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MMC new CEO appointment

The fast-growing Auckland fund administration business, MMC, has hired a new chief executive officer amid a senior level restructure that will see a co-founder step down from day-to-day duties.

Under the staff changes revealed to clients last week, Vedran Babic, currently Fisher Funds chief operating officer, will assume the role from incumbent, Tom Reiher, next February.

Reiher, meanwhile, steps into the managing director job left vacant by Robert Moss, who ends 15 years of daily duties with the firm he co-founded in 2004.

Moss, in turn, will move to a governance role as executive chair of the MMC board to replace James Ogden. Ogden was appointed as non-executive independent chair of MMC more than two years ago.

In a note to clients, Reiher says, Ogden “provided invaluable insights into corporate governance during a period of sustained growth at MMC”.

“He has been responsible for guiding the board meetings to ensure that there are clear outcomes for management to implement, strengthening our existing governance culture.”

Ogden was appointed chair soon after local private equity firm, Pencarrow, took a 50 per cent stake in MMC. Pencarrow executives, Nigel Bingham and Philippa Weston, continue as MMC board members along with Reiher and Moss.

The last three years have seen significant growth for MMC, which has expanded into KiwiSaver registry, custody and, most recently, the investment platform business with its purchase of Aegis from ASB in October.

Once the Aegis deal finalises in December, MMC will have more than $75 billion in funds under administration.

“In addition to supporting Vedran as he settles into his new role as Chief Executive Officer, I will be working closely with Lianne Murphy, General Manager of Aegis, leading the transition to ensure a smooth integration of the MMC and Aegis businesses,” Reiher says.

Babic was named Fisher chief operating officer in April 2017 after serving in senior distribution and operational roles with the Auckland funds management firm since 2011. Previously, he was head of distribution for Huljich Wealth Management, which Fisher purchased in 2011.

MMC also plans to hire a chief financial officer early next year to join an executive suite that includes: Chris Watson, chief operating officer; Craig Richardson, chief information officer; Leigh Ryland, chief risk officer; and, Nicola Tait, chief relationship officer.

Fisher is well into the recruitment process to replace Babic.