Kiwi Wealth invests more in private equity



Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver has committed up to $ 50 million in leading investment firm Pioneer Capital, focusing on New Zealand companies exporting high-value products and services to major international markets.

Monday May 10, 2021, 2:49 PM

by Matthew Martin

Melissa Vasta.

This engagement is part of Pioneer Capital’s latest $ 300 million fund – Pioneer Capital Partners IV – and sees Kiwi Wealth join leading investors such as the NZ Super Fund ($ 100 million invested) and Ngāi Tahu Holdings (30 million), with funds drawn as underlying investments are made.

The news follows last year’s announcement of Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme’s key investment in Movac Fund 5, a technology fund of venture capital firm Movac.

Its latest investment aims to give KiwiSaver members better access to private companies in the high growth export sector.

Melissa Vasta, Managing Director of Retail and Products at Kiwi Wealth, says Pioneer Capital has a solid track record in an investment market where there are few players in New Zealand.

“This is great news for ‘NZ Inc’ and follows the direction of the journey for global investment and delivering shareholder value,” she said.

“Kiwi Wealth Members of the KiwiSaver program know that some of their investments are held in companies that generate value for the New Zealand economy, create local jobs and provide good
Return.

“Although this is a small allocation from all of our KiwiSaver funds, it represents a significant opportunity for international Kiwi companies to continue to make their mark on the global stage.”

Since its inception in 2005, Pioneer Capital has invested in 23 Kiwi companies with aggregate annual sales of over $ 1 billion, over 85% of which are outside New Zealand.

Kiwi Wealth Chief Investment Officer Simon O’Grady says the deal with Pioneer Capital represents a new step in Kiwi Wealth’s nascent series of private equity investments.

He says Pioneer Capital attractively sits halfway between start-ups and the mature part of the market, focusing on expansion capital for high-value export companies with established operational bases – in particular, health and wellness, premium food and beverage, and technology-driven businesses.

Pioneer Capital Managing Director Randal Barrett said Kiwi Wealth is one of the only KiwiSaver providers to give its members access to private companies in New Zealand, which make up the vast majority of the economy. New Zealand as a share of GDP and industry diversity.

“In the pandemic economy, privately owned companies have had the luxury of being tightly owned and governed so they can make quick decisions and act to avoid risks and take advantage of opportunities.

Barrett says Pioneer Capital Partners IV will make its first investments in high-value, export-oriented companies within a year and, as an open-end fund, can take a long-term view with these investments and other.

“New Zealand is incredibly well positioned in global markets; its profile has grown and in the sectors in which we are focused, many New Zealand companies are internationally competitive and have grown very rapidly in large markets.

“Our goal is to transform these companies into mini-multinationals, with field operations locally and capabilities around the world.”

Tags: kiwi wealth investment KiwiSaver Ngāi Tahu Pioneer Capital

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