David Chaplin 's Opinion

A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

Inside Money: Funds goal attack - banks try new formations

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Total Football: Nuremberg's goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky, right, and Schalke's Christian Fuchs  challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga match between Schalke and Nuremberg. Photo / AP
Total Football: Nuremberg's goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky, right, and Schalke's Christian Fuchs challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga match between Schalke and Nuremberg. Photo / AP

As has been generally observed, banks aspire to 'total finance' a term based on the 'total football' strategy made famous by the World Cup-losing 1970s Dutch national soccer team.

Unfortunately, 'total finance', which I coined (trademark pending), is not yet an approved standard expression of bank marketing departments. Instead, banks have historically used such unwieldy taglines such as 'allfinanz', 'bancassurance' or the dreaded, but generic, 'one-stop-shop' to describe the concept of delivering consumers all their financial services via a single institution.

(BNZ's 'Total Money', while it sounds similar, has a totally different meaning.)

In theory, the goal of total finance makes sense but, as an Ernst & Young global banking survey showed this year, consumers like to dally with numerous financial partners.

Banks, too, often struggle to make the constituent components of the total finance machine operate smoothly. At the very least banks are always tinkering with the parts, particularly so when it comes to funds management.

ANZ, for instance, has been remodelling its funds management business for what seems like forever, hiring Brook Asset Management co-founder, Simon Botherway, for a brief 18-month restructure job. The slimmed down ANZ funds management business is expected to face further refurbishments (along the 'less is more' modernist lines) later this month.

Likewise, Westpac is understood to be 'repositioning' its BT Funds Management unit to fit with revised corporate goals. According to several industry insiders, BT will no longer manage money for external clients, focusing instead on in-house pools, most notably its approximately $1.5 billion of KiwiSaver money.

Over at KiwiBank, too, the Gareth Morgan acquisition is still being digested. Cathy Magiannis, who was hired from the IRD in 2010 as chief executive of Gareth Morgan Investments, is due to finish up at KiwiBank at the end of November. At the same time, KiwiBank is also understood to be searching for a new chief investment officer, suggesting both founder Gareth Morgan and investment director, Andrew Gawith, will be stepping back a little from the day-to-day as the bank assumes total control.

David Chaplin

A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

David is a freelance journalist who has covered the financial services business on both sides of the Tasman for over 15 years. David has edited magazines and websites for the financial advice, investment and superannuation industries. Today, he contributes to various publications in Australia as well as his bi-weekly blog for the NZ Herald under the 'Inside Money' banner.

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