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Role for Guardian Trust's AFAs: Barnes

There will be no change to Guardian Trust’s obligation to prudently manage money on behalf of clients now it has merged with Perpetual Trust to become Complectus, its managing director says.

Friday, May 16th 2014, 6:00AM 1 Comment

by Susan Edmunds

Guardian and Perpetual joined forces last month after Perpetual sold its interests in New Zealand Guardian Trust to Complectus Ltd.

Complectus Limited is a newly incorporated company co-owned by the Milford Active Growth Wholesale Fund and Bath Street Capital Limited, the private investment company owned by Andrew Barnes. Bath Street Capital also owns 100% of Perpetual Trust New Zealand.

According to the Financial Markets Authority’s register of authorised financial advisers, Guardian Trust had 57 before the merger.

Perpetual Trust had just two, which raised questions about the Guardian AFAs’ future.

But Barnes, now Complectus’ managing director, said many of them were the firm’s trust consultants. “Unlike Perpetual, Guardian Trust got a lot of its trust staff qualified as AFAs.”

He said whether they should have been AFAs or should have operated under a QFE structure was a moot point. “That’s the way they went.”

He said it was not critical to the core business whether they were AFAs or not but trust consultants would still be needed. “There’s no change in our obligations. We have an obligation to prudently manage money on behalf of clients, whether that’s in a trust or an estate.”

A number of senior staff have already departed. A prospectus issued at the end of April had a line drawn through the names of the entire Guardian Trust senior management team.

Guardian’s general manager of personal client services, Phil Morgan Rees, and former Guardian executive general manager Ian Burns have gone.

Barnes said there had been duplication in roles, which was inevitable in such a merger. Some of those struck off the prospectus were going through a process of reapplying for their jobs.

Barnes bought Perpetual from PGC for $12.3 million. The deal was finalised in January.

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Comments from our readers

On 17 May 2014 at 11:40 am Ivan said:
Prudently manage money, let's wait and see about that. There's a few court cases coming soon that will decide if they've been doing that. Lets not forget about the finance companies that this lot were involved with. Thousands of investors have not forgotten.

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