Fund administrator MMC expects demand for its new KiwiSaver registry service to grow after its successful roll-out with start-up scheme Simplicity last week.
Robert Moss, MMC managing director, said while the Auckland-based firm built the registry system to meet Simplicity’s need for a complete online service the aim was to offer it to “other clients without too much further development or delay”.
“This has been a wise decision as we already have our second registry client transitioning to MMC next month,” Moss said. “We see this as just the start of providing KiwiSaver registry services to many more new and existing clients.”
He said the new registry system hinges on a seamless online sign-up process that imposes “minimal requirements” on members while also integrating with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) KiwiSaver systems. Furthermore, Moss said the new MMC registry system provides electronic confirmations to members and access to account information via a web portal.
Prior to launching its registry service, MMC already played in the KiwiSaver market providing asset valuation, unit pricing and fund accounting to four schemes – now five with the addition of Simplicity.
While fund admin tends to fly under the radar, the market is a keenly-contested space as NZ investment providers face pressure to lower costs and boost client services, particularly online.
In March this year, for example, in the biggest back-office deal for some time Fisher Funds confirmed Trustees Executors as its single administrator, dumping Mercer in the process. Meanwhile, Aon has begun shifting the rump of its KiwiSaver and super admin business to the Australian-owned Link Market Services.
Moss said with no legacy technology to contend with MMC was well-placed to innovate in the KiwiSaver registry business, and sought IRD approval for its “system quite early on”.
“With that behind us, our team at MMC have been able to focus on [Simplicity’s] value-add requirements as opposed to just ticking the boxes from a regulatory perspective,” he said.
As a purely online scheme Simplicity relied on MMC to turn the concept into reality, according to founder, Sam Stubbs.
Stubbs said over the course of two years MMC worked tirelessly to finesse the intricacies of the KiwiSaver offering into a functioning platform.
Simplicity, which launched to ‘friends and family’ last week, offers a range of three KiwiSaver funds mostly backed by low-cost Vanguard index products. The scheme is expected to open to the wider market within a couple of months.
MMC boasts funds under administration of almost $26 billion, supplying unit registry, asset valuation, unit pricing and fund accounting services across 25 clients and 230 investment funds.