The 100 page plus Capital Markets 2029 report released on Monday had a surprising focus.
Despite widespread acknowledgement that New Zealand's capital market issues centre largely around a lack of supply when it comes to new companies coming to the market the report spends a large amount of space trying to pitch improvements for the demand side of the equation.
The report, which was commissioned by the NZX and the Financial Markets Authority, had a big focus on the $60 billion KiwiSaver market.
Recommendations on the retirement savings scheme included allowing members to have more than one provider and self-direct their investment, mandated employer contributions even when employees don't save and bringing back the kick-start contribution for over 18s as a way to incentivise people to make an active choice.
Having more than one provider sounds like a nice idea but would create potential logistical issues in an environment when some KiwiSaver members still don't know who their one provider is. And self-directed investment has proven to be a recipe for disaster in Australia.
The kick-start, which was scrapped by the National Government in 2015, would be popular but costly. Stock Takes wasn't the only one scratching her head over the prominence of KiwiSaver in the capital markets report.
Shareholders Association chairman Tony Mitchell said he was surprised to see the report leading with KiwiSaver.
"I did wonder why. They could have led with regulation."
He suggested it could be because of the heavy involvement of so many capital market players in KiwiSaver.
A more cynical view suggests it was an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone as the Government heads into a big review of the KiwiSaver default provider schemes.
Mitchell said he was still digesting the report but was positive about the overall tone of it.
"The key is in the detail. It is quite well thought out and considered."
But he said it still needed a fair bit of consideration and he was a bit concerned that retail investors had not been thought about enough.
The problem with direct retail investment is that it is only ever going to be a small pool of people and assets when compared to KiwiSaver with its nearly three million members and $60b which is set to grow to $200b by 2030.
Mitchell said on the face of it it also looked like the report was calling for investors to be given less information.
The report recommends removing the requirement to provide prospective financial information for first regulated offers and undertaking a review of the continuous disclosure liability settings.
The real problem
The lack of recent initial public offerings is acknowledged high up in the report but it isn't until page 61 that it really delves into the core of the issue - why New Zealand companies don't list on the local market.
There is a black and white acknowledgement that the NZX's three attempts to set up different boards for smaller companies have been unsuccessful and its strengths really lie in supporting larger companies.
The good news is that there is still a lot of large companies out there that are not listed.
According to research by Direct Capital included in the report there are 1200 companies in New Zealand with revenues over $30 million and just 70 NZX-listed companies of that size.
Of that 1200, 720 have revenues over $50m and 480 have revenues over $100m and are profitable.
But the challenge for the NZX, which is not new, is convincing companies it is a good idea to list. Public scrutiny and compliance red tape is a barrier to many.
The report suggests greater promotion and education of the alternative pathways to the listed market.
Those alternatives include compliance only listings where companies don't raise any capital to start with and back-door reverse takeover listings.
Unfortunately while reverse takeovers may be seen as an easier option for companies they are not particularly well-liked by the investing public.
The report is now being chewed over by many around the markets with the NZX promising to report back on progress in 18 months time.
Mitchell said he would be asking for six-monthly updates to the public.
"Eighteen months is far too long to wait if they get off track."