Auckland-headquartered fund administration firm, MMC, has brought on board two new high-profile directors following a period of rapid growth.
Carmen Vicelich, serial entrepreneur, and Paul Mersi, well-known NZ financial services expert, both join MMC as independent directors effective July 1.
Vicelich has a 20-year track record in the NZ banking and mortgage-lending markets, most recently as founder and global CEO of digital property valuation platform, Valocity. She is also founder and chair of data analytics firm, Data Insight.
“MMC is an incredible New Zealand success story with a fantastic team and I am delighted to join the board as the company accelerates the use of technology and data to deliver new value to their customers,” Vicelich said in a release.
As well as building two businesses that use data to solve complex problems, she has won a string of awards including: Global Fintech Start-up of the Year 2019; NZDM Nexus Supreme Winner Award; and, the CIO Digital Transformation prize.
Vicelich was also a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2015.
Meanwhile, Mersi has been a long-time influential figure in the NZ industry as both an independent consultant and in his previous role as senior financial services and tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He is currently a member of the Financial Advice Code Working Group and a director of Ngāi Tahu’s Whai Rawa Fund. Previously, he served on the 2011 Savings Working Group.
Mersi has a number of other strings to his bow, too, including a stint as director with pioneering NZ boutique fund manager, Brook Asset Management, a career with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) in senior policy roles. During his IRD career he was seconded to both the OECD and the NZ Treasury.
“MMC is a dynamic and truly client-focused Kiwi business and I am excited to be involved in its next phase of innovating to further enhance their clients’ interface with New Zealand investors,” Mersi said in the release.
Tom Reiher, MMC managing director, said the pair of new directors bring complementary skills to the board as the company builds on its growth strategy.
“Carmen’s expertise with data, and ability to leverage technology, is an invaluable asset as we look to develop our digital tools and data insights capabilities for the benefit of our clients and New Zealand investors,” Reiher said. “Paul’s governance proficiency and in-depth knowledge of the funds management and advisory industry will be essential to ensuring that we are a step ahead of upcoming changes in the regulatory environment.”
Following its purchase of the former ASB-owned investment administration platform Aegis last year, MMC now administers almost $80 billion on behalf of over 100 clients covering fund managers, product providers and financial advisers.
Elsewhere last week, Mercer NZ head of portfolio management, Ronan McCabe, has been named interim chief investment officer (CIO) to replace incumbent, Philip Houghton-Brown.
Houghton-Brown ends an eight-year stint with Mercer on September 11 to take up the head of investment solutions gig at the Westpac-owned BT Funds Management NZ.
Prior to joining Mercer in 2012 he was CIO at the ANZ NZ investment house, then known as OnePath.
At the $14 billion BT, Houghton-Brown will assume the role formerly held by Matthew Goldsack, who resigned earlier this year to takeover the head of investment job at charitable fund group, Trust Management.
In a note to clients, Mercer NZ chief, Martin Lewington, said: “In Philip’s eight years at Mercer, he has been instrumental in driving the growth and success of the Delegated Solutions business in NZ and for delivering great investment solutions to our clients. Philip is incredibly well regarded by colleagues and clients alike.”
Post the exit of Goldsack in January, François Richeboeuf, has served as BT acting head of investment solutions.
Acting head of investments and insurance at Westpac NZ, Nigel Jackson, said in a statement: “Philip has a strong background in managing investment portfolios for retail, wholesale and institutional clients.
“His breadth of knowledge in managing balanced funds will provide real value to BTNZ and our investors.”