[Weekly Wrap] Glam in the boardroom

Friday was looking like a bit of a dull news day for a while, but that has been fixed by two of the industry’s more flamboyant characters.

Friday, November 14th 2008, 3:56PM
Fisher Funds founder Carmel Fisher has, as reported earlier, done a deal with another of the characters in New Zealand’s investment community – Lloyd Morrison.

Under the deal Morrison has taken a cornerstone stake in the Fisher Funds business. Details here.

Added to that Brook Asset Management has announced some significant changes with a couple of its high-profile founders leaving the firm.

The other big story of the week has been this one about the potential sale of the FNZ wrap platform which powers the investment administration for a number of big institutions and advisory firms in New Zealand and the UK.

In our Insurance News this week we report on Money Managers' attempts to sell life insurance and Russell Hutchinson's latest thoughts on insurance.

The government’s deposit guarantee scheme continues to generate a flow of news. We have the latest list of who is approved here (it’s growing daily at the moment with a number of finance companies now on board). In addition to this the Reserve Bank talked about the scheme in its Financial Stability Report this week.

It was good to see St Laurence come out with an update on its rescue plans which also includes a guarantee of sorts. Meanwhile, Strategic Finance is still pondering its options after its parent company, Allco HIT, finally collapsed last week.

Clearly the big political news of the week was the election result. Assuming National goes through with its proposed changes to KiwiSaver, there will be plenty of work for employers and advisers (along with fund managers and administrators). This week we have the first in a series of stories on these changes.

Over on the property front two themes are emerging. In yesterday’s REINZ house price data there were weak signs of improvement in the market. I suspect one doesn’t read into them too much and of more importance will be if these trends continue.

The other change is that with interest rates falling borrowing strategies are changing away from fixed rates towards floating. While this is happening banks are increasing their gross margins on floating rates. You can see the changes in the graph with this article.

Besides the changes at Brook, Frank Russell has a new boss overseeing New Zealand. Details in the People page.

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He works at the Securities Commission and has been described as the chief of police for advisers.

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