief Executive, says:
“While we’re disappointed not to be reappointed and we deeply value our default KiwiSaver clients, our current default portfolio represents less than 7% of our total assets under management and around 3.5% of total revenue so this decision doesn’t have a major impact on our business or our commitment to KiwiSaver.
“We continue to invest extensively in the ongoing strengthening of our offer to clients and focus on supporting them to achieve a great retirement. This is underpinned by the current renovation of our AMP KiwiSaver Scheme through the appointment of BlackRock as our key investment manager. This transition will be complete in the coming weeks and we expect it to result in even greater value for money, stronger fund performance, and further support our clients’ sustainability aspirations.
“These benefits are further supported by the ongoing enhancements to our market-leading digital tools and our offer of help to clients, either in their workplaces, face-to-face, over the phone or online, to support good outcomes and help all our clients make the most of their KiwiSaver.”
For more about how AMP Wealth Management supports its clients, people and communities, read its just-published Help and Sustainability Report.
Living Wage Aotearoa today announced the new Living Wage rate for 2021/22 is $22.75. This is above the new adult minimum wage of $20.00 per hour which came into effect today.
The Living Wage has emerged as a response to growing poverty and inequality that continues to hold back many Kiwi workers, their families and the economy.
The new rate is an increase of 65 cents on the 2021/22 Living Wage rate and sits modestly at 68 percent of the average hourly earnings in New Zealand ($33.33).
Gina Lockyer, Chair of Living Wage Aotearoa, says:
“Today we are celebrating the work done by researchers to calculate the rate, the work done by employers to lift the wages of their workers, and the work of our Living Wage Movement in making it all happen.
“Most of all, we are celebrating the fact that today thousands of workers at more than 240 Living Wage Employers around Aotearoa can look forward to a pay increase that reflects the true cost of living in our society.”
Today also signals the launch of the new Principal Partner Council, a group of Living Wage Employers supporting the Living Wage Movement’s efforts across their sectors.
“Our movement is made up of community organisations, faith groups, and unions who have been putting in work on the ground. Having employers also pick up the mantle is a real sign that positive change is on the way,” says Lockyer.
Blair Vernon, Chief Executive of AMP Wealth Management, the first KiwiSaver provider to become an accredited Living Wage employer and an inaugural member of the Living Wage Principal Partner Council says:
“Financial wellbeing is an important part of overall wellbeing and we know many New Zealanders either don’t have enough money to get by, only just have enough, or have sought help in the form of food, clothes, or money from an organisation, such as a church or foodbank. [LINK]
“We believe all New Zealanders should be empowered to live with dignity and be able to realise the benefits of working hard, and employers have an important role in helping to making that happen.
“Paying the Living Wage is often overlooked as part of many businesses’ broader commitments to sustainability and wellbeing and it’s time for more employers to take responsibility for improving outcomes for their people and their families by paying a Living Wage.”
The new Living Wage rate comes into effect on 1 September 2021. The rate was calculated by Charles Waldegrave, Coordinator and Lead Researcher at Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit.
KiwiSaver specialist AMP Wealth Management has today reported FY 20 operating earnings of $38 million, a decrease of 19% on FY 19 largely due to the proactive closure of two legacy schemes in 2H 19, softer investment markets in the first half of FY 20 associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and margin compression relating to product repricing.
FY 20 assets under management of $13.3 billion increased by $503 million (4%) on FY 19, predominantly driven by a combination of investment market gains of $564 million, offset by net cash outflows.
Net cash outflows of $61 million improved from outflows of $457 million in FY 19, largely due to improved performance in the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme and platform business and the non-recurrence of the two legacy scheme closures in FY 19. Overall, the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme generated net cash inflows of $242 million in FY 20, while net cash outflows on platforms and other investments amounted to $303 million.
FY 20 total controllable costs of $38.8 million were 10% up on FY 19 primarily due to the conclusion of cost sharing arrangements with AMP Life following separation and a reduction in costs on-charged to funds. The FY 20 cost to income ratio of 42.5% increased 7.1 percentage points on FY 19.
Blair Vernon, Chief Executive, AMP Wealth Management New Zealand, said:
“In a year that for most New Zealanders was defined by the impacts of Covid-19, we delivered a solid performance and did even more to support the wellbeing and retirement outcomes of our clients, during a time of increased demand for financial help and advice.
"While the extended lockdown in the first half of FY 20 had some impact on sales activity, our core focus remained on finding new and innovative ways to help our clients weather the storm and stay on track to achieve their financial goals – including by providing ongoing financial guidance, regular communications, help with KiwiSaver hardship withdrawals, and access to market-leading digital tools and resources.
"This included regular enhancements to our MyAMP app, such as the introduction of projected weekly KiwiSaver balances at retirement and the launch of BetterMoney, a free budgeting platform to help our clients take control of their money.
"In October, we began the transformation of our AMP KiwiSaver Scheme and wider investment product suite through the appointment of BlackRock Investment Management, one of the world’s leading investment managers. By the middle of this year we will move to a simplified and improved investment structure to further deliver positive outcomes for our clients, with a key focus on sustainable investing and reducing the impacts of climate change.
"Following the successful adoption of fully flexible working during the Covid-19 crisis and embracing the overwhelming feedback from our people who said they didn’t want to return to traditional ways of working, we commenced the process of exiting our office space in Auckland. We recently became the first business in New Zealand to be awarded a FlexReady Certification, from FlexCareers, reflecting our genuine commitment to workplace flexibility.
"We also locked in some of the other positives of the pandemic, including reducing our carbon emissions by more than 70% compared to 2019 while attaining our Toitu carbonzero certification, and continuing to support the outstanding work of our community partners, including Living Wage Aotearoa and mental health charity Voices of Hope.”
Other key FY 20 highlights for AMP Wealth Management New Zealand:
AMP KiwiSaver Scheme clients have an average KiwiSaver balance which is higher than the industry average ($29,587compared to $23,672 as at 30 September 2020).
There were more than 2.7 million logins to MyAMP, and since launching the KiwiSaver estimated balance projections tool in the middle of 2020 clients have used it to test more than 345,000 combinations of fund type, contributions, retirement age and New Zealand Superannuation changes to understand how these factors influence their KiwiSaver balance at retirement.
AMP KiwiSaver Scheme clients benefited from access to helpful guidance through more than 109,000 email interactions, 168,000 phone conversations, and 5,000 face-to-face meetings with clients in their workplace.
AMP KiwiSaver Scheme clients received $67 million to help buy their first home; $115 million was paid to support clients in retirement; and $10.6 million to support those experiencing hardship.
Free budgeting services for New Zealanders take control of their money
Specialist KiwiSaver provider, AMP Wealth Management, has launched BetterMoney, a free smart digital platform which will help more Kiwis to budget and take control of their money by linking their bank and investment accounts in one easy-to-access place.
BetterMoney offers a safe and secure way for Kiwis to get a clear picture of their money so they can create a realistic financial plan they can stick to. It’s easy to use and automatically crunches the numbers and tracks expenses, categorising spending and creating a budget.
Acting Chief Executive, AMP Wealth Management New Zealand, Jeff Ruscoe, says:
“I think many of us believe that budgets stop us spending on things we want, that they’re just too hard to create, or that they’re not realistic so don’t help, but the reality is that a good budget helps you enjoy spending and saving and can make a big difference when it comes to your wellbeing and quality of life in the future, and BetterMoney makes it easy.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how much you earn, having a budget and simply understanding where you’re spending your money – which can come as a surprise to many of us – enables you to take control.
“Everyone’s situation is different, and we all have different needs when it comes to money, but one thing we all have in common is that having a budget is the best way to get on track to achieving our financial goals – whether that’s reducing debt, buying a house, planning a holiday, or saving for retirement.”
BetterMoney has been created to help New Zealanders who avoid the dreaded ‘B’ word, because having a budget can help reduce the serious negative impacts money worries can have on peoples’ wellbeing and quality of life:
35% of Kiwis lose sleep over money worries.2
70% of Kiwis say they would not be able to meet basic financial commitments such as mortgage/rent and bills beyond a short period of time if they lost their jobs.3
70% of Kiwis say they don’t believe New Zealand Superannuation alone will be enough to fund their retirement, while 3 out of 4 KiwiSaver members have a no idea at all what their balance will be when they retire.4
50% of Kiwis wish they’d started saving for retirement earlier.5
The new BetterMoney platform is just one of the many digital enhancements AMP Wealth Management has rolled out this year, along with regular updates to the My AMP app. The latest being the release in May of interactive projected weekly KiwiSaver incomes at retirement to enable AMP KiwiSaver Scheme members to understand the impacts of how simple changes to their savings habits can help them to build their retirement savings.
BetterMoney was created in partnership with Envestnet | Yodlee, an industry leader in account aggregation. Founded in 1999, the company provides digital financial solutions for over 33 million users and over 1,400 financial institutions and financial technology innovators. AMP Wealth Management is the first company to offer Envestnet | Yodlee’s latest financial wellness tools in New Zealand.
Tim Poskitt, Country Manager Australia and New Zealand, Envestnet | Yodlee, says, "Our partnership with AMP Wealth Management will help to provide more Kiwis with the solutions they need to achieve their financial goals at a time when helping New Zealanders to make better financial decisions has never been more important."
For more information about BetterMoney and how it works, go to amp.co.nz/bettermoney.
1 BetterMoney is free for AMP KiwiSaver Scheme and NZRT clients.
2 AMP survey of 1,505 Kiwis aged over 18 years.
3 Financial Services Council media release: "It's not about the money" (PDF)
4 AMP survey of 1,074 Kiwis aged 35-55 years.
5 AMP survey of 1,074 Kiwis aged 35-55 years.
BlackRock will be appointed to deliver key investment services
Specialist KiwiSaver provider AMP Wealth Management New Zealand today announced a broader strategy to transform the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme, appointing one of the world’s leading investment managers, BlackRock Investment Management, to support it in delivering one of the most significant changes to its investment management approach since 2007.
Under a new investment structure created by AMP Wealth Management, BlackRock will be appointed as AMP Wealth Management’s key index investment manager and a provider of investment management services, once preparatory activities have been completed. AMP Capital Investors New Zealand currently performs a number of these activities.
The enhanced investment approach for AMP Wealth Management New Zealand is expected to improve outcomes for clients by delivering stronger fund performance through a simplified investment structure. There will be a clear focus on sustainable investment, supported by access to financial advice and market-leading digital tools to help clients grow their savings and achieve the best possible retirement.
AMP Wealth Management Acting Chief Executive Jeff Ruscoe says:
“Together with current investment manager AMP Capital Investors New Zealand we have delivered good outcomes for our clients. However, this change to a predominantly index tracking investment management approach is the right decision to ensure we are best placed to deliver long run returns, further value for money and continue to support the financial wellbeing of our clients. The change also enables us to have more flexibility to support key environmental and social areas to create positive change.
“Our clients will continue to benefit from our full-service offering including access to financial advice, either face-to-face or over the phone, along with our range of market-leading digital tools, to help them make the most of their investments. This includes access to a range of managed funds through other leading fund managers with different investment approaches, including Nikko, Mercer, ASB, and ANZ, providing them with even more choice and investment options to manage their savings through a single provider.”
AMP Wealth Management and BlackRock share many of the same core principles and values, including the same investment conviction that sustainable investments can deliver better risk-adjusted returns to investors.
“We are delighted to partner with BlackRock, a global leader in investing, and to utilise their resources and insights to deliver our enhanced investment approach and significant benefits to our clients. Through BlackRock we will invest mainly using an index tracking style, unless there are asset classes where the anticipated returns outweigh the extra investment management cost.
“The next stage of our investment transformation will be a repricing of funds within our AMP KiwiSaver Scheme and an implementation of our sustainable investment strategy,” said Mr Ruscoe.
Andrew Landman, Head of Australia and New Zealand at BlackRock Investment Management, says:
“BlackRock is honoured to be appointed as the key index investment manager and a provider of investment management services to AMP Wealth Management New Zealand. Our partnership will deliver AMP Wealth Management efficient index exposures and ensure access to BlackRock’s global insights and investment expertise.”
Investing sustainably is key to long run returns:
“As with our current investment management approach, we will not invest in companies that are involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, chemical weapons, nuclear explosive devices, civilian firearm stocks, or tobacco.
“In addition, our partnership with BlackRock will allow further consideration of sustainability factors in our investment decisions, including reducing the impact of climate change – something an increasing number of New Zealanders are interested in, and an approach we see delivering long run returns,” said Mr Ruscoe.
There is nothing AMP Wealth Management clients need to do:
The transition to the new investment model is expected to be completed before the end of June 2021. The changes will apply to the majority of AMP managed funds, including funds within the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme and New Zealand Retirement Trust (NZRT).
AMP Wealth Management highlights:
$6.2 billion invested in the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme on behalf of 218,789 members (as at 30 September 2020).
8.9% KiwiSaver market share and 4th largest KiwiSaver provider based on funds under management (as at 30 June 2020).
4,891 AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Default Fund members were moved into a fund better suited to their needs (since 1 October 2019).
2,171 AMP KiwiSaver Scheme members withdrew $65.8 million to help buy their first home (since 1 October 2019).
AMP KiwiSaver Scheme members withdrew $110.2 million to help fund their retirement (since 1 October 2019).
$3.42 billion invested in NZRT on behalf of 37,828 members (as at 30 September 2020).
45% corporate superannuation market share based on NZRT funds under management (as at 30 June 2020).
BlackRock is a global leader in investment management:
BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, their clients turn to them for the solutions they need when planning for their most important goals. As of 30 September 2020, the firm managed approximately USD$7.81 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide. For additional information on BlackRock, visit www.blackrock.com/corporate.
The mental health charity is on a mission to decrease suicide rates
Specialist KiwiSaver provider, AMP Wealth Management New Zealand, is teaming up with Voices of Hope, a mental health charity on a mission to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and to decrease suicide rates in New Zealand.
The announcement coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week. This year’s theme is ‘Reimagine Wellbeing Together,’ recognising it has been an especially challenging period for many New Zealanders.
AMP Wealth Management Acting Chief Executive, Jeff Ruscoe, said:
"The impacts of Covid-19 continue to cause stress and anxiety and impact the lives and wellbeing of many New Zealanders. Many household incomes have been negatively affected, and we’ve seen an increase in the number of Kiwis seeking financial advice from us to help alleviate financial stress. We recognise the important role we like other businesses have in supporting the wellbeing of our clients, people and communities, which is why we’re proud to be partnering with Jazz and Genevieve to help them continue their critical work to support those who might be struggling with their mental health.”
“Providing financial help to our clients is something we’re focused on every day, but we’ve always believed that it’s important to take a more holistic view of wellbeing, which is why we’ve supported mental health charities over the years. Through our partnership with Voices of Hope we aim to raise awareness and to encourage conversations around mental health and overall wellbeing to improve outcomes for more Kiwis.”
Voices of Hope co-founders Genevieve Mora and Jazz Thornton received an AMP Scholarship in 2017, which included funding to support the powerful video campaigns that they would go on to produce, including It’s Not Weak To Speak and The Kind Project.
“AMP Wealth Management has been a huge supporter of ours from the very beginning, when we first started Voices of Hope. We wanted to create change and provide hope to people who were struggling, and they enabled us to do so. We’re excited to be launching our partnership with them, so together we can continue to make and create more positive change”, said Genevieve Mora.
As part of promoting wellbeing in the workplace, AMP Wealth Management employees will be able to watch an online screening of ‘The Girl on the Bridge’, which tells Jazz Thornton’s mental health journey and efforts to help others with their struggles.
“Sharing stories is a powerful way for us to connect with one another, particularly around difficult subject matter, like suicide. It’s important for more organisations to recognise the individual mental health and wellbeing needs of their employees, and it’s great to see AMP Wealth Management leading the way by giving their people access to the film and creating an environment where it’s OK to open up about these issues and ask for help”, said Jazz Thornton.
1H operating earnings of $19 million
AMP Wealth Management has today reported 1H 20 operating earnings of $19 million, a decrease of 16% on 1H 19 due to the proactive closure of two legacy schemes in 2H 19, the conclusion of cost sharing arrangements with AMP Life, and the Q2 impacts of Covid-19.
1H 20 assets under management (AUM) of $12.4 billion decreased by 3% on FY 19, with closing AUM of $12.8 billion. This was predominantly driven by investment market falls ($377 million), offset by positive net cash inflows of $21 million.
Net cash inflows of $21 million in 1H 20 have improved from net cash outflows of $262 million in 1H 19, largely due to improved KiwiSaver business performance. Overall, KiwiSaver generated net cash inflows of $156 million for 1H 20, while net cash outflows on platforms and other investments amounted to $135 million.
1H 20 controllable costs of $20 million are 8% up on 1H 19 primarily due to the conclusion of cost sharing arrangements with AMP Life. 1H 20 cost to income ratio of 43.2% increased 6.3 percentage points on 1H 19.
Jeff Ruscoe, Acting Chief Executive, AMP Wealth Management New Zealand, said:
“Despite the challenges all New Zealanders collectively faced into in the past six months, we delivered a solid performance across our key business measures and further enhanced our products and services to improve outcomes for our clients.
“As a result of Covid-19, we saw an uplift in the number of clients seeking financial and retirement advice, which we believe is a positive sign for the long-term retirement prospects of more Kiwis. We responded by increasing the frequency of our regular communications to provide helpful guidance for clients during this period of heightened uncertainty and recruited new team members to respond to demand from clients seeking support, while innovating processes to enable clients to interact remotely such as completing statutory declarations over video chat to ensure those who needed hardship support could access it easily.
“At the same time, we ceased plans to divest our AMP Wealth Management New Zealand business and completed the separation of AMP Life. Our intent remains to continue to localise our business to allow us to grow and respond to the New Zealand market with a key focus on the ongoing transformation of our client experience through the regular deployment of new technology, like the frequent updates to our My AMP app. This included the introduction in May of our interactive projections tool, enabling clients to see their projected weekly KiwiSaver and New Zealand Retirement Trust incomes at retirement and understand the impacts of potential changes, helping them take control of their retirement journey.
“Like all businesses, we experienced some of the negative impacts of Covid-19, but some positives too, such as the wellbeing benefits for our team members of working remotely with most of our people saying they enjoyed spending less time commuting and more time with family and loved ones. As we have been working towards creating a truly flexible work model for a couple of years we decided to seize the opportunities and learnings through Covid-19 to accelerate our plans and move to adopt fully-flexible working on an ongoing basis and are seeking to move into new smaller collaboration and meeting-based premises outside the Auckland and Wellington city centres.
“We have also continued to deliver on our commitment to our communities and our environment and in July we announced that we are carbon neutral business backed by our Toitu carbonzero certification that represents emissions measured, verified and offset for 2019. This is the continuation of our broader sustainability journey, including converting all of our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles by 2025, and further reducing our emissions from travel and electricity.”
Other key 1H 20 highlights for AMP Wealth Management New Zealand:
Continued support of community partners, including Key To Life, Dignity NZ and Living Wage Aotearoa.
Supported positive outcomes for clients through the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme by providing $25.8 million in first-home withdrawals and $57.2 million in retirement withdrawals.
Provided helpful guidance through more than 155,000 client interactions.
More clients than ever accessed the My AMP app to take control of their retirement savings online, with more than 1.4 million logins.
Worked with employers across New Zealand to improve financial capability and retirement outcomes for their people by making it easy to access financial advice, including through more than 1,600 face-to-face meetings conducted with employees in their workplace.