The Financial Services Council (FSC) has bolstered its secretariat resources with the appointment of two new support staff.
In a release last Friday, the FSC named Haydee Stroud and Rachel Douglas as head of member services and business manager, respectively.
Richard Klipin, who took over from interim FSC chief, Owen Gill, last October, said the dual appointments would allow the industry body to “move forward and deliver on our strategic plan in the market place”.
Klipin said in the release that the retreaded FSC team would focus on developing the organisation’s “value proposition” and capability.
The leadership group would work “with our members as we face the challenges of regulation, changing consumer needs, under-insurance and retirement savings adequacy”, he said.
Prior to joining the FSC, Stroud was head of planning, strategy and governance at the ASB-owned life insurer, Sovereign – also Klipin’s former employer.
Stroud has worked for over two decades in the NZ and UK financial services industries in a number of roles including business development, strategy, governance and risk management.
After a slew of member-overboards during 2015/16, the FSC has steadied the ship somewhat under Gill and now Klipin. The industry body features 15 full members – mainly large insurance companies and banks – and 14 associate members.
In February, the FSC welcomed back Partners Life as a member after the insurer made a high-profile exit from the organisation in 2015.
The FSC has also been involved in protracted negotiations with fellow industry body, Workplace Savings NZ (WSNZ) about a potential merger. Like Gill, Klipin formally heads both FSC and WSNZ with the two groups also sharing the new Auckland secretariat and premises.
The FSC 2016 annual report says WSNZ and FSC formed a steering committee last June to discuss the potential merger.
According to the report, a number of factors were driving the merger talks including: increasing regulation; changing consumer expectations; and, technological disruption.
“Together, these factors require better-organised advocacy on the part of financial services firms,” the FSC report says. “We have been making solid progress with the discussions with WSNZ and look to discuss further with the membership in 2017.”
The FSC has scheduled a conference for September this year.