Weekly Wrap: Next week looking big

The biggest story of the moment isn’t what happened this week, but what’s happening next week.

Friday, June 29th 2007, 3:26PM

KiwiSaver rolls out on July 1 and it seems to me there is a mad rush happening all across the country. Providers we have spoken to are absolutely snowed under and advisers, it seems are still only coming to grips with things.

As for employers – well that’s a whole other story! One of the metro newspapers today had its lead story on KiwiSaver being a shambles. It would be good to hear the thoughts from people like yourself in the industry on the state of play. If you have a comment you would like to pass on, send it to kiwisaver@goodreturns.co.nz

Amongst the other news I must highlight, prominently, is the piece in Insurance News where Pinnacle Life is questioning the PAA’s position on disclosure.
The debate in itself is useful and I would encourage readers to engage in it.

However, while I welcome the Herald reporting it, I have to comment that the accuracy in its report is low. To call Pinnacle a leading life insurer is misleading. So too is the fact that they have forgotten to mention Pinnacle is competing against advisers.

While it is nice to see the Herald acknowledge the sources (Good Returns and Pinnacle’s Blog) another media outlet isn’t prepared to acknowledge the source.
Now that is off my chest time to move on!

It seems MFS can’t stay out of the headlines. This week it completed its reverse takeover of NZAX shell company Vistron and MFS New Zealand is set to debut on the NZX Monday.

Currently the listed company will be made up of just the finance company MFS Pacific. It has an option to buy the financial planning assets, such as Vestar, from MFS in Australia and that option, I understand expires in December. Seeing companies like this list on an exchange is a good move for the industry as it increases transparency.

On that note another of today’s stories, about changes at Equitable, also revolve around increased transparency.

Another story to catch some attention this week was a release from the Securities Commission regarding how it is handling the affairs of a contributory mortgage firm which has got into trouble. The story is here and is worth a read to see the amount of involvement the commission is having. It maybe a useful pointer to what could happen once tougher regulations from advisers comes into play.


Pricing risk or buying market share?
The government's plans to make it mandatory for finance companies to get credit ratings has made me think some more about the value of these things. [more]

The deposit taking sector is very active with Equitable’s reorganisation the merger and relaunch of Allied Finance and Nationwide and rate changes. There will be more news on changes in depositrates.co.nz on Monday.

It’s curious that some of the significant items in People haven’t actually been announced. The head of AMP has a new job, as we first reported Wayne Stechman is leaving Tower and the one that got announced is changes at the top of Morningstar. All the details are in People.

Have a great weekend and go Team NZ!



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