Financial services and FinTech

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Navigating complex financial services regulation, investment funds, and evolving FinTech can be complicated. Our team can guide you.

At the forefront of the highly regulated and constantly changing financial services sector, our internationally recognised financial services practice is one of New Zealand’s largest. Thought leaders and change makers, we are continually shaping and influencing the country’s financial regulatory framework.

We are passionate about the opportunities our clients engage in, from technology to responsible investment (including climate change responses) and work alongside them to overcome any challenges they face.

We advise the entire financial services industry on:

Financial services regulation including engaging with regulators as well as advising on the:

  • Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMCA)
    • licensing
    • managed investment schemes
    • climate related financial disclosures
    • financial advice
    • client money or property services
  • Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT Act)
  • Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act
  • Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act
  • Deposit Takers Act and Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act
  • FATCA and CRS
  • Sanctions regulations

FinTech and blockchain technology including: 

  • Trading or investment platforms
  • Crowd funding investment platforms
  • Peer-to-peer investment platforms
  • Open banking
  • Digital identity
  • Virtual assets, cryptocurrencies
  • Blockchain solutions
Investment funds and superannuation including:
  • Fund establishment and management 
  • Capital raising
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Restructuring 
  • Financial advice

Insurance including front end matters relating to life insurance, corporate advisory, and transactions within the industry. We have specialists across our full-service firm to deal with all your other insurance needs, including litigation.

Trans-Tasman expertise and global reach

We enjoy introducing international clients to New Zealand and helping those with global ambitions. We collaborate with our colleagues at MinterEllison in Australia on trans-Tasman financial services matters. We also make use of our longstanding relationships with many law firms around the world to ensure our clients get the best legal advice as well as seamless service.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is a market leader in financial services with great levels of service, outstanding regulatory insights and a very pragmatic and commercial approach. Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023

Recent highlights
Financial services M&A

Acting for sellers and buyers of financial services businesses including the sale by Westpac of its wealth advisory business to Forsyth Barr, and for Macquarie Asset Management on its purchase of AMP Capital’s global equity and fixed income (GEFI) business in New Zealand, including assistance with due diligence, sale documentation and financial regulatory matters 

Transfer of ASB Group Investments’ management of the Superannuation Master Trust

Advising ASB’s fund manager subsidiary, ASBGI, on the transfer to NZX subsidiary SmartShares Limited of the management rights of the ASB Superannuation Master Trust. The Trust includes more than $1.8 billion in retirement savings from more than 17,500 members across more than 100 employer groups. The transaction involved the assignment and/or novation of relevant contracts, as well as compliance with the FMCA and FMA approvals.

Sale of Aon NZ retirement savings business

Advising Aon NZ on the sale of its $1 billion FUM retirement savings business (including Aon KiwiSaver) to Fisher Funds including transfer of shares in AonSaver Limited and Superannuation Nominees Limited and the assignment and/or novation of relevant contracts.

Private equity and venture capital (PE/VC) funds

Structuring and establishing wholesale only limited partnership funds for managers including Pioneer Capital, Icehouse Ventures, Nuance Capital, Continuity Capital, Movac, Better Bite, Alt Ventures, Milford Private Equity, Origin Capital, Pacific Channel, New Ground Capital. Also advised other managers on investment terms and group structures.

FMA inquiry into Sharesies Limited

Advising Sharesies Limited, a major broking platform, in relation to the FMA’s notice of intention to issue a formal warning under the AML/CFT Act, including supporting it through its engagement with the FMA, providing extensive advice on technical compliance with the AML/CFT Act, and developing a remediation plan. Representing Sharesies Limited in a hearing with the FMA, and negotiating the terms of the formal warning to accurately reflect the outcome (which was much narrower than the original allegation).

Transitioning Westpac, TSB Bank and others to the new financial adviser regime

Assisting Westpac and TSB Bank (and others, including four insurers, and several adviser and fund manager businesses) with the transition of their financial advice services under the new Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act adviser regime, including strategic advice on their obligations, licensing, and training requirements. The work in each case also involved significant engagement with the FMA as regulator.

Milford funds

Advising Milford Asset Management over many years with its award-winning funds management and financial advice business, including KiwiSaver assets, which continues to grow to over $87 billion. This has included transitioning seven Milford Unit Trust PIE Funds, three Milford KiwiSaver Scheme funds and eight Milford wholesale funds to the FMCA regime, establishing multiple new funds subsequently, assisting with disclosure documents, regulatory advice, and assisting with the transition to the new financial advisers regime.


Related expertise

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