New Zealand has become one of the world’s financial services markets where executives and financiers are investing billions of dollars in the future.
But as the economy picks up and there are more opportunities for financial technology, it is the country’s financial managers who need to pay a greater share of their salary, according to a new report.
“This is a world where you can do a lot of things,” said Simon Stirling, executive director of the New Zealand Financial Management Society.
“I think in the next few years the financial managers are going to be a lot more responsible for the future than they are today.”
Stirling said it is time to start investing more in the sector.
“The amount of money that is going to come in is not going to last long, because we’re not going into this as a country and investing in a sector as big as financial services, we’re going to end up losing that,” he said.
The Society has launched the annual Financial Management Council, which is an effort to raise awareness of the need for financial managers to invest in the industry.
Stirling hopes the council will encourage the public to pay more attention to the sector and invest more in it.
“If we can bring more attention in to the financial management sector and the financial services sector, the result is we’re all going to get better at it, and we’ll get better value for money,” he told CBC News.
“I think we’re really lucky to be in this position.”
Stending to growThe NZ Financial Management society is one of several organizations in the country that is raising awareness of financial management.
The society’s executive director, Paul Smith, is the first financial manager to be named to the Financial Management Association’s top 20 list.
Smith, who is a former CEO of the Auckland-based FMC Group, says financial management has changed significantly since he left.
“We’ve had the opportunity to change the way we do things, we’ve been given a whole new set of skills and capabilities,” he says.
“It’s changed how we think about our company and how we operate it.”
He said while he’s happy to see more people getting involved, he still has a lot to learn.
“There’s still so much to learn about how we manage a business and manage people, and I think the way you do that is you need to know how to ask the right questions, and you need that experience, so I think that’s one of our biggest challenges is the lack of that.”
Sticking to a strict financial management curriculumHe says it’s a key element to having a successful business, and one that can make a big difference.
“You can’t just say, ‘Well, I’ve got this plan and I’m going to do it,’ because it doesn’t work,” Smith said.
“So you have to think about what’s important to the business and what’s not important to you, and then how you are going through the day to make the best decision for the business, whether that’s getting the money in, or getting the staff out.”
And if you’re doing that and then you make the right decisions, the money will come in.
“For Smith, a business is just one piece of the business equation, and that can change.
He’s still working out how to be more flexible in his business life, and what he needs to do to stay productive and happy.”
One of the things I would love to be able to do is work out what my goals are for the company, so that’s the sort of thing that I’ve learnt a lot about the last 10 or 12 years,” he admitted.”
What I would like to do now is start working on some really big things, so it can really be a team sport, but it’s not about me.
“My focus is just to keep doing my job, keep doing what I do best.”
For those who want to work in the financial sector, Smith recommends getting a certificate in financial management as a way to prove you are good at it.
He also recommends starting to read financial information from the industry’s biggest publications like the Financial Times.
“That’s something that I really like, because it shows you that there are people who know what they’re talking about, and they have the ability to make informed decisions, but they are doing it from a place of respect and humility,” he added.
“They know that their job is not to make money, it’s to do the best job they can for the people who care about them.”
For some, that is not enough.
“Financial management is not just about the money, but what it means to you personally,” says Stirling.
“So it’s about being able to look after yourself, and it’s also about how you’re going and being able do that, and how you deal with the stress of trying to make decisions