Specialising in investment, funds and savings products, Mike has a specific emphasis on workplace savings, KiwiSaver and superannuation and related financial services regulation.
He acts for the trustees, managers and sponsors of major workplace savings and KiwiSaver schemes throughout New Zealand.
His retail scheme clients include Smartshares and Westpac. He also acts for the trustees and/or employer sponsors of over 25 restricted workplace savings or KiwiSaver schemes including those sponsored by AMP, Anglican Financial Care, ANZ, Beca and NZAS.
Mike has a strong interest in law reform and policy issues and in recent years he has been instrumental in a number of workplace savings and KiwiSaver legislative reforms, industry exemptions and compliance cost savings initiatives. He was a member of the Government-appointed Savings Product Working Group whose recommendations led to the KiwiSaver legislation. He regularly presents at industry conferences and workshops.
He is recognised as a Band 1 lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific 2023 and as a leading individual by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023.
- Advising leading workplace savings schemes, including those of AA, AMP, Anglican Financial Care, ANZ, Beca, BOC, Heinz, NZAS, PGG Wrightson, Ports, Refining NZ and WPS Downer; on their transitions into and ongoing compliance with the Financial Markets Conduct legislation.
- Advising on major scheme restructuring exercises for Airways Corporation, ANZ, BNZ, PGG Wrightson and Shell and assisting other scheme sponsors with strategic reviews.
- Assisting with the establishment and ongoing development of numerous major KiwiSaver schemes, including those managed by several Government-appointed default providers, and large-scale complying superannuation fund structures. Mike and his team have assisted with establishing eight KiwiSaver schemes and another eight complying superannuation fund structures.
- Advising supervisors and managers on technical, policy and other aspects of the KiwiSaver legislation – and on related issues such as processing hardship, first home purchase, serious illness and other early withdrawals and addressing evolving disclosure and member reporting obligations.
- Assisting with numerous large-scale FMA-approved or consents-based bulk transfers between retirement schemes (including KiwiSaver schemes), with the ongoing transitions of a range of stand-alone schemes into master trust platforms and on master trust solutions for small-scale pensions-based and other defined benefit schemes.
- Advising on the procedural and documentary requirements for winding up retirement schemes and assisting end-to-end on scheme terminations.
- Member of Financial Services Council Workplace Savings and Investment and KiwiSaver Committees.