Former PM, Bill English, will headline the CFA Society NZ gala dinner at the end of this month with trust in financial services set to be a key talking point.
In a statement, Jeff Stangl, CFA Society NZ president, said the Australian Royal Commission (RC) into financial services would inevitably feature in discussions on the night.
“We’re not immune to what’s happening in Australia and public confidence in our financial institutions has been severely shaken,” Stangl said. “For New Zealand it’s a timely warning that, as a professional sector, we need to lift our game and restore public trust or risk having regulators stepping in to do it for us.”
He said the “phenomenal” interest in the recently-launched CFA Society associate membership offer reflected a growing understanding from NZ finance professionals “that we have to significantly lift our game”.
The professional body, which principally represents the CFA Charterholder designation, opened up the associate membership option in June, targeting financial advisers and others.
“[Associate Membership] enables finance professionals who are non-CFA Charterholders to come under CFA Institute’s code of ethics, and distinguish themselves in a competitive market,” the group said in a release at the time.
Since June about the CFA Society has signed up about 100 associate members – including some groups – against a target of 50.
The RC, which published its interim report at the end of September, has already claimed numerous corporate scalps – including 200 staff fired by ANZ for bad behaviour – during six heated rounds spread over eight months. Set to wrap up next month in a summary Round 7, the RC has also hastened the divorce of most Australian banks from their wealth management operations.
Meanwhile, the NZ industry should find out in a few weeks whether the RC-inspired joint Financial Markets Authority/Reserve Bank investigation into banks and insurers has uncovered similar widespread misconduct here.
Stangl said while the fallout from the RC would be centre-stage, English would broach a wide range of topics – including managing government assets, the role of data and analytics and the economic state of play – in an interview with CFA dinner host, Craig Stobo. Stobo, who holds a number of senior governance roles, has a long career in NZ financial services including a stint as head of BT funds.
“We’re seeing some pretty lumpy sentiment about the economy, so it’ll be fascinating to hear Sir Bill’s thoughts,” Stangl said in the release. “He helped steer New Zealand through the global financial crisis a decade ago, and no one is better placed to look ahead at the challenges and opportunities we now face in the financial sector.”
The Gala Forecast Dinner, the 13th CFA Society NZ annual event held in conjunction with the INFINZ conference, is set down for October 31 at Auckland’s Stamford Hotel.