New Zealand Superannuation Fund announced Thursday it had suspended its actively managed New Zealand equities allocation with Milford Asset Management until the completion of an ongoing investigation of the firm by the country’s Financial Markets Authority.
In the interim, the allocation, currently valued at NZ$281 million ($213 million), will be managed by the NZ$29 billion Auckland-based sovereign wealth fund’s internal New Zealand equities team.
Catherine Etheredge, a spokeswoman for New Zealand Super, said Milford, a manager for the fund since 2009, hasn’t been terminated. An investment management agreement with Milford remains in place, she said.
But citing the sensitivity of the FMA’s ongoing investigation of Milford, she declined to provide further details.
An FMA statement forwarded by Andrew Park, a spokesman for the regulator, said the “complex” investigation — which doesn’t raise concerns about the safety of Milford’s client funds or assets — is “almost complete.” The results could be announced in a matter of weeks, Mr. Park said.
Milford, in a statement posted on its website Thursday, said it was surprised New Zealand Super moved to suspend its allocation, but declined further details, saying the firm was “bound by a confidentiality order imposed by the FMA.”
Milford’s website said the firm currently has more than NZ$3 billion in assets under management.