The NZ arm of Australian-headquartered investment administration firm, Link, is road-testing an online discount broking service for NZX shares.
Dubbed ‘ShareMeUp’, the Link online service would provide access to a “selected range of NZX listed companies” with no minimum brokerage, the test site says.
“Fees start at 99 cents, with a maximum fee of 2% of the amount invested,” the ShareMeUp site says. “This allows you to build your investment portfolio without the big fees.”
However, ShareMeUp clients would have to invest at least $50 “per company per month”, with an eye on attracting fans of dollar-cost-averaging.
A launch into share-broking would mark something of a departure for Link, which historically has focused on providing back-office services such as share registry, investor communications and fund administration.
In 2015, Link expanded into the KiwiSaver and NZ super fund administration space after taking over the Aon back-office business.
Link, which was half-owned by the NZX until 2015, has been in global expansion mode over the last few years. Last month, the group merged its fund admin and share registry businesses under the aegis of Link chief operations, technology and innovation officer, Paul Gardiner. Marcelle Ashcroft leads Link in NZ.
Slated for a June launch, the NZ share-trading system is powered by the Link-owned miraqle online platform.
Link NZ declined to comment on its plans for ShareMeUp.
Concurrently, the online fund platform, Sharesies is “exploring the ability to invest in individual companies”. The platform (owned 15 per cent by Trade Me), headed by co-founder Brooke Roberts, is about to embark on a research project to test demand for direct share investing.
Late in March Sharesies, which is heavily-weighted to NZX Smartshares exchange-traded funds (ETFs), added four more funds to bring its total product suite to 18. The new funds include two Smartshares products, the AMP Capital Responsible NZ Fund and the Pathfinder Global Property Fund.
Fellow Wellington-based fund platform, InvestNow, also upped its fund count late last month, bringing on five new Smartshares ETFs after surveying clients. InvestNow has about 100 funds on offer from 18 providers with more than $250 million under management.