The NZX last week cemented a deal with Australian-based researcher, Darren Howlin, to provide qualitative fund manager analysis.
As reported on Investment News NZ (IN NZ) last week, the NZX had been negotiating with Howlin to provide qualitative manager reports after its research subsidiary FundSource abandoned that function in May.
In a letter to clients sent last Friday, Mark Peterson, NZX head of markets, said FundSource would badge the qualitative reports under its own brand.
Peterson says in the letter FundSource had entered “a strategic partnership with an external provider to conduct qualitative reviews of New Zealand and Australian fund managers on our behalf”.
Howlin would supply the manager analysis under the Research IP banner rather than mfund Research, the company name he trades under in Australia.
It is understood the NZX was concerned the mfund Research brand could have been confused with the ASX-owned managed fund trading platform, mFund. (Last week the first major Australian bank-owned broking business, nabtrade, signed up for mFund.)
“FundSource will start conducting qualitative research reviews of Zealand managed funds from November 2015,” Peterson told clients. “Accordingly, we will be in contact with New Zealand managers in coming weeks to arrange these visits.”
Howlin said he already had a number of NZ fund manager meetings lined up. He has also contracted two Sydney-based analysts to help with the research.
Meanwhile, in an internal appointment the NZX has hired Glen van Echten as sales manager and head of FundSource. Previously, national sales manager with the NZX Agri unit, van Echten would now “oversee the sales, product development and strategy of all NZX data products”, Peterson says.
FundSource would also run its Fund Manager of the Year awards in 2016 after skipping the event this year, Peterson says.
The awards “will include a qualitative component in the selection of the best managed fund, KiwiSaver, and boutique managers in New Zealand”.
Additionally, the NZX-owned research house plans to begin marketing the “Investor Hub and Analytics products” offered by its quantitative data supplier, FE Limited, to NZ clients, the letter says.