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Challenger pounces on investment market

By Nicholas Bryant

Friday 21st July 2000

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Despite the country's poor record of personal savings a new, innovative player is set to shake up the managed funds market.

Challenger International Group, a leading Australian-based fund manager, has jumped the Tasman with the intention of becoming a major player in the country's savings and investment fields.

Challenger chief executive John Rowley admitted part of the move was in anticipation of compulsory savings legislation, an area Australian fund managers have reaped huge rewards from.

"It is anticipation but if you'd held your breath with anticipation you'd have dropped dead by now.

"Increasingly New Zealanders are recognising the need for responsibility for their own saving so the business is here," Mr Rowley said.

The company has acquired the operations of Coronet Asset Management, of which Mr Rowley was chief executive, and intends to follow a similar rapid-growth path to its Australian model.

Three products will be launched this year, two of them today, with the aim of providing attractive portfolio endowment warrants for retail investors. The other, a joint venture with Global Asset Management, will be launched in August.

Even though it is an Australian owned company Mr Rowley signalled a similar growth path was likely to its home country operations.

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