The newly-branded FNZC has invested heavily in its just-launched client engagement system, according to CEO, Scott St John.
St John said the stockbroking firm formerly known as First NZ Capital created the myFNZC “wealth client portal” initially to help the business comply with the new regulatory regime.
“Originally the decision to build myFNZC was regulatory-driven,” he said, particularly with the tighter oversight of discretionary investment management services (DIMS) under the Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC) regime.
The FMC imposes new licensing, disclosure and reporting requirements on ‘class’ DIMS providers – which covers the model portfolio offerings of most stockbroking firms – while ‘personalised’ DIMS are regulated under the Financial Advisers Act. About 50 DIMS providers, including all of NZ’s large stockbrokers (except Macquarie), have been licensed by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).
“But myFNZC is not just about meeting regulatory needs,” St John said. “We also wanted to build a system that delivers a useful interface between clients and our business. It’s a real step-up for us in what we deliver to clients.”
He said myFNZC, which was built by the firm’s 25-strong in-house IT team, would give clients online access to their investment and personal information “in a clear way”.
While clients won’t be able to transact online, St John said the portal would streamline client reporting and administration.
“We’ll continue to invest in myFNZC to deliver more functionality,” he said. “There’s a series of things that we know clients would like to see.”
FNZC would roll out the ‘wealth portal’ to its clientbase gradually, St John said, with the first batch of clients hooking up last week.
The launch of the online service last week coincided with the broker’s rebrand as FNZC. St John said the previous name took up “a lot of room on the screen”.
“That is why we’re making this nuanced change in our branding,” he said in a statement. “In a sense we have been FNZC for a long time. It’s been our email address for the last 14 years. If that’s not a precursor, I don’t know what is.”
In fact, the switch to FNZC marks something of a return to the past for the firm, which used the FNZC Group moniker officially from late 2002 until January 2005, according to Companies Office records. Since May 1995, the group has gone through six name changes as a result of various corporate reshuffles.
FNZC employs about 56 authorised financial advisers, research conducted by Investment News NZ in July this year shows.