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Top Financial Brains Meet to Drive NZ Economy Forward

23 August 2011
News release

Top Financial Brains Meet to Drive NZ Economy Forward

The country’s top financial brains will meet in Wellington later this month to discuss the New Zealand economy and how to boost it.

The Institute of Financial Professionals New Zealand (Infinz) is holding its 10th annual conference at Te Papa on August 31 and the state of the economy and how to “grow New Zealand” is top of the agenda.

Chairman David McLean, who runs the Westpac Institutional Bank, said the delegates would look at the issues facing global financial markets and how to manage their impact here. “While New Zealand has weathered the economic storm better than many countries, we are certainly not out of the woods yet. Creative thinking is needed to drive the nation forward and that will be a focus of our discussions.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English will speak about building a more competitive economy and the Government’s programme for achieving that, while Sir Don McKinnon will outline how to maintain New Zealand’s relevance in a global economy.

“Infinz and its members play a key role in building confidence amongst those who wish to invest in New Zealand and we’ll be considering ways to enhance that to help get our economy moving,” McLean said.

Other topics to be debated at the conference include:

- international trends in funds management

- managing risk in the volatile global market

- how to get private equity back into New Zealand to fund growth

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- the pros and cons of the partial privatisation/mixed ownership model

- establishing New Zealand as a financial services hub

McLean said: “History shows it could take up to five years for the major developed economies to recover fully from the effects of the global financial crisis and, during that time, changes in regulation will dramatically affect the industry.

“The impact will be particularly felt in New Zealand as we move from a historically light-handed approach to regulation. Finance professionals need to influence change on the way through as the country becomes more in step with global norms.”

INFINZ is the industry body for professionals working and participating in New Zealand's wholesale finance and capital markets. It promotes quality, expertise and integrity in the New Zealand markets and works with government, industry groups, regulators and policy-makers to advocate for improved and best practice laws.

About 150 financial experts will be attending the conference. To register, visit www.infinz.com

ENDS

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