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Russell McVeagh Assists On Fisher Funds' Acquisition Of Kiwi Wealth

Leading law firm Russell McVeagh is pleased to have assisted Fisher Funds on its purchase of Kiwi Wealth for NZ$310 million, coming soon after working with the same team on the acquisition of Aon's KiwiSaver and superannuation schemes.

Announced this week, the purchase will see the Kiwi Wealth business integrated into Fisher Funds and a strategic partnership with Kiwibank forged, with the bank to provide KiwiSaver customers with referrals to Fisher Funds.

Russell McVeagh Corporate partner Dan Jones led the team advising Fisher Funds, with support from special counsels Lance Jones and Sarah McQueen, and Senior Solicitor Tiffany Dvorak, and Banking and Finance support from Special Counsel Bevan Peachey. Additionally partners Troy Pilkington and Bradley Aburn provided specialist competition advice.

“We were delighted to work with the Fishers team again and to be trusted, with Macquarie, to get this transaction across the line in what was a very competitive and compressed process. Our focus turns now to helping with the integration of the business and the long-term success of the partnership arrangements with Kiwibank,” said Dan Jones.

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Through the acquisition Fisher Funds will seek to retain Kiwi Wealth’s default KiwiSaver status, with a formal approval process to be worked through over the transition period. The purchase is also conditional on approval by the Overseas Investment Office due to Fisher Funds being 34% owned by TA Associates based in the US and the remaining majority share is owned by the Toi Foundation, a New Zealand community trust.

Fisher Funds CEO Bruce McLachlan says that the acquisition is a natural extension of the company’s long-term growth plans in KiwiSaver and funds management in New Zealand.

“This is an exciting moment for Fisher Funds and will further strengthen our position as a leader in New Zealand’s active funds management business.

“As a business founded in New Zealand, we’re delighted to welcome another great New Zealand business of the calibre of Kiwi Wealth into the Fisher Funds family.

“Our priority is now on working closely with Kiwi Wealth to ensure a seamless transition for all members and clients involved,” said Mr McLachlan.

There will be no immediate change for customers or staff as each business will continue to operate separately.

Once the deal is completed, Fisher Funds and Kiwi Wealth will begin to work through a transition period to identify opportunities to grow the value of the combined businesses and customers are to receive further information ahead of the completion of the sale.

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