Stephen Toplis

Head of Research, New Zealand

Stephen was appointed as BNZ’s Head of Market Economics in April 2001. He now carries the title of Head of Research. His previous employment included Chief Economist Deutsche Securities, Chief Economist BT Securities, Chief Economist Doyle Paterson Brown and Chief Economist Fay Richwhite.

He is located in BNZ’s Wellington Markets Division where he is charged with providing an economic and political overview for the Bank’s wholesale operation. The end focus of much of his work is the analysis of business risk for the BNZ’s corporate clients.

At university Stephen completed a BSocSci in Computer Science before moving on to do a Masters in Economics.

Stephen is also contracted to the Hugo Group, a consultancy, which provides economic and political advice to a small group of New Zealand Chief Executives. 

Doug Steel

Senior Economist

Doug has been analysing and assessing the NZ economy for more than two decades.

He joined the BNZ Research team in 2010 after spending five years at another major New Zealand bank.

Prior to banking, Doug managed the macroeconomic forecasting team at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research – producing a comprehensive set of economic forecasts and presenting these to members of the business community and media. Between 1999 and 2004, Doug represented the New Zealand Pacific Economic Cooperation Council on the Pacific Economic Outlook forecasters’ and structure specialists’ taskforces.

Doug has a focus on agriculture, which he thinks underpins much of New Zealand’s economic activity. He writes BNZ’s agriculture commentaries including the Rural Wrap.

Doug holds a BSc in Mathematics and a BCom (Hons, first class) degree in Economics, both from the University of Otago.

Jason Wong

Senior Markets Strategist

Jason is BNZ’s Senior Market Strategist, specialising in producing analysis that informs the NZD view. He is also a part of NAB (National Australia Bank) Group’s Global FX Strategy team, which covers currency markets more broadly, with a focus on the G10 currencies.

Jason joined BNZ in 2015. He previously headed the Financial Markets Research team at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which closely monitored international and domestic financial markets and provided analysis to the Monetary Policy Committee. Jason was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, which directly advised the Governor on setting the OCR, and communicating OCR decisions to the wider public. Jason has previously been the Chief Economist and Strategist at Credit Suisse First Boston (later renamed First NZ Capital after a management buyout) and has also spent time in the funds management industry, managing diversified funds at AMP Capital Investors and AXA Global Investors.

Jason holds a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Canterbury.

Stuart Ritson

Senior Interest Rate Strategist

Stuart is a strategist with a focus on cash and derivative interest rate markets.

He joined BNZ in 2023 from New Zealand Debt Management. His role as the Principal Strategist within the Funding Investment and Markets division involved developing and implementing the Crown’s debt funding strategy.

Before returning to New Zealand in 2021, Stuart was a Senior Fixed Income Portfolio Manager at Aviva Investors based in London and Singapore with a focus on global bonds, currencies, and quantitative investment strategies.

Stuart holds an MSc in International Securities, Investment, and Banking from the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading and a BCom in Economics and Finance from the University of Otago.

Mike Jones

Chief Economist

Mike returned to BNZ in November 2022, having previously worked in the BNZ Research team from 2009 to 2013. As Chief Economist, he provides economic commentary and insights mainly supporting BNZ’s retail and SME customers.

Prior to BNZ, Mike held roles in central banking at the Reserve Banks of both Australia and New Zealand, as well as in financial markets advisory, and as the GM of Treasury at Fonterra, where he was responsible for the co-operative’s foreign exchange and interest rate hedging programmes.

As well as travelling up and down the country chatting to BNZ’s clients, Mike puts out a regular newsletter, and is frequently quoted in the NZ media.