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Securities Commission takes a swipe at Huljich in KiwiSaver guidelines

The Securities Commission has taken a veiled swipe at Huljich Wealth Management in its guidelines for distribution and disclosure released yesterday.

Wednesday, March 24th 2010, 9:00PM

by Paul McBeth

The market regulator wagged its finger over the signing up of KiwiSaver members through door-to-door sales, something that got Huljich in trouble last year, and also stressed the need for disclosure statements to indicate the actual performance of the fund, saying it "regards transactions with related parties on other than arms length terms as questionable behaviour."

Peter Huljich was forced to step down as managing director and chief investment officer of Huljich Wealth Management after topping up the performance of his funds, which prompted an investigation by the Securities Commission.

The commission's guidelines also noted company directors "bear the ultimate responsibility for the documents they sign or approve and must ensure that any reliance on third parties is reasonable and justifiable." Huljich directors Don Brash, who took over as managing director after Peter Huljich stood aside, and John Banks were criticised for failing to question the top-ups to the KiwiSaver funds.

"The commission has become aware of a number of circumstances where KiwiSaver membership has been solicited in an unusual or confusing manger," chairman Jane Diplock said in a statement. "This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and damaging to investor confidence."

The guidelines also called for industry to set a standard to measure investment performance, and will recommend legislation if this is not achieved.

The Investment Savings and Insurance Association supports the guidelines, with chief executive Vance Arkinstall saying the ISI is already working on setting a standard for measurement and disclosure of funds' performance, and will discuss the outcome with the regulator.

Arkinstall reinforced the commission's criticism of funds trying to hold on to members looking to swap providers, saying "such action is creating delays which are contrary to the intention, flexibility and choice provided by the KiwiSaver Act."

 

Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

« KiwiSaver provider wants better disclosureMilford to launch own KiwiSaver fund »

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