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FNZ confirm change in majority ownership

, Written By Ben Brinkerhoff

As reported today FNZ, one of New Zealand’s overseas success stories, has announced change in their majority ownership.  FNZ’s ownership structure previously included three parties. Directors and staff owned about one-third of the business with the balance owned by two private investment companies. The first, HIG (2009), assisted in the management buyout from FNZ Capital and the second, General Atlantic (2012)helped fund FNZ’s expanding operations in Europe.  

Today FNZ announced that the stakes previously held by HIG and General Atlantic have been purchased by two other entities operating in partnership  The Canadian Pension Fund, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ), and Generation Investment Management LLP (Generation). 

CDPQ was established in 1965 and manages approximately CAD 300bn of assets, owning businesses in 75 countries.  CDPQ describes itself as a “long-term value investor, irrespective of market volatility”. Amongst their comparative advantages they highlight that, “We do not predetermine holding periods. We know how to support the growth of companies and renew our commitments over the long term.”  Given these values and that CDPQ is entirely independent from any of FNZ’s current banking, insurance and asset manager customers, it makes CDPG an ideal long term partner and shareholder for FNZ.   

CDPQ’s chief executive, Michael Sabia, recently participated in the 2018 Investor Summit on Climate Risk and is a firm believer in sustainable capitalism. That’s very relevant because it highlights a significant shared belief with partner investor, Generation, which was founded in 2004 by former US Vice President Al Gore, a global advocate against climate change. 

This share transaction values FNZ at approximately NZD 3.45bnTo put this in context, if FNZ was listed on the NZX it would currently rank as the 13th largest company, ahead of Air New Zealand, Trade Me and Sky City. Alongside Xero, FNZ is one of New Zealand’s most successful technology companies.  

FNZ has approximately NZD 450bn in assets under administration globally and has signed contracts and scheduled asset transfers set to increase that amount to over NZD 660bn by Q1 2019. FNZ’s list of clients include Barclay’s Bank, Lloyd’s Bank, HSBC, BNZ, ANZ, AML, Vanguard and Consilium.