New Zealand-owned and operated, KiwiSaver provider, Booster, is kicking off the first NZX listing of 2022, with the launch of its new retail investment fund, the Booster Innovation Fund (BIF).
The investment fund is the first of its kind listed on the NZX (on 2 March), providing retail investors with direct access to early-stage companies, which specialise in biotechnology, medical and materials science, engineering and data analytics coming out of New Zealand’s universities, research institutions and the private sector.
Booster Innovation Fund Manager, Melissa Yiannoutsos, says BIF builds on Booster’s very first innovation fund, NZ Innovation Booster (NZIB), which provided Booster KiwiSaver Scheme investors exposure to investments in growing Kiwi companies..
BIF continues this commitment to supporting the growth of New Zealand business as well as breakthrough tech and science, providing all Kiwis with the opportunity to invest in the future of these young companies,” she says.
“In addition to helping start-up companies secure much needed next-stage investment, the maturing of New Zealand’s tech sector makes the timing right for BIF to launch into this fast-growing part of the economy.
“We believe it’s important to support these early-stage Kiwi businesses with funding that allows them to stay Kiwi-owned for longer – creating high value jobs, attracting talent, and creating truly valuable businesses.
“Booster has established valuable partnerships with specialised investors to provide a diversified investment vehicle for retail investors.”
BIF also has a distinctive fee structure in a highly competitive sector. The fixed annual charges are limited to specified cost recoveries and BIF does not charge fixed annual management fees, with fees being based purely on the performance of the fund.
“Our performance-based fee structure means our incentives are aligned with our investors. This way we only receive a fee when the overall fund performance exceeds 10% per annum,” says Ms. Yiannoutsos.
She says Booster is also committed to ensure people understand the risks associated with investing in early-stage companies.
“Investing in early-stage companies is a long game – some will be very successful, and some will give indifferent returns, no returns or possibly even fail. However, BIF plans to manage this risk by growing a portfolio of small holdings in over 40 investments that are diversified by sector and stage of development.”
Listing on the NZX provides investors with another way in which to buy and sell units in the fund. While the underlying shares in individual companies cannot be sold, the units in BIF can be.
“While BIF is recommended as a long-term investment, our experience listing our Private Land and Property Fund showed us that having the ability to buy and sell their investment, should they need to, is important for investors,” says Ms. Yiannoutsos.
“We’re doing this with the idea of growing something for New Zealand and it creates a really simple way for Kiwis to engage, be inspired and collectively share in potential successes. Everyone gets the chance to support the future of our country.”