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Brian Gaynor steps back at Milford

NZN 16/02/2017 Sophie Boot

Milford Asset Management's principal Brian Gaynor is taking a step back from the fund manager's investment operations, handing over portfolio management to people with the international experience he says is needed due to the lack of investment opportunity in New Zealand.

From April 1, Gaynor will relinquish his role as portfolio manager of the active growth funds, he told investors in an email on Thursday. Mr Gaynor will continue as Milford's head of investments and as chair of investment meetings.

Mr Gaynor, who owns 23 per cent of Milford, said the move was part of a carefully developed succession plan to improve the performance of funds and was one Milford had been planning for some time.

"I see the whole market in New Zealand changing quite a bit, with KiwiSaver particularly, because the New Zealand share market is so small and there are so few investment opportunities we're having to invest more and more offshore," Mr Gaynor told BusinessDesk.

"Some of the people we've employed have worked in New York and London and places like that, they have more exposure and experience in those places than I have - I'm probably more specialised in New Zealand and Australia.

"Our share market isn't growing, our capital markets aren't growing - the active growth funds total between them all $1.5 billion, as it gets bigger it just doesn't have the opportunities for growth within New Zealand," he said.

Law firm Chapman Tripp on Thursday predicted a grim outlook for new investment opportunities on the NZX this year, saying the pipeline for new initial public offerings was likely to be as thin as last year and that efforts to attract small firms to the NXT and NZAX junior boards had largely failed.

His move comes as another high-profile fund manager, Carmel Fisher also looks to dial back her day-to-day involvement at Fisher Funds Management.

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