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Fund Services Development Group formed

Fund Services Development Group formed

A private sector group will advise the government on the steps required to create an international fund services industry in New Zealand, Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.

The International Fund Services Development Group is chaired by entrepreneur and professional director Craig Stobo. Other members are Caniwi Capital Partners chair and chief executive Troy Bowker, Citigroup New Zealand chief executive Mark Fitzgerald, BNP Paribas New Zealand chief executive Hugh Stevens, and Tower Investments chief executive Sam Stubbs.

Mr Brownlee said the group would consider what is needed to establish an international fund services industry and associated activities in New Zealand, including making New Zealand a popular funds domicile. A domicile is the legal home for a fund, such as a hedge fund, and is the centre for the fund’s accounting and administration.

The group’s work includes examining what regulatory and other undertakings would be required, and also how this could be used to strengthen our funds management industry and capital markets.

“In particular we need to improve our attractiveness to intermediaries who specialise in the administration and management of global funds and associated activities. This important work forms part of the government’s Economic Growth Agenda.”

Mr Stobo said work has already commenced on identifying the needs of potential users of an international fund services industry.

“It is very important that we approach this from a needs perspective. There are some obvious changes identified which will enhance our attractiveness; other issues will require more careful consideration. Ultimately it is up to the Government to endorse and implement any proposals,” Mr Stobo said.

Mr Brownlee said New Zealand was well-positioned to attract international fund services.

“Our transparent, stable and neutral legal systems, high quality regulatory and tax environments, deep pool of talent and unique time zone advantage together all mean New Zealand has a lot to offer, particularly in light of the global financial crisis.

“For instance, there is not currently a local funds domicile within Asia Pacific despite the significant growth in the region’s capital markets over recent years. Much of this work continues to be performed in traditional centres.”

The group is required to report by the end of May, and is supported by a secretariat from the Ministry of Economic Development.

ENDS

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