The NZX-owned investment platform Wealth Technologies almost doubled funds under administration (FUA) in November after onboarding new client, Hobson Wealth.
According to the latest NZX monthly metrics, the Wealth Technologies FUA leapt from about $3.6 billion in October to just under $7 billion at the latest count.
More than five years after purchasing the Apteryx platform from parties associated with NZAM (now Alvarium) for about $1.5 million, the Hobson move marks another 2020 milestone for Wealth Technologies following a long period of sluggish growth. However, Hobson retains custody in-house for the assets administered on the NZX system.
In August this year, the platform signed on JB Were, which added about $800 million to the previously reported FUA of $2.3 billion. JB Were joined fellow broking house, Craigs Investment Partners on the Wealth Technologies system. Craigs was an early adopter on the NZX platform, shifting over $1 billion of its unit trust business starting in 2018.
Aside from Hobson (a firm also boasting stock broker roots), Wealth Technologies has the $2 billion plus Saturn Advice queued up to transition shortly. Both Saturn and Hobson previously used Aegis (now known as MMC Wealth) for administration.
However, Wealth Technologies, headed by Lisa Turnbull, has ambitious growth plans with a $20 billion FUA target flagged in the NZX June half-year report, rising to between $35 billion to $50 billion by the end of 2023.
Since buying Apteryx, the NZX has built an entirely new technology system that should eventually house all clients. The platform construction has not been cheap: the NZX 2020 report shows Wealth Technologies continues to run at a loss, bleeding $533,000 ($186,000 in the same period last year) on revenue of $849,000.
Wealth Technologies also has more than 50 full-time employees compared to just under 50 for the funds management division and 66 in corporate services.
Meanwhile, the November NZX data shows the group’s funds management arm grew more than $300 million month-on-month, edging closer to $5 billion in total assets.
The Smartshares exchange-traded fund (ETF) business holds about $4.2 billion of the almost $4.9 billion total assets under management. While the in-house SuperLife money still represents the majority of the NZX funds, external ETF investments (now close to $1.8 billion) have been growing at the fastest rate, up 38 per cent year-on-year or more than double the internal growth-rate.