Meet our Research team

Our team provides expert commentary on economics, foreign exchange, fixed interest and credit, to help inform your organisation’s risk analysis and decision making. 

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. 

Craig Ebert

Senior Economist

Craig works as a Senior Economist in BNZ’s Wellington dealing room. He provides analysis and views on domestic and international trends important for financial markets, businesses and the wider public.

Craig joined BNZ in 2000 having worked from 1996-2000 at the NZ Treasury’s Macroeconomic Forecasting Section and, prior to that, at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Monetary Policy Department.

Craig has post-graduate qualifications in Economics.

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 from Westpac.

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.

Nick Smyth

Interest Rate Strategist

Nick was appointed as Interest Rate Strategist in November 2017. He specialises in producing analysis that informs views on domestic interest rate markets, spanning government bonds, corporate bonds, supra-national bonds and derivatives. Nick is also part of NAB (National Australia Bank) Group’s Global Strategy team, which covers interest rates markets more broadly, with a particular focus on US, European and Australian rates markets.

His most recent role at UBS Asset Management in London saw him working as a Portfolio Manager for the Global Sovereign and Currency team. He has also worked at the Bank of England as a Manager in the Reserves Management team and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand where he was a Portfolio Manager within the Foreign Reserves Management team.

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