KiwiSaver Growth Strategy, a $350 million retirement plan operated by New Zealand Wealth Funds Management, has reportedly allocated 5% of its assets to Bitcoin (BTC), underscoring the steady stream of institutional investors entering the digital asset space.
Bitcoin’s striking similarities to gold were cited as one of the biggest reasons for entering the trade, according to James Grigor, the chief investment officer at New Zealand Funds Management.
“If you are happy to invest in gold, you can’t really discount bitcoin,” he told Stuff, a New Zealand news agency, adding that BTC will be featured in more KiwiSaver products over the next five years.
Grigor explained that his firm purchased Bitcoin for the first time in October when it was valued at $10,000. To execute the trade, New Zealand Fund Management had to change its offer documents to allow for cryptocurrency investments.
Bitcoin's price peaked north of $61,000 earlier this month, which would give KiwiSaver a 6x return in just five months. Although Bitcoin's price has moderated over the past week, the pension fund is sitting on hefty BTC profits.
Grigor explained that KiwiSaver is “majority built up through traditional asset classes,” but noted that “other opportunities present themselves.” In the case of Bitcoin, it’s an asset class that could help “give people the best retirement they can get” through its aggressive compounding.
While hedge funds and family offices have been steadily embracing Bitcoin, pension funds are perhaps the slowest to adopt the digital asset class. The growth of institutional onramps could help accelerate the adoption narrative.
In the United States, Grayscale has noted that pension funds are already getting in on digital assets. “The sizes of allocations they are making are growing rapidly as well,” said Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s CEO.