The conjoined Workplace Savings NZ (WSNZ) and Financial Services Council (FSC) conference will feature two NZ government ministers at the 2018 event set down for September.
Richard Klipin, head of the almost-unified FSC/WSNZ, said both Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, and Commerce Minister, Kris Faafoi, would headline the conference to be held at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel over September 6-7.
The Pullman can accommodate a larger crowd the Hilton, which hosted the inaugural FSC/WSNZ conference last year.
“We’ve locked in the Ministers and have lined up presenters for many of the workshop streams,” Klipin said. “We are in the process of securing speakers for the other sessions.”
Plenary sessions will include industry debates on the ‘big issues’ of the day, the impact of robots and artificial intelligence, and whether “trust is the new currency”.
Klipin said the trust debate would be particularly timely given impending advice legislation in NZ and “insights from the Royal Commission” in Australia.
Former head boy of Christchurch Boys’ High School and cancer survivor, Jake Bailey, will also present a keynote speech.
As well as plenary sessions, the workshop streams will bifurcate into the usual insurance and investment sub-groups to reflect the diverse nature of the underlying FSC/WSNZ members. FSC membership is heavily-weighted to insurance firms while the WSNZ members – most who are individuals rather than corporate – typically operate in investment-focused businesses.
The two organisations have been negotiating a merger for more than three years but are on track to formalise the union, according to the 2017 FSC annual report.
“We continue to progress the integration with Workplace Savings NZ and are now in a transition period with full integration expected in July 2018,” the FSC report says.
Over the 12 months June 30 the FSC reported a surplus of about $48,000, representing “a material decrease on the surplus recorded in 2016”. In total, the FSC garnered revenue of just over $900,000 in the 2017 financial year compared to roughly $1.3 million in the previous annual period.
“This decrease was due largely to the flow-on effect of member resignations from 2016 (two members have since re-joined the FSC) and the reduction in membership fees for 2016/17,” the FSC report says. “Our cash balance at 30 June 2017 was $468,870, and our net assets were $301,034.”
WSNZ has yet to publish accounts for 2017 but in the previous year it recorded a deficit of about $93,000 on revenue of close to $290,000.
As per last year, both FSC and WSNZ will present respective awards at the gala dinner.