ASB appoints world's largest asset manager BlackRock in major partnership to enhance investment offering

ASB has entered into a strategic partnership with BlackRock, that will see its investment customers benefit from the global expertise of the largest investment management firm in the world.

Over half-a-million ASB customers have more than NZD$20 billion invested across ASB's suite of managed funds, including around NZD$13.5 billion in the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme.

ASB Executive General Manager Private Banking, Wealth and Insurance Adam Boyd says, "This expansive partnership insources BlackRock as our chief investment and portfolio management function, encompassing active and index manager research across asset classes, for all ASB wealth offerings.

"Our intent is to build on the solid history of performance across our funds and deliver even better investment outcomes for customers. The BlackRock Multi-Asset team that will manage our investments has a very strong track record1."

As the delegated investment partner for ASB, BlackRock will manage asset allocation and currency decisions across all funds, including ASB Portfolio Series. This work has previously been managed in-house, with the support of external advisors. 

Individual asset classes, for example Australasian equities or international bonds, will continue to be managed by a number of local and international investment firms, overseen by ASB in collaboration with BlackRock.

"We have invested in world-class expertise to manage our asset allocation and currency decisions as we see these as the most significant driver of fund performance," says Mr Boyd.

Chair and Head of BlackRock Asia Pacific Rachel Lord says the partnership with ASB is unique in the region in that it encompasses the entire investment platform.

"We are excited to bring the full breadth of our global investment expertise as well as our end-to-end investment and technology platform to ASB. We look forward to helping to deliver an enhanced offering to its investment customers," Ms Lord says.

Mr Boyd says, "BlackRock is a global thought leader in the responsible investment space and its values, which are centred around helping people to experience financial-wellbeing and contributing to a more equitable and resilient world are strongly aligned with ASB's.

"BlackRock is also very focused on innovation and is a global leader in the investment technology space. This innovative approach to wealth management will help to maximise the value we deliver to our customers."

The agreement with BlackRock follows a global search process that was kicked off by ASB in late 2019. 

The partnership commences from today.

1BlackRock's Tactical Growth Fund has performed in the top ten percent of its peers on a 10-year basis. Performance is for the ten years ended 31 January 2020 and assessed against Morningstar's database of multi-sector growth funds.

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