Boutique asset consultancy firm, Makao Investments, has launched a new online tool enabling wholesale investors to create a key governance document free-of-charge.
Based on document-making software used in the legal profession, the Makao system walks investors through a rigorous process to build a draft statement of investment policy and objectives (SIPO) tailored to individual organisation needs.
John Horrell, Makao consultant, said the new SIPO-Builder tool was the first-of-a-kind in NZ aimed at streamlining the process for a wide range of wholesale investors.
Horrell said the SIPO-Builder initiative was aligned with the Makao “vision of making advice affordable – for those that need it the most”.
Furthermore, he said the tool might trigger more focused debate on investment governance among wholesale investor directors while also helping develop an industry standard for SIPOs.
Makao has been working on SIPO-Builder for some time, Horrell said, with much of the effort devoted to creating the back-end library of standard investment document language.
“We see a lot of similarities in SIPOs among different organisations around the world, akin to an industry standard,” a Makao statement says. “But it does not appear that anyone has attempted to automate a SIPO workflow for investors yet.”
SIPOs are a legal requirement for many investment organisations in NZ but the practice is also increasingly common among smaller charitable organisations, for example.
The Makao SIPO-Builder creates a draft document for users based on an online survey that takes between 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
“However, it is important to note that the tool does not provide investment advice, and we expect that advice and training on governance remain a core component of a well-functioning investment programme,” the release says.
Launched in 2019 by ex Russell Investments head of institutional, Noah Schiltknecht, Makao has since carved out a niche client base across charities, iwi, wholesale investors and financial advisory groups (notably, the former AMP-aligned Wealthpoint business).
Former Russell colleague, Horrell, joined Schiltknecht at Makao later in 2019.