Nikko Asset Management NZ has appointed MMC as its unit registry provider, replacing incumbent BNP Paribas, as the Auckland-based firm embarks on a retail product enhancement phase.
In a note to clients last week, Nikko says the switch from BNP Paribas to MMC will start on November 20.
“This is part of an ongoing programme to increase automation and improve client service,” the client note says. “BNP will still remain as the fund administrator and custodian of the funds.”
It is understood the bespoke NZ nature of the Nikko product retail registry revamp fell outside BNP’s core functionality, prompting an amicable separation of services.
This March Nikko confirmed James Rogers in the newly-created role of head of product and operations to spruce up the $5 billion plus manager’s offering under the Financial Markets Conduct Act regime.
Prior to taking on the full-time position, Rogers, whose CV includes stints with JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and State Street, was consulting to Nikko on product development.
To date in 2017, Nikko has wound up its dwindling small companies funds while launching two new products in the NZ market: a local version of the Nikko Global Shares Fund in August; and, the Wholesale NZ Corporate Bond Fund last month.
In August Nikko also named Harmoney board member, Tracey Jones, as independent director.
At the time, Nikko chief, George Carter, said: “As a director [peer-to-peer lender] Harmoney, Tracey is sitting on the cutting edge of technological changes that all of us in the financial services industry need to be aware of,” he said. “Disruption and digital solutions are increasingly becoming a part of the landscape.”
While Nikko, formerly Tyndall, has a strong institutional presence in the NZ market, the group has experienced rapid retail growth over the last couple of years, breaking through the $1 billion in that market in October 2016.
Separately, BNP Paribas has become the first custodian to sign on to the new “near real-time” corporate action reporting system offered by the ASX.
Under the ‘ReferencePoint’ ISO 20022 service – which uses the SWIFT global messaging technology – clients will receive corporate action notices “within seconds, rather than hours” after broad market release, Luc Renard, BNP Paribas head of financial intermediaries and corporate clients Asia Pacific, said in a statement.
“This latest enhancement is part of our Augmented Custody programme, which is designed to make our custody processes more efficient, and complements the work we are currently undertaking to manage the corporate actions announcement process using blockchain technology,” Renard said.
Doug Cameron, BNP Paribas NZ head, said local clients with Australian equity holdings would benefit from the faster ASX corporate action service.
“We have the same ambition in NZ to work with [central security depositaries] to bring faster, simpler custody processes to our clients,” Cameron said.
The ASX is among the first exchanges in the world to support ISO 20022, the latest international securities messaging standard for corporate actions. As part of a number of major initiatives in the post-trade space, ASX is enhancing its ISO 20022 offering to capture and disseminate all corporate action events. ReferencePoint is ASX’s flagship reference data and corporate action service, used widely by trading participant back-offices, information vendors, and other data distributors.