The NZ$18 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZS) has poached a senior executive from AXA Global Investors (AXA GI) to become head of asset allocation.

It is understood that Keith Poore, who finishes up as AXA GI head of investment strategy on December 8, will join NZS early in January next year.

A spokesperson declined to confirm whether Poore had joined the organisation, however, he said any such appointment would not be a direct replacement for Tore Hayward, who left NZS earlier this year.

As I&T News reported in April, Hayward, formerly NZS general manager portfolio research, moved to a similar role at the $NZ13 billion Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) fund. At the time, the NZS spokesperson said Neil Williams, then head of public markets, would fill Hayward’s role in the interim.

Williams was listed on the NZS website as general manager asset allocation. As at October 31 this year, NZS reported assets of NZ$17.66 billion.

Poore, meanwhile, has been replaced at AXA GI, which manages about NZ$4 billion for wholesale and retail clients, by former AMP Capital head of investment strategy, Jason Wong.

In a statement released last week, Peter Verhaart, AXA GI chief, described Wong’s appointment as a “coup”.

“In the light of the current situation surrounding the potential acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific [by AMP], I am thrilled with this appointment to our team,” Verhaart said in the statement.

“We talk of ‘business as usual’ in times like this, but I believe this demonstrates much more than that. It shows that we are continually striving to provide the best funds management proposition regardless of any corporate activity.”

Ironically, Wong was made redundant by AMP Capital Investors this August after the group shifted responsibility for its New Zealand investment strategy to the Sydney-based team headed by Shane Oliver.

AMP yesterday signed transaction documents clearing the way for its merger with AXA Asia-Pacific Holdings’ Australasian businesses, pending shareholder approval, while AXA APH’s Asian business will be sold to French parent AXA SA.

 

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