Huljich not the only one in the gun
Sunday, November 21st 2010, 11:42AM
by Philip Macalister
I thought it was worth having a go at trying to defend Peter Huljich. As readers will know the Securities Commission laid criminal charges against Peter Huljich
and Huljich Wealth Management (HWM) for allegedly misrepresenting its KiwiSaver funds to the public.
Since this story broke there has been plenty about it including a comprehensive statement
from Huljich about what happened. This is detailed elsewhere on Good Returns.
As part of the background Huljich has acknowledged there was a mistake, stepped aside from his role and offered make ups to its KiwiSaver members.
Now the Securities Commission lays criminal charges against him which, if proven, could result in time behind bars.
The so-called victims of this alleged crime haven’t lost money and have been told that if they are unhappy about HWM they can switch to another of the many KiwiSaver providers in the market place – for free.
Here’s the bit I don’t understand – why is the Securities Commission taking this action when there are plenty of other potential cases where investors were deliberately misled; are real victims as they lost money and are now suffering. Secondly, did Huljich really top up the funds without anyone else associated with the business knowing?
I don’t know if Huljich set out to deliberately mislead investors, and unless there is some smoking gun then it would be hard to secure a conviction.
Likewise it is incredibly difficult to believe the Huljich took the actions he did and no one else knew anything about it or raised any objections.
The directors who signed off the accounts should be included in any criminal proceedings the Securities Commission pursues.
So too should Trustees Executors which is both the trustee for the fund, and the fund administrator.
With this latter role the company must have known what happened and approved it. If it had doubts it should have walked across the room and raised it with trustee.
Looking at the 3rd
Annual ASSET Magazine KiwiSaver survey it is clear that HWM has done well signing up members.
Indeed our analysis of data shows that HWM was one of the most successful managers in the year to March 31 at signing up new members and had the highest growth in FUM at a whopping 625%.
Yes, justice has to be seen to be done, but again why this case when there are plenty of others where there are actual victims? Is the commission just after a high profile scalp to look good?
You can see why I didn’t follow my father, grandfather and uncle into the legal profession!
You can read Philip's blog here: http://www.goodreturns.co.nz/blog/
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