Much has changed in the New Zealand investment industry since the inaugural edition of this survey was published in 2016.
The intervening period has seen sustained fund flows driven chiefly by the burgeoning KiwiSaver regime and helped along by an almost unbroken run of solid market returns.
However, the last three years have included some serious transformational moments such as the ESG revolution that hit the New Zealand investment industry in the wake of the 2016 KiwiSaver ‘cluster bomb’ controversy.
As this year’s survey shows, ESG is now an entrenched part of the New Zealand market with almost 70% of firms including ESG in their investment processes and 60% planning to boost their efforts over the next year.
Similarly, after the initial shock of the FMCA, investment businesses have mostly adapted well to the new regulatory landscape. Regulation remains the number one concern but data and IT is increasingly become an industry pressure point, particularly for investment managers.
The demand for better reporting, data management and risk analytics is clearly on the rise in New Zealand, as in the rest of the world.
Innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), robo-advice and blockchain present both opportunities and challenges for New Zealand market participants, which the survey shows they are weighing up now.
Furthermore, the report points to a growing role for data analytics to fast-track improvements in efficiency and service offerings. Investment firms are looking to global administrative specialists to help them muster the potential power residing in the tsunami of information now sweeping across the world. Data and regulatory reporting as distinct services are both expected to be in high demand over the coming years.
We trust this report shines a spotlight on where the greatest opportunities lie for the local industry and how it can prosper in a disruptive era.
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