Money Editor for NZ Herald

Macquarie to recruit financial advisers

Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand wants to nearly double its number of financial advisers in the next three years.

The local advisory arm of Australian firm Macquarie Group has just hired three new staff and signed up to a three-year Arts Foundation sponsorship deal in a bid to build its profile in the New Zealand market.

Chief executive Ian Witters said the company presently had 44 advisers but wanted to grow to between 70 and 80 within three years.

"We have just hired three new people. The message there is that we still see being in New Zealand as a positive and we continue to look for good business growth."

Witters said it had only lost one of its advisers under the new licensing regime last year and that person chose to retire.

"All of our advisers are qualified under the new regulations. This year we are seeing improved markets. There is still caution but our clients are feeling more comfortable."

But Witters said the new regulations had also made it harder to hire new people because of the level of paperwork that had to be changed when they bought clients with them.

"The challenge is getting skilled advisers. People don't move."

He said acquiring other advisory businesses was a possibility although the company did not have anything in the pipeline at the moment.

Witters said he had expected more consolidation of the industry through the licensing process. More than 2000 advisers became qualified as authorised financial advisers last year.

However Witters said he expected advisers would begin to gravitate to the bigger names because of the ongoing costs associated with professional development and compliance.

"If you are small you still have to be up to date with ... compliance. At bigger companies the cost can be spread."

Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand has appointed Laurence Fitzpatrick as business manager, chief operating officer Richard Frogley to the role of investment analyst and new associate adviser Nick Fitness.

The company will sponsor the annual awards for the Arts Foundation and is backing a new funding website.

- NZ Herald

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