SHARE by name and share by nature, there’s a thriving co-operative unique in the New Zealand financial services sector.
SHARE is a nationwide network of financial advisers who share a common brand, systems and processes, and market a range of insurance, investments and mortgages to individuals and businesses.
Those same advisors also share ownership of the co-operative, explains CEO Scott Black, left.
“Ours is a most equitable business model with every one of our 45 advisor members owning one share each, the value of which has been increasing upwards of 25% every year.
“Our ‘worker co-operative’ structure – and equity ownership – are among SHARE’s important points of difference and has served our members and clients well,” he says.
“SHARE was established in 2008 by a group of like-minded professionals, most of whom provide advice across several financial services with others choosing to specialise in a particular field.
“We choose to work together under an equitable fee-based structure, sharing not only our extensive experience but a sustained commitment to succession planning and consistent, compliant client servicing.
“It’s a lean team in head office with just the six of us – two of whom are part-time – to serve all our shareholder members from Whangarei to Invercargill. It makes for a busy and exciting environment, but at the same time keeps the costs and member fees as low as possible.
“On the governance side, our members have chosen six of their own to serve as SHARE directors, with two standing for re-election or stepping down from the board every year. Currently we have no independent directors, but that is certainly something we are considering for the future.”
Scott says it was easy to say yes when Co-operative Business NZ’s Ian Macintosh approached him last year to invite SHARE to become a member.
“I had never considered us as a co-operative structure, but when Ian suggested it, it was obvious that was what we were.
“The first event I attended was last August’s (CBNZ) AGM and it was great to be in a room surrounded by businesses with a similar philosophy of a shared ownership model. I believe that there is a lot we can learn from each other.”