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Challenge too far

By Chris Hutching

Friday 6th June 2003

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After a decade in this country, Challenger International Group based in Auckland is following the lead of many other Australian fund managers and is closing its offices here.

Challenger markets retail and wholesale investment products in New Zealand but will now only offer wholesale funds to institutional investors. Last month Challenger sold its retail broking business, Challenger First Pacific.

The moves may be associated with the merger of the Challenger group in Australia with CPH Investment Corporation.

The six-strong management team in Auckland were told about the closure yesterday. Challenger has yet to announce what will happen to the investment funds that affect New Zealand investors.

In April chief executive Chris Cuffe was appointed and it appears he has used his experience as a former Colonial First State executive to clear the decks. The former Colonial asset management business is now a sale branch of the Sydney company.

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