A fund manager manages portfolio and investment strategy for funds or schemes.
They may either be active or passive depending on their approach to make their own investment decision or follow a market index.
They may provide investment services to wholesale clients or retail clients.
Under the FMC Act the manager of a registered managed investment scheme (MIS), other than a restricted scheme, must be licensed.
What is a MIS
In general terms, a MIS pools money from a number of investors who rely on the investment expertise of the scheme manager. The definition in the Act (section 9) is broad and includes collective investment schemes, and most schemes involving participatory securities under the Securities Act 1978. These schemes can be structured in different ways and may invest in a wide range of investments. They can be open-ended (offered continuously) or close-ended (more equity-like). Examples include:
open-ended - KiwiSaver, superannuation, workplace savings schemes, open-ended unit trusts, and other schemes that invest in relatively liquid assets
closed-ended - forestry partnerships, and property syndicates that invest in a single asset class.
See our transition information sheets below for MIS managers. These provide an outline of the transition timeline and examples of the key activities and indicative timings for each step of the transition.
To become a licensed MIS manager you'll have to meet and maintain certain minimum standards. The key standards in the Act (section 396) include:
Your directors and senior managers (current or proposed) must be fit and proper for their positions
Your business must be capable of performing the service effectively and in keeping with your licence conditions
We must have no reason to think you're likely to contravene your licensee obligations.
There will also be other important requirements. You can find out more about the minimum licensing standards and conditions in our licensing guide.
Notifying the FMA
Licensees obligations include notifying the FMA of certain events and providing us with information. All notifications should be emailed to the FMA at firstname.lastname@example.org, noting the relevant obligation in the subject line of your email. You can notify us when a new director or senior manager is appointed by completing a notification form.
Standard conditions for MIS manager licences
In your application you'll need to demonstrate how you can meet the minimum standards and conditions for your licence - or ask us for a limit or variation using the forms below. This is very important because when a licence is granted, they contain conditions that support your licensee obligations. They include conditions imposed by the FMC Act, the regulations, and any conditions imposed by the FMA.
Marketing yourself as a licensed manager of a registered scheme
Licences are issued under the FMC Act. Should you wish to reference your licence and the authority under which it is granted on your marketing material including; websites, business cards, brochures or letterhead please use the following:
For licences without restrictions: [Name of licence holder as on licence] is a licensed manager of registered schemes or [Name of licence holder as on licence] is licensed under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 as a manager of registered schemes.
For licences with restrictions: [Name of licence holder as on licence] is a licensed manager of [type of scheme eg registered forestry] schemes or [Name of licence holder as on licence] is a licensed to manage the [name scheme] scheme or [Name of licence holder as on licence] is licensed under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 as a manager of [type of scheme eg registered forestry] schemes or [Name of licence holder as on licence] is licensed under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 to manage the [name of scheme] scheme.
Your marketing material must not refer to your licence as an FMA licence.
Statements of investment policy and objectives (SIPO)
A statement of investment policy and objectives (SIPO) is a document that sets out the investment governance and management framework, philosophy, strategies and objectives of a managed investment scheme and its investment funds or portfolios. Under the FMC Act, all managers must ensure there is a SIPO for each MIS they manage. Except in prescribed circumstances, you must also register the SIPO with the Registrar, and must lodge any changes to the SIPO with the Registrar.
As a licensed MIS provider you'll have other ongoing obligations. For example, you must:
register your scheme before you make a regulated offer, and keep the registration up-to-date
ensure scheme property is held by the supervisor or another independent custodian
hold your investor's money on trust
carry out functions in keeping with the governing document, SIPO, and your other issuer obligations
correct material pricing errors or non-compliance with MIS pricing methodology, report these to your supervisor, and take any other steps required
monitor your compliance, identify material changes of circumstance, and meet reporting obligations
Asia Region Funds Passport
New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Korea and Thailand are members of an arrangement called the Asia Region Funds Passport. The passport allows a managed fund based in one country to be offered more easily to investors in other participating countries. The passport arrangements are set out in a Memorandum of Cooperation on the Establishment and Implementation of the Asia Region Funds Passport (MoC).
If you want to offer interests in a New Zealand registered MIS into another passport country you will first need to apply to the FMA under s 134(3) of the FMC Act for the scheme to be registered as a passport fund. For further information see here.
Fair dealing obligations
The FMC Act sets out minimum compliance standards of behaviour for people operating in the financial markets.
misleading or deceptive conduct
false or misleading representations
offers of financial products in the course of unsolicited meetings.
You must provide a written risk assessment of the money laundering and financing of terrorism activity you could expect in the course of running your business.
You are required to implement an anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism programme that includes procedures to detect, deter, manage and mitigate money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
You are required to appoint a compliance officer to administer and maintain your programme.
You are required to perform due diligence processes on your customers. This includes customer identification and verification of identity.
You are required to report suspicious transactions.
A discretionary investment management service (DIMS), insurance contract, or a scheme that only involves managing separate and direct interests in underlying property are not considered to be a MIS and would need a separate licence to provide DIMS.