Fund administrator MMC’s new KiwiSaver registry system will go live later this year with two providers currently transitioning to the service.
Robert Moss, MMC managing director, said there had been strong market interest in the firm’s KiwiSaver registry offering, which received Inland Revenue Department (IRD) approval only late last year.
“We have got two existing providers in transition now,” Moss said, “which is a huge endorsement of the technology platform developed by MMC for the New Zealand market and the quality of its investment administration services provided over the last 12 years.”
During the previous quarter, MMC also ticked off a major new milestone breaking through $25 billion in funds under administration (FUA). MMC’s $25.5 billion FUA represents an increase of more than $3 billion over the last year.
MMC entered the KiwiSaver fray after a turbulent period in the registry market following Aon’s exit from the New Zealand administration business (with ASX-listed Link primed to pick up some of the pieces). Late last year, Trustees Executors also picked up the prize job as sole administrator for the over $3 billion Fisher Funds KiwiSaver schemes – a role it had previously shared with Mercer.
Despite the number of KiwiSaver schemes dwindling to about 30 from a peak of more than 40, Moss said there were still opportunities for firms providing specialist administration services, particularly with the rapidly changing regulatory and legislative environment in New Zealand. He said the combination of increased regulatory complexity and fee pressure was prompting KiwiSaver providers to seek efficient, cost-effective back-office solutions.
According to the latest MMC newsletter published last week, the move into the KiwiSaver registry market has prompted an upgrade of the firm’s client engagement and delivery tools.
“We have also been working on a web portal specifically designed for investors’ use to support our KiwiSaver offering and our existing registry services,” the MMC newsletter says.
Additionally, MMC has hired researcher TRA to embark on a survey over the next few months, tapping into the firm’s client base as well as the wider market.
Moss said the survey was aimed at understanding how MMC was perceived, identifying ways to improve current services and testing demand for new offerings.
He said the results should be available late October this year.
In other initiatives, MMC has finalised processing plans with the Aegis and FNZ platforms under the Calastone protocols. MMC confirmed a deal last month with the UK-headquartered fund transaction facilitator, in Calastone’s first formal agreement with an NZ firm.