Consultancy firm Melville Jessup Weaver (MJW) has a new actuary in the house after senior analyst, William Nelson, passed the final hurdle of the grueling professional qualification.
Nelson, who joined MJW in 2011, officially earned the Fellowship designation from the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries early this March, capping off a multi-year academic effort in one of the most notoriously difficult mathematical disciplines. The NZ Society of Actuaries should formally transfer Nelson’s UK fellowship to NZ within a week or two.
Ben Trollip, MJW principal, said the addition of another fully-qualified actuary has significantly expanded the investment consulting capacity of the business.
Trollip said as well as achieving the sought-after actuarial Fellow status, Nelson had developed considerable client-servicing skills and industry knowledge during his MJW career.
“We’re very pleased to see William qualify as an actuary. The professional exams are extraordinarily challenging and success in them shows a high degree of technical skill,” Trollip said. “William has been with MJW for a decade working in the New Zealand investment market. He has developed a wealth of knowledge about the local industry and we look forward to seeing him continue to develop his reputation as the highly capable consultant we know him to be.”
Founded in 1992, MJW has since grown to include 27 staff spread across offices in Auckland and Wellington, offering independent actuarial consulting and administration services to the investment, KiwiSaver, superannuation and insurance sectors in NZ.
Wholly owned by its six NZ principals, MJW is also an alliance partner of global consultancy and insurance broker firm, Willis Towers Watson (WTW). A planned merger between WTW and global rival, Aon, is currently facing scrutiny by regulators in multiple jurisdictions including NZ.
In other news last week, Anthony Sowerby has taken a sideways step to join the $1 billion plus Hunter Investment Management in a client services role.
Sowerby was previously working on special projects for Wellington fund-hosting business, Implemented Investment Solutions (IIS), including the launch of its InvestNow KiwiSaver scheme last October.
IIS is a part-owner of Hunter, the investment shop headed by Tony Hildyard. Launched in 2016, Hunter topped $1 billion in assets under management this year, mostly accrued in its PIMCO-managed global fixed income fund. Last year Hunter also launched a range of diversified growth and balanced funds, initially available via the InvestNow KiwiSaver scheme.
In a note to clients, Hildyard said: “Our strategy going forward is to move into offering funds across a range of different investment sectors. A first step on this path was launching two diversified funds, being the Hunter Balanced and Growth Funds, both of which are enjoying solid growth.
“I am conscious of the need to continue to evolve and enhance the level of service and expertise that we provide to our clients and other key stakeholders, so have expanded our team. I am delighted to welcome Anthony Sowerby to the Hunter team. Anthony will work alongside me with our clients, as well as helping develop our investment offering going forward.”
Prior to IIS, Sowerby most recently worked in NZ as chief operating officer for Salt Funds Management following a long stint at AMP Capital NZ.
Meanwhile, Investment Services Group (ISG) – parent company of Devon Funds, Clarity Funds and JMI Wealth – has earned a new sustainability accreditation from government-owned, Toitū.
A subsidiary of the NZ government agency, Landcare Research, Toitū offers a suite of environmental and carbon management services to business including a certification process to back-up corporate sustainability claims.
The Toitū ‘gold’ mark awarded to ISG shows “certified organisations have developed a comprehensive plan to help them achieve their goals outlined in their formal environmental policy”, the government website says. Toitū has a three-tiered certification program ranging from ‘bronze’ to the top level of ‘diamond’.
In a release last week, Devon chief, Slade Robertson, said the Toitū mark “cements our ongoing commitment to conducting business in a sustainable way”.
“Our Sustainability Fund contributes to ensuring the best environmental outcomes for New Zealand, and we are proud to have been awarded gold certification.”
ISG is the first boutique wealth management group to join the Toitū certified list, which also includes a number financial institutions such as the four major banks, AMP and Jarden.