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Building a cluster in funds management

Wednesday, September 7th 2005, 8:47AM 1 Comment

by Philip Macalister

I was heartened to see Andrew Freeman-Greene's positive comments about building up the funds management industry in New Zealand. It's something I concur with.

It reminds me of a speech Tyndall boss Anthony Quirk made nearly five years ago about making New Zealand the Edinburgh of the South Pacific.

His comments were that back in the UK not all the financial prowess is concentrated in the City of London. Rather a vibrant funds management industry exists in Edinburgh.

Freeman-Greene's comments pick up on this idea and dovetail quite nicely with two other issues at the moment namely: The health of retail funds management and the election.

The former issue is one you can read lots more about in an up-coming issue of ASSET.

But, I would suggest a vibrant funds management industry has retail funds as a vital organ.

As for the election - well… Which party would be best for the funds management industry? In my view it is nearly a no-brainer.

Cullen has been the best finance minister this industry has had for decades. (I can't believe the claptrap in the Herald this morning that business considers John Key a better Finance Minister than Cullen. Hasn't Cullen just presided over one of the best periods of growth this country has seen for years?)

Cullen is interested in our industry, he engages with it, he knows the issues and he tries to find answers. English, Birch and Richardson did none of that.

Key hasn't shown a great understanding, and the National Party seems to have bugger all detailed policy across the spectrum.

The NZ Superannuation Fund is potentially the core of a renascent industry in New Zealand.

I view the fund as being a great example of how managed funds can produce good returns. Also, because of the public attention the fund gets it could be used - with a little creative thinking - as a great tool to educate Kiwis about how to save.

Proposed tax changes, while not perfect, will assist the industry.

Don't think tax cuts will help the industry - the last time that was tried there was a view people would save some of this extra dosh.

The facts are they spent it instead.


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Comments from our readers

On 9 September 2005 at 5:34 am Jens Meder said:

Congratulations, Phil, on your insights on the NZSF and Cullen as perhaps the best finance minister in NZ history. A pity the election interrupted a run of prudent budgets - however, in showing what prudence can deliver - and in view of the fact that the election goodies might be unsustainable due to unforeseeable circumtances - it might actually help in turning us into the more enthusiastc savers/investors we ought to be if economic growth acceleration and the elimination of poverty are to be achieved.

It is certain there is widespread approval across the political spectrum about more NZSF capital on the NZ Stock Market, and its diversification into infrastructure bonds would enlarge the NZ economy without increased foreign nor Govt Budget debt. If it cannot been shown as unsound economics, we are truly moving towards a national consensus on better universal superannuation sustainability through economic growth participation by and for all. Jens.


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