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NZ: How to tackle an Evolving Regulatory Environment

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Last week, GRC Professional caught up with Sue Brown, Director of
Sue Brown Solutions, who will giving a presentation at the New Zealand Summit being held on 23 June.

Brown’s focus at the summit will be on Regulatory Change Overload: Making sure you have it all covered, prioritised and read for the next wave.

Why did you choose this topic?
“I keep a folder where I put information received from the regulators that I think compliance and risk professionals need to know about, so I can make sure my clients stay on top of the rapidly changing environment.  This year, it was already bulging by the end of February.  By June, it’s  overflowing!,” Brown told GRC Professional.

According to Brown, the volume of announcements coming from New Zealand’s regulators is unprecedented. With licensing of the sector completed last year, there is understanding of the hard and fast rules , but there are gaps.

“There are two things we don’t know. First is what, in practice, will be the regulators’ expectations about operating in the new regulated licencing environment. Second, what’s coming next,” Brown explained.

It is a real challenge, particularly for small teams who are running fast to stay abreast of current obligations,  while keeping up with obligations and updates coming from regulators and keeping an eye on the future too.

  • Are they going to miss something that applies today?
  • How are they going to keep track of the rapidly-changing environment?
The cost of missing opportunities
“Obviously, there is a budget aspect to this—where do you put your compliance dollar? There is also the risk of missing opportunities, which is a bigger cost in the long run,” Brown said.

She explained that when it comes to ranking and managing regulation, it’s important to looks beyond being ‘compliant’; organisations also need a clear view of the future.

“There is a lot talk about robo-advice at the moment,” Brown explained. “The FMA have just indicated they are going to be issuing a consultation paper around an exemption in the short term for financial advisers.” Robo-advice is an example of a real opportunity, but leveraging that opportunity calls for an agile and rightsized approach to the future.

She added there is not quite as much happening on the NZ RegTech front as there is in Australia - yet.

“The thing that concerns me is that there is still a lot of ‘ticking boxes’ being done in organisations. But the ability to read the tea leaves from a human and an organisational point-of-view is more important than simply ticking all the boxes.”

What is the one takeaway you would like people to understand?
“It think it’s the assurance and the confidence to see what’s happening in the sector, and to know where to go to keep an eye on future opportunities.”


 Sue Brown is Director of Sue Brown Solutions

She has more than 25 years’ experience as both a legal practitioner and a senior leader in the regulatory sector, and has a strong reputation for delivering pragmatic and commercial solutions to complex and challenging issues in the regulatory, government and corporate arena. She has practised law as a partner in major law firms in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, held senior leadership positions in government agencies and financial market participants, and played a lead role in shaping and delivering FMA's regulatory approach to the Financial Markets Conduct Act. In 2016, Sue established Sue Brown Solutions to meet clients’ changing needs for regulatory, legal and governance services—when, where and how they need them—in a rapidly-changing environment.

Peter Kenny

Wednesday 7 June 2017
Couldn't agree more Sue - the regulators' information is flowing like a river! Looking forward to your presentation.