Morningstar has signed up its inaugural NZ client for a suite of reporting tools that include giving investors access to real-time performance data.
Nigel O’Brien, Morningstar head of sales for Australia and NZ, said Milford Asset Management was the researcher’s first client this side of the Tasman for the technology package.
“It’s used by quite a few fund managers in Australia including Vanguard and BlackRock,” O’Brien said.
Under the deal confirmed last week, Milford has embedded both a range of Morningstar-built application program interface (or APIs) and an automated regulatory report publishing service in its digital system.
The Morningstar APIs connect with various data sources – such as feeds from custodians and administration platforms – to allow clients to see real-time performance and underlying investments.
At the same time the Morningstar Publishing System streamlines both regulatory and client reporting processes including quarterly fund updates.
O’Brien said the software tools would bring back-office efficiencies for Milford as well as improving the front-end experience for clients.
“Milford had the foresight and the decision-making agility to partner with us to provide these tools that give an advantage both to them and their clients,” he said.
Morningstar was in talks with a few other NZ firms to supply similar tools, O’Brien said.
The Morningstar reporting software was first developed for UK and European markets, he said, that share many regulatory features with Australia and NZ.
In 2015 Milford embarked on a number of technology upgrades in the wake of a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) investigation into market manipulation. As well as instituting a central dealing desk, Milford switched to an investment management system provided by US-based software firm, Charles River.
Last week Morningstar also released its first KiwiSaver quarterly report for the year that showed scheme rankings remained static during a period of mostly negative performance.
The Morningstar report reveals the majority of schemes kept a steady state market share over the three months to March 31.
However, the research house numbers do reflect persistent trends over the last year or so that have seen both AMP and ANZ cede ground to their nearest Australian bank-owned competitors: ASB, Westpac and BNZ.
According to the Morningstar report, AMP and ANZ shed about 0.2 per cent market share each during the quarter, falling to 10.9 per cent and 25.2 per cent, respectively, as at March 31.
Meanwhile, ASB, Westpac and BNZ added a point apiece for the quarter to finish with respective KiwiSaver market shares of 18.3 per cent, 12 per cent and 3.5 per cent.
Boutique provider, Generate, picked up the remaining 0.1 per cent market gain during the quarter to finish with over $710 million under management.
Generate, now the 11th largest KiwiSaver scheme on the Morningstar table, also topped the performance tables for the 12 months to March 31 with its ‘Focused Growth’ returning 14.8 per cent for the annual period.
However, most KiwiSaver funds – especially those exposed to offshore equities like Generate – fell into the red during the March quarter, the Morningstar report says.
“Average multisector category returns ranged from 0.37% for the Conservative category to negative 2.58% for the Aggressive category,” Morningstar says.
Over annual and longer-term periods all KiwiSaver funds in the Morningstar survey reported positive returns.