Forsyth Barr has outsourced registry for its range of six unit trusts to MMC, consolidating all fund back-office functions with the third-party administrator.
The stock broking house hired MMC for fund accounting and unit pricing when it launched the portfolio investment entity (PIE) products in 2007 but kept registry in-house until last week.
In a release, Jim Hawker, Forsyth Barr chief financial officer, said shifting registry to MMC was an “easy decision”.
“Historically we have undertaken the registry function in-house but we had come to a point in time where we needed to reinvest in our registry systems,” Hawker said. “We decided that the best result would be to outsource this to MMC as well.”
The back-office move, completed late last week, saw MMC take on more then 3,000 beneficiaries and 250,000 transactions.
MMC chief, Tom Reiher, said in the statement that the Auckland-based administrator was pleased to “broaden the relationship” after supplying fund accounting and unit pricing to Forsyth Barr for last 12 years.
“Expanding our offering to Forsyth Barr is in line with our strategic direction, helping our clients reach both their strategy and their growth,” Reiher said. “We are focused on investing in our technology to provide a range of service options, putting our clients’ requirements first with flexible platforms and process efficiencies.”
Launched in 2004 just prior to the establishment of the PIE regime and KiwiSaver, MMC has grown to almost $60 billion in funds under administration across 28 clients. In total, MMC performs back-office duties for over 260 funds while supplying registry services on behalf of 160,000 plus investors.
Wellington-headquartered private equity firm, Pencarrow, took an almost 50 per cent stake in MMC last in 2016 via a newly-established vehicle, the Pencarrow Bridge Fund.
Forsyth Barr manages just over $280 million through its six PIE funds, of which about half comes through the group’s Summer KiwiSaver scheme.
Last week the share broking business also added another investment adviser to its growing tally, luring third-party fund distributor, Aaron Gascoigne, to the Auckland office.
Gascoigne comes to Forsyth Barr from his own third-party fund marketing business, Kiwi Investment Partners (KIP), which primarily represented well-known Australian boutique PM Capital in NZ.
Temuera Hall, co-founder of Māori-values investment firm Tahito, is also listed as a KIP partner.
Prior to launching KIP, Gascoigne was head of sales for Australian investor and media relations firm, Tribeca Communications. He also served more than 10 years in institutional broking roles for JP Morgan in New York, London and Sydney.
Neil Paviour-Smith, Forsyth Barr managing director, said Gascoigne “has a wealth of experience in advising clients and investment management”.
“He has a track record of building strong client relationships and businesses,” Paviour-Smith said in a release.
In September, Forsyth Barr bought Hawke’s Bay independent advisory firm, SP Investment Group, founded by Stuart Pearse. Pearse officially shifts to the Forsyth Barr Hastings branch in November.
Competition for investment advisers is heating up as the shift to the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA) regime looms. It is understood that broking houses, in particular, are looking to stock up on authorised financial advisers ahead of FSLAA, due to begin its two-year transition phase in November.