Auckland-based investment administration firm MMC has bolstered its senior leadership team with two new hires.
In a release, MMC named Joshua Arnold and Renee Tourell as chief product officer and chief operating officer (COO), respectively.
While Tourell assumes the COO mantle from Chris Watson (now MMC chief transformation officer), Arnold steps into a freshly created role to drive the group’s “technology leadership, and develop new capabilities to empower our clients”, chief executive, Vedran Babic, said in the statement.
“The industry needs better tools to respond to a fast-changing world,” Babic said.
MMC has slated the launch of a new ‘digital and insights’ division to support the group’s client base, including the investment platform formerly known as Aegis. After acquiring the pioneering investment platform from ASB in 2019, the firm subsequently renamed Aegis as MMC Wealth Administration, adding to the group’s two other core units, Fund Administration and Custody.
Arnold comes to MMC from Kiwibank where he served as general manager digital strategy and transformation. He also held senior product and technology leadership roles globally and at home with Air New Zealand, Spark Ventures, Western Digital and TUI Group.
“Arnold is a multi-faceted fit for the Chief Product Officer role with a blend of engineering, product, digital and people capabilities. This aligns with MMC’s strategic direction. He will inspire to attract top talent to support high-performing teams – where product, technology and talent merge,” Babic said.
Most recently the COO of Auckland legal firm Meredith Connell, Tourell previously spent 16 years in London and New York with global financial technology firm, Dealogic.
“Tourell understands how to leverage technology for operational excellence while bringing the best out of people to focus on value-adding tasks,” the MMC chief said in the release.
MMC has seen accelerated growth in recent years both organically in its fund administration and custody businesses as well as through the Aegis purchase. Earlier this year, MMC also bought out the remaining half of Australian investment administration firm IFAA after first taking a stake in March 2020.
Currently, MMC services over 100 clients covering fund managers, product providers and investment professionals, the statement says.
“Our people and our technology are MMC’s most important assets. These new appointments will help develop those strengths further, bringing more innovation and efficiency to the investment management and advisory market,” Babic said.
Also last week, veteran Fisher Funds chief investment officer, Frank Jasper, shifted to a part-time capacity at the iconic Takapuna-based funds manager. Jasper, who joined Fisher in 2005 to manage its Australian equities portfolio, will reduce to a 20-hour week with Fisher, working from his Wanaka base.
“I will keep the same title and responsibilities,” he said. “But the senior leadership team will step up to take on some of the day-to-day responsibilities.”
Fisher had embarked on a year-long leadership training program for the senior group, Jasper said.
The move could signal a gradual phase-out for the Fisher CIO although he said there was no formal exit date planned.
Jasper also doubles as chief financial officer for NZ-headquartered trucking compliance software business, Whip Around.
The award-winning software firm aimed at reducing the “paper-based compliance burden” for truck freight operations has made inroads into the US after launching in NZ in 2016.
Fisher, founded by Carmel Fisher in 1998, currently manages about $14 billion across two KiwiSaver schemes, other retail funds and institutional money.
“When I started we had $300 million under management,” Jasper said.
Fisher is majority owned by the TSB Community Trust with US private equity investor, TA Associates, holding about a third after purchasing a stake in 2017 when founders and individual shareholders (including Jasper) sold down.