NZ fund managers now have to devote extra resources to client-servicing to comply with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) ‘good conduct’ guidelines, according to Andrew Bascand, head of Harbour Asset Management.
Bascand said the need to better understand and communicate good ‘customer outcomes’ – outlined in the ‘Conduct guide’ released last year – influenced Harbour’s decision to split the chief operating officer (COO) and head of client servicing roles (previously both held by the exiting Jody Kaye) into two positions.
As reported last week, Kaye will shift to rival Fisher Funds, replacing the long-serving Glenn Ashwell.
Harbour since hired Trustee Executors (TE) senior client relationship manager, Ruari McGregor, as its new COO, effective August 29 this year.
McGregor would be “leading Harbour’s operational and technological systems, managing legal and regulatory requirements and contributing to organisational strategy and long term goals”, according to a statement issued last week.
His experience, garnered in a nine-year career with TE and previous roles at State Street Bank & Trust Co and Deutsche Bank in the UK, covers a range of back-office duties including custody, investment accounting, registry and project management.
Bascand said recruitment for the head of client servicing position was going well with a number of “high quality” candidates in the frame.
He said with the FMA set to follow-up this year on how NZ firms are meeting the good conduct guidelines, fund managers would have to provide solid evidence on how they conformed to the regulator’s expectations.
Among other items, the FMA says it will look for how firms acting under its auspices can “clearly articulate, and support with examples… how their conduct appropriately serves – and balances – customer, business and, where relevant, shareholder interests”.
Last year Harbour also reshaped its executive team appointing Kaye, Christian Hawkesby (head of fixed income), and Craig Stent (head of equities) into roles reporting directly to Bascand.