The Cook Islands National Pension Fund (CINSF) will implement its NZ$200 million global investment portfolio using funds offered through NZX subsidiary Smartshares.
CINSF chief investment officer David Brown described the move as a “cost-effective New Zealand dollar vehicle to secure our pension obligations in the currency here in the Cook Islands”.
“We are delighted to initiate this partnership with Smartshares, a subsidiary of the NZX group of companies and believe their flexibility and willingness to think outside the box to meet our specific needs has been very helpful,” Brown said in a statement. .
During the month of September, CINSF will transfer its assets into a benchmark portfolio of international bonds and equities using Smartshares’ SuperLife Total World (NZD Hedged) and (Unhedged) funds – both of which access the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF, tracking the FTSE Global All-cap Index for equity exposure and Smartshares’ SuperLife Global Aggregate Bond Fund. The SuperLife Global Aggregate Bond Fund accesses the iShares Core Global Agg Bond UCITS ETF which tracks the Bloomberg Global Agg Index 100% hedged to NZD.
This benchmark portfolio forms the basis of CINSF’s market exposure against which all future active management efforts will be measured for their ability to add value, the statement said.
Hugh Stevens, Managing Director of Smartshares, welcomed the opportunity to support the Cook Islands National Super Fund to “improve efficiency”.
“The work we are doing together demonstrates Smartshares’ ability to provide regional investors with tax-efficient access to global investment opportunities.
“It also demonstrates our continued support for financial wellness solutions for residents of the Cook Islands and other Pacific nations.”
The super fund is the only one of its kind in the Cook Islands and operates independently from the Cook Islands Government to save for the retirement of everyone working in the country. The fund invests 5% of member contributions plus 5% of employer contributions to ultimately pay a lifetime pension to surviving spouses beyond the retirement age of 60.