Investment back-office specialist BNP Paribas Securities Services is gearing up for growth in the NZ market with a recruitment drive set to swell the ranks by about 10 per cent.
The firm has several roles up for grabs in its Wellington HQ including custody, fund accounting and analyst positions while seeking an Auckland-based client service manager.
Doug Cameron, BNP head of location NZ, said the hiring spree would support significant expansion among existing clients, future growth as well as the company’s “increasing involvement in supporting capital market flows”.
The NZ group, part of the giant French financial services BNP conglomerate, currently employs about 50 staff after establishing a base in Wellington almost 20 years ago. BNP provides custody, fund administration and “other value-add services” to a range of NZ institutions including asset managers and KiwiSaver providers.
BNP is on track to become a general clearing partner for the NZX after striking a deal with the local bourse last August. Under the agreement, BNP will bring its third-party clearing system aimed at “boosting offshore capital flows”, according to a release at the time.
The business already has close links with the stock exchange, supplying clearing and settlement services across the NZX, including with its dairy and equity derivatives market. Recently, BNP has also won a number of new sub-custody clients following the exit of JP Morgan from the local Australian and NZ markets.
Meanwhile, the two big NZ sovereign wealth funds are both in the market for local share portfolio managers. In broadly similar job descriptions, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and the NZ Superannuation Fund (NZS) have advertised for portfolio managers to oversee large, active local equities investments.
Collectively, the two government funds manage about $5 billion of NZ equities in-house, weighted to the ACC, which has a local shares portfolio of almost $4 billion. NZ Super also has external NZ share mandates with Mint Asset Management and Devon Funds totaling about $900 million.
According to the ACC ad, the “senior position encompasses primary responsibility for the active management of ACC’s NZ Equities portfolio”. Likewise, the NZS head of NZ equities gig includes “responsibility for managing the NZ Equities portfolio under the NZ Active Equities Mandate”.
Former head of NZ equities for the NZS, Sam Porath, shifted to a newly created role at the ACC fund this January. Porath decamped along with ex NZS head of asset allocation, David Iverson, to establish a new ‘tilting’ program for the ACC fund. Officially, Iverson is ACC head of dynamic asset allocation while Porath is manager of the same unit.
The NZS most recently reported assets under management of about $54 billion with the ACC fund thereabouts.
In another sought-after government-created industry job, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is looking to hire a head of investment management.
Reporting to the recently appointed FMA investment director, Paul Gregory, the new role includes responsibilities to “lead and champion the work of the investment management team, so the team are seen as innovators, respected as the FMA’s investment management subject-matter experts and remain abreast of developments in investment management in New Zealand and globally”, the blurb says.
“This newly created team was designed to reflect the FMA’s role in working closely with KiwiSaver and MIS [managed investment scheme] providers and relevant industry associations to ensure the FMA has strong influence over and a good understanding of key issues for and within the industry,” the description says.
Gregory returned to the FMA in the investment director role last August following a three-year stint at boutique Pie Funds. Pre-Pie he served as communications director at the regulator after six years in an equivalent position at the NZS.
Elsewhere last week, the Financial Services Council (FSC) named Troy Churton in the newly created roles as head of memberships and partnerships.
Previously retirement villages national manager for the Commission for Financial Capability, Churton would help implement “stakeholder engagement and public-facing education programmes” for the 91-member industry body, according to chief Richard Klipin.
The FSC formally merged with the Health Funds Association last year following an earlier tie-up with Workplace Savings NZ.
“Members are the lifeblood of the FSC, and with close to 300 experienced member representatives actively contributing to our committees, harnessing that and our other partners expertise to drive better consumer outcomes is key,” Klipin said.