2019 Hall of Fame Laureate
Carmel Fisher was born and educated in Wellington. On the completion of an accounting degree at Victoria University, she embarked on an investment career focused largely on the New Zealand share market, starting as an investment analyst in a sharebroking firm and then moving into fund management roles.
Carmel and her husband of 33 years, Hugh, moved to Auckland in 1994, where Carmel headed the investment team at Sovereign Assurance. They founded Fisher Funds Management in 1998, initially operating from their Devonport home. Their first client was Sovereign, who invested $17 million in the company’s first share fund. That $17 million fund grew to $50 million after 12 months, then $100 million, and by the tenth year, Fisher Funds had more than $500 million under management, 40,000 clients and a team of 20 working from an office overlooking Takapuna beach.
Under Carmel’s control as Managing Director, the company has become one of New Zealand’s largest investment management and KiwiSaver providers, and her involvement in the NZ investment market has spanned more than 30 years. Fisher Funds has grown through innovation, acquisition and providing personalised client service. Fisher Funds is now the fifth-largest fund manager in the country with 250,000 clients.
Fisher Funds has received many awards and accolades for both performance and client service, and was purchased in late 2017 by a consortium of TSB Group Investments and Boston based TA Associates.
Carmel is a business advocate and mentor; she has championed women’s financial independence and financial literacy and supported a number of charities both through her company and personally.
Carmel was the winner of the Services Category at the 2016 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards; was inducted into the Co. of Women Hall of Fame in 2017; and was awarded an INFINZ Fellowship in 2018. In this year’s New Year Honours, Carmel was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business.
Carmel is currently a director of listed investment companies Kingfish Limited, Barramundi Limited and Marlin Global Limited, and of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
Often recognised and acknowledged as an industry leader and trailblazer, Carmel has also supported a range of charities and interest groups over a number of years, both privately and via Fisher Funds. She is undoubtedly an outstanding North Harbour Business Hall of Fame Laureate.