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Morningstar committed to New Zealand

Morningstar director of manager research, Asia-Pacific, Tim Murphy says it is still committed to the New Zealand market, despite no longer having researchers on the ground here.

Monday, December 17th 2018, 6:00AM

Its New Zealand-based director of research ratings, Asia-Pacific, Chris Douglas announced in July that he was moving on from the role. Only data director Greg Bunkall is left in New Zealand.

Murphy said although Douglas was well-known in the New Zealand industry, only less than 10 per cent of his job had been focused on the local market.

“He was only there because of his personal circumstances rather than because that’s where the role was based.”

Morningstar would continue to cover New Zealand funds in the way it always had, he said.

“It’s business as usual albeit we don’t have a person on the ground 70 per cent of the time like he was previously. Our coverage is not changing, our commitment is not changing.

“We’ll be there a couple of times a year as needed to complete our research.”

It has been a record year for Morningstar in New Zealand, he said.

“We are not pulling out or going away or anything like that – it’s the opposite, we’re doubling down on the resources we are throwing there albeit not necessarily being serviced with people based on the he ground.”

It was normal for Morningstar staff to have responsibilities for multiple countries, he said.

Murphy said he expected the New Zealand insurance advice sector to be affected by the Australian focus on misconduct in the financial services industry.

"Over time you will. Globally, conflicts are being removed, not added. 

"You've still got a situation where New Zealand advisers rely on commission and that's legal and that's fine for the time being. But the trend across the developed world is for that to disappear."

He expected in 10 years, things would have changed.

"It's a case of how businesses adapt to that development, the fee-for-service model, with more of the client's best interests at heart. We see ourselves aligned with that. There's a trend worldwide to moving away from conflict and we work with financial advice businesses around the world to help them do that."

He said each country had its own nuances and would move at a different speed but Morningstar could apply what it knew from other countries to help.

Tags: financial advisers Morningstar

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