Trustees Executors (TE) is promising a faster, better, cheaper investment administration service after hooking up with an Australian superannuation fund to build a blockchain-based platform for the NZ market.
Ryan Bessemer, TE chief, said the recently-inked agreement with Grow Super would reboot the almost 140 year-old trustee company into the digital age.
Under the deal, TE has secured exclusive rights to use Grow Super’s TINA blockchain (or distributed ledger technology) administration platform in NZ.
Grow Super, which only launched in 2017, turned on TINA in July this year, touting it as a game-changer for superannuation and wealth management providers.
In a release at the time, Grow Super chief, Josh Wilson, said: “… TINA will introduce drastic cost and operational efficiencies as well as enabling industry to evolve its value propositions- delivering greater value and experience to consumers at a better price and greater speed.”
According to Bessemer, TINA could be configured for any jurisdiction with TE currently fine-tuning the system for the NZ portfolio investment entity (PIE) and KiwiSaver rules.
He said TE should have proof-of-concept finalised by October this year before opening up the platform for client migration.
However, Bessemer said clients could choose to remain on the existing TE admin system, built on the Bravura ‘Sonata’ software.
TE was pitching for business both in NZ and in Australia based on the TINA tech, he said.
“We’re participating in a number of RFPs [request for proposals] including with two large Australian super funds,” Bessemer said.
In May this year, the NZ business formed a new entity – TE Registry Nominees – to house the new platform.
Over the last few years, the antique NZ trustee company has been steadily losing investment admin clients – including most recently Pie Funds and Milford Asset Management to rival MMC – after failing to upgrade its aging technology.
Bessmer replaced long-time TE chief, Rob Russell, last April with a brief to transform the staid trustee business into a technology leader – as well as staunching the outflow of clients and staff.
He said in a statement that TINA was a “key plank” in TE transformation strategy, allowing the firm to offer clients “real-time transacting capabilities with the most advanced data security available, and greater control and functionality”.
“We will also have the ability to configure system changes to accommodate complex changes at the regulatory and fund level, quickly and cheaply,” Bessemer said in the release. “Distributed ledger technology will deliver complete transparency and greater data integrity for members, funds, trustees and regulators.”
But he said TE would also look to expand into Australia as well as exploring new markets in NZ, such as the investment administration territory currently occupied by the likes of FNZ, NZX Wealth Technologies and the for-sale Aegis.
“We see scope to move into the NZ wrap market, mainly as a software play,” Bessemer said.
As an aside, Good Super also has links with NZ via Sargon: Aron D’Souza and Phillip Kingston founded both entities.
Sargon recently restructured its NZ subsidiary – the Heritage Trustee company – under a plan to offer “technology-enabled trust and supervisory services to New Zealanders”.