High-powered NZ economist, Laurence Kubiak, has joined Trustees Executors (TE) as independent director – marking the fourth board appointment in October for the Wellington-based firm as it embarks on a strategic reboot.
Kubiak is currently New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) chief as well as serving as director of electricity distributor, Northpower, and chair of the NZ Symphony Orchestra.
He also held a string of senior roles with major firms in Europe for 25 years including a 14-year stint with BT Global Services, finishing his career there as director of global regulation and competition.
Kubiak took up the NZIER job in 2014.
In a statement, Ryan Bessemer, TE chief, said Kubiak’s experience would “be a valuable addition to the Board of Trustees Executors as we reposition our business to be a trusted technology services provider for our customers”.
“Our new Board of Directors will support and guide the company’s growth strategy in New Zealand, and help prepare for our entry into the Australian market in 2020,” Bessemer said.
TE is making a play for the Australian superannuation fund administration market while retooling the NZ operation with a blockchain-based system. Ultimately-owned by Switzerland-based investor, John Grace, the business also offers licensed supervisor and wealth management services in NZ.
In addition to Kubiak and Bessemer, both US-based Victoria Grace and Graeme Kirkpatrick (who has a Switzerland address) joined the TE board last month. Matthew Sale, appointed in May 2018, is the relative veteran on the TE board that has seen six departures since April last year.
The local holding company, Sterling Grace, restructured its ownership in April 2018, exchanging the sole nominal shareholder, Andrew Easson Scott-Howman, for the corporate TEA Nominees.
Meanwhile, the global investment platform business, FNZ, has hired a new chief risk officer from UK ‘challenger’ digital-only bank, Monzo, to replace incumbent, Christian Dougal.
According to UK press, Dougal – who joined FNZ in 2011 – has left to move closer to family in Australia.
His replacement, Giles Triffitt, was deputy risk officer at Standard Life Aberdeen (an FNZ client) before taking up the Monzo role.
At the same time, FNZ named former HSBC global sector head of asset and wealth managers, Roland Whyte, to a newly-created strategic role.
Whyte takes on the global head of strategy and corporate development at FNZ with a brief that includes mergers and acquisitions and ‘strategic investments’.
In a release, FNZ chief, Adrian Durham, said: “Roland’s appointment further strengthens our senior executive team, particularly in the areas of strategy and corporate development, which are increasingly important as we continue to grow internationally.”
FNZ has been in an expansive mood of late, finalising its latest deal – the $260 million purchase of ASX-listed financial software firm, GBST – last week. The GBST deal, signed this July, followed FNZ’s takeover of UK rival, JHC, in the same month and the buyout of German investment platform, ebase, from ComDirect bank 12 months prior.
Last October, FNZ swapped private equity majority owners as two North American-based funds bought a two-thirds stake in a deal that valued the Wellington-founded business at almost $3.5 billion.
Back in home territory, Hastings-headquartered FNZ client, Finzo, appointed Tracey Wolfe to the new head of compliance gig in the financial advisory services business.
Wolfe arrives at Finzo’s Karamu Rd (North) premises from Australia where she most recently was a paraplanner with CFL Financial Planning. She also previously held a number of banking and insurance jobs in the UK.
Finzo, which emerged out of the Boutique Advisers Alliance this year, is gearing up for an anticipated uptick in demand for outsourced advisory services under the imminent Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act regime.
“Coming from a traditional dealer group environment in Australia, I see a huge opportunity for an integrated financial solution provider like Finzo to make a positive impact in the new regulatory environment,” Wolfe said in a statement.
Also last week, Australian-headquartered financial conglomerate, Findex, announced former HR head at energy giant AGL, Jane Betts, as chief people officer.
In a new position for Findex, Betts would “supercharge Findex’s people strategy”, according to a release.
Findex has a diversified financial services operation in its home country but is primarily an accounting firm in NZ. The privately-owned Findex bought the Australasian assets of global accounting business, Crowe Howarth, in 2015.
However, in September this year, Findex NZ lured long-time NZ Funds executive, David van Schaardenburg, across as senior partner wealth with a mandate to grow the group’s advice footprint.