Merry Christmas from Good Returns
Christmas is nearly here and the presents are about to be wrapped and put under the tree. Good Returns gives out its own presents - some are like the meaningful present from your partner, others are like the gifts from your mother in law - the sort you don't really need!
Friday, December 21st 2001, 12:29AM
George Kerr and Craig Dawson
Two guys who have come from nowhere and 'done good' are former Spicers executives Craig Dawson and George Kerr. These two guys, along with some other Spicers people, engineered a management buyout in the mid-1990s and have since built up hugely successful business and sold it for a handsome price to AXA.
Dawson is understood to now be growing olives up north, while Kerr has joined the rich and famous in Queenstown. Well done guys.
Roger Moses and Gary Stevens. Two of the grandfathers of the financial planning industry who found themselves in front of the District Court on charges relating to the contributory mortgage business they used to run. The two men have been cleared of all the charges, however the Crown is appealing that decision.
Bruce Abraham: A man who had a vision for what a funds management business should look like got the boot when Sovereign essentially took over Colonial. Abraham gets credit for promoting "truly active" investment management, his embrace of Australia as part of the local share market, and his courage in winding up former Prudential unit trusts.
Two people who can't be let go without a goodbye are Ian Hendry from Sovereign and Mark Pickering.
Mark who you may say? Mark Pickering has been one of those people who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for many years shaping the industry. The former Post Office worker has had senior positions within Westpac Financial Services, Bank of New Zealand and more lately AXA.
Some of Pickering's achievements include the creation of the Investment Funds Association, (essentially a merger of the Life Office Association and the Unit Trust Association). The IFA is now called ISI and is headed by Vance Arkinstall.
Pickering, many years ago when he worked for Westpac, was also responsible for commissioning one of the most significant pieces of research done in New Zealand on people's attitudes to financial planning.
Ian Hendry's legacy is Sovereign - a company which in just over 10 years ago has gone from nothing to the biggest life company in the country. Hendry co-founded Sovereign with actuary Chris Coon. While neither have had a high media profile they have both been instrumental in establishing and building a business which has had a major impact on the state of the insurance industry in New Zealand.
As a mark of their success a book called Reality is Crazy has been written, with their full co-opeartion, which essentially records their legacy. (You can buy Reality is Crazy safely online through thebookstore or by calling 0800-345675).
Faux pas of the year: Tower. It put out it annual report with the lighthouse logo and the tagline "The Light Is Always On" just at the time New Zealand entered a power crisis and the minister of energy was urging everyone to save electricity.
Most sensitive ad: AXA ran a series of tv commercials in Australia and New Zealand promoting financial planning and its funds management business. These ads, presented by Personal Finance editor Ross Greenwood. In Australian Greenwood was allowed to use words like "bloody" however the AXA execs in New Zealand reckoned Kiwis shouldn't hear such expletives - haven't they seen the Toyota ads?
We might have lost the rugby award: The Aussies might have thrashed us in the sporting arena, but thankfully we have BT Funds Management in NZ to put one over the Aussies.
BT Australia has taken a hammering on all fronts during the year - star rating downgrades, bad press, major staff turnovers and poor performance. However, their mates in Auckland have kept putting runs on the board (good NZ share fund performance, stable staff etc etc) and have had a successful year.
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