New-look and feel for acquisitive fund administrator

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Acquisitive Auckland-based backoffice specialist MMC, which bought 50 per cent of Brisbane-based super admin firm IFAA in March, has refreshed its brand in a makeover that consigns the Aegis platform name to history. To be known as MMC Wealth Administration, the Aegis investment platform acquired from ASB last year now sits beside the company’s traditional fund administration business and, more recent, custody service.

In a client presentation last week unveiling the new MMC look and corporate vision, Vedran Babic, the chief exdecutive, said the rebrand reflected the firm’s goal of building a “unified culture” that puts ‘client centricity’ at the core. “The acquisition of Aegis has been a catalyst for a lot of [the MMC brand remodel],” Babic said. MMC emerged as the surprise buyer of Aegis last October, bringing across about NZ$15 billion (A$13.9 billion) of funds under administration and a large contingent of ASB staff. Since purchasing the platform, MMC has integrated both the Aegis technology with its own and shifted all employees into the company’s own premises.

Today, the business has more than 140 employees servicing over 100 clients (covering funds, KiwiSaver schemes wealth managers and financial advisory firms) and NZ$85 billion plus of assets under administration. Babic said the MMC rebrand was a “wonderful process to collectively define our values, who we are, what we do and what we believe in; it brought us together during lockdown and gave us a singular focus”.

As previously reported, the deal with IFAA founder, Neil Harvey, meant a step up for the Australian company. Harvey said in March: “With our new big shareholder, we are now looking to go up the scale and offer MMC’s technology and personal service to larger funds in Australia.” It also plans to roll out its services to the retail and corporate super sectors and the broader investment platform market.

Founded in 2002 by Tom Reiher and Robert Moss, MMC has grown rapidly – accelerating in particular post the launch of the portfolio investment entity (PIE) and KiwiSaver regimes in 2007 – to become one of the dominant players in the NZ fund administration space. At the time MMC launched, he said many thought it would be “impossible” for a NZ firm to compete against global players in the fund admin market. “Nothing’s impossible, it just takes harder work,” he said.

– David Chaplin, Investment News NZ

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