From Francophile to Fintech

From Francophile to Fintech

Our newest Level One resident, Aaron Drew, has fond family memories of trips to the Devonport beaches when Lake Road was not quite so busy. We’re happy that he’s made the smart decision to cut the commute and make Level One his close-to-home work base.

Aaron, who is now running an investment governance training and a consulting business, started his financial career at the Reserve Bank in Wellington which is where he met his future wife, a Chilean. They travelled together and spent four years in Paris, where they both worked at the OECD in the economics division, discovering along the way that all clichés about Europeans from the TV show ‘Allo ‘allo were broadly accurate. 

A few years later, and by this time back in Auckland with family in tow, Aaron was working at NZ Superfund as an investment strategist, when the GFC struck. He describes it as a surreal time with the ‘normal’ rules of markets and economics being upended, and experiencing a phase shift compared to the general public.  

After six years at the Superfund Aaron ways he was ready for a new challenge and joined fi360 Pacific, a fiduciary consultancy that is linked to fi360 in the United States.

He says it’s been a steep learning curve from a corporate environment but he really enjoys the flexibility and variety of work and clients.

In his training and advisory businesses, Aaron works across NZ, Australia and the Pacific so for him, it’s vital that he can work remotely.  

It also gives him the opportunity to bring to this part of the world some of the “fintech” tools his US partner has developed for advisory businesses and investment organisations.  

Aaron says, “In general, I think fintech is great for investors as it’s driving down costs and increasing the variety of investment options.  It’s also a great opportunity for advisors to improve their service offering and the economics of managing wealth for clients with lower balances. For example, we are seeing in the US that the most successful practices are bringing into their businesses robo solutions and that’s just starting to occur here too.  

“It’s probably much more of a challenge for the funds management industry as it has sped up the commoditisation of research and value-adding investment strategies.”