The NZ funds management forum has stepped up to a more formal level after landing on a name for the organisation last week.
Operating as a loosely knit group of like-minded fund managers since 2015, the forum has now adopted the Boutique Investment Group (BIG) moniker.
Chaired by Nikko Asset Management NZ general counsel, Simon Haines, BIG now counts 25 managers of various sizes and specialties.
The group was originally convened in 2015 by Nikko head of compliance, Tim Morrison, as the industry entered the new Financial Markets Conduct Act regime.
BIG membership includes most of the NZ boutique asset managers, property funds and larger entities such as AMP Capital and Mercer.
“The collective represents a strong voice for the New Zealand funds management sector as it includes the majority of the non bank fund managers,” the just-launched BIG website says.
According to site, the group primarily represents the managed investment scheme (MIS) industry “and associated industry participants such as NZX, Advisory, Wealth firms”.
“Attendance is for Governance, Legal, Compliance professionals with external presenters such as regulatory bodies or external advisory firms to attend through member invitation and arrangement,” the website says.
BIG meets quarterly or “more regularly as required” under still relaxed conditions with no formal financial contribution stipulated.
However, the website says BIG’s purpose is: “To support and share critical thinking on industry related issues and themes. Encourage standards towards achieving industry best practice. Advocate on issues of common interest to MIS sector. “
In June Haines said the MIS industry was facing a number of urgent issues including the COVID-19 situation, looming climate change reporting rules and new Financial Markets Authority levies.
“The FMA levy changes are a bit of a contentious issue,” Haines said at the time. “MIS managers have to pay a lot to supervisors to ensure compliance and this doesn’t seem to have been acknowledged in the new levy schedule.”
Last week the government confirmed FMA-regulated entity levies would increase over the next three years to cover 83 per cent of costs compared to the current 75 per cent.
Haines said the group was looking to host a formal “christening” of BIG in the Auckland Chapman Tripp offices to coincided with the Financial Services Council (FSC) annual conference over September 8-9.
BIG collaborates with the FSC on areas of mutual interest, he said in June.