NZ Funds

The challenge

Hunting for a cost-effective, reliable, and highly scalable tech partner

Privately owned wealth management firm NZ Funds was founded in 1988. Today, NZ Funds is one of the largest privately owned wealth management organisations in New Zealand, trusted by over 13,000 individuals, families, trusts, and charitable institutions in the country, and manages over $1 billion of New Zealanders’ savings.

As the company grew and matured, they wanted to invest in the technologies that would allow them to innovate and stay ahead of industry trends, and to assist their clients make smarter financial decisions. So in the early 2000s, they assembled their own IT department and started to enhance their services and become a leading innovator fintech in New Zealand.

In addition to its product offerings, which include superannuation (incl. UK Pension transfers), a KiwiSaver Scheme and its Managed Portfolio Service, NZ Funds provides wealth management tools to clients and advisers which include risk profiling, comprehensive financial planning, client wealth modelling, and client portal services.

A few years ago, however, their existing applications required an extensive rewrite, a technology upgrade, and a UI/UX redesign to make them more contemporary, responsive as well as available online and in multiple devices. On top of that, they also started to develop another brand new Fintech platform to satisfy emerging consumer needs. Despite having an in-house architect to design the project and the software's architecture though, they were racing against their timeline and so needed to cut time to market quickly. In short, they needed to scale their tech team fast.

Given the scope of their project and the level of trust required, NZ Funds was not looking for just any outsourcing provider but a reliable tech partner with a serious track record. They needed a cost-effective offshore tech partner that has not only the appropriate capabilities but also one with sufficient time overlap with their Auckland office. Moreover, they wanted a partner that is technology-focused, and with the right company culture, office environment, and work ethics.

Our approach

A tech-focused partner with a highly flexible approach

Serious about finding the right tech partner that could execute their vision, NZ Funds had to determine first which among the top IT outsourcing destinations would best serve their needs. And because of the significant time zone overlap with their Auckland headquarters and the high English-proficiency level, they quickly decided that the Philippines was their best bet.

After interviewing seven potential providers they selected online, NZ Funds eventually narrowed down their choices to three software development firms—one of which was Arcanys. And then to gather more in-depth information, they visited the three providers to see how each team operates, to better understand their culture, and to find out who the people behind these companies are. In the end, they picked Arcanys as their tech partner.

The collaboration started late 2017, when NZ Funds engages two full-time .NET developers, Hans and Donna, and a project coordinator, George, from Arcanys to augment their in-house tech team. A few months later, in June 2018, they added another engineer, Graham, to work in a separate project, an existing internal platform called Point.

Comfortable about Arcanys' ability to stay flexible, NZ Funds then seamlessly scaled their team down to two developers. And with a project coordinator still, they continue to expertly provide essential tech resources to their in-house team. They accomplish specific, well-defined tasks working with Microsoft Azure and utilising SQL servers within weekly or monthly sprints. Moreover, to further enhance their products, they recently included work on a geo-based cloud service for wealth planning and financial advising as well as some web-based applications using Javascript, C#, and Entity Framework.

“Arcanys enabled us to develop our software rapidly, and they back themselves up as a capable tech partner by offering a flexible approach to engagements.”

Damon Murfitt, Chief Technology Officer at NZ Funds
The solution

Fully prepared to lend a hand, the two Arcanys dedicated .NET developers effectively augment NZ Funds in-house team by working on two different (Investment and Wealth Planning) platforms that involve the following tasks:

  • New features development
  • System bug reports and fixes

Moreover, one of the developers specifically working in one of the platforms is using Microservices Architecture as a software development technique and utilising Microsoft Azure Service Fabric to build, deploy, and maintain scalable and reliable microservices.

In addition to that, the team also has support from an on-site project coordinator that oversees the work, talks with the project managers regarding concerns, resources, and evaluations, and generally, ensures smooth communication with the NZ Funds in-house team.

So far, Damon Murfitt, CTO at NZ Funds is happy with the collaboration, deeming it an ongoing successful engagement. He believes that a significant differentiator of Arcanys is that it is a software development company, not just a simple resource provider to international companies. He adds that Arcanys is highly flexible and adaptable when it comes to catering to a client's specific needs. Regarding the team, Damon declares they communicate well and comfortably convey their opinions with their counterparts during their daily stand-ups, and their quality of work, responsiveness to change, and adherence to timelines have all been very satisfactory.

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