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OBITUARY: Controversial adviser dies at 80

A man who went from pioneering financial planner to jailed former company director has died in Auckland.

Monday, June 27th 2022, 9:45PM 5 Comments

by Eric Frykberg

Roger Moses was 80 years old.

He is best remembered for a two-year-two-month jail term imposed during the Global Financial Crisis.

But earlier, he worked tirelessly to develop professional standards for the financial advice industry, and the brokers' lobby group, Financial Advice New Zealand, is a modern incarnation of a group he helped set up.

Moses became a household name when he was taken to court in 2011 after the company he was a director of, Nathans Finance, collapsed.

The company owed 7,082 small investors about $174 million. They were repaid 3.7 cents in the dollar.

Moses was jailed along with a fellow director while a third received a lesser sentence. Moses, who had been Nathan's chairman, was also ordered to pay $425,000 in reparation.

In sentencing, Justice Heath said Moses and the other defendants were guilty of distributing untrue statements in prospectuses and advertisements.

A court report from the New Zealand Herald said the judge did not find “any element of dishonesty, rather the performance of directors was inept. It was far below the standard any investor would expect.”

The verdict was welcomed by the Financial Markets Authority. After Moses served his time, some investors complained about a lavish party to celebrate his 70th birthday.

His wife defended him, saying her husband had suffered enough.

“Do you not think that a man who had an impeccable record, that going to jail was not a punishment?” she told the Herald.

“Roger paid nearly half a million dollars in reparation..,.we've said all along that we are heartbroken (for the investors).”

The Nathans case was not the first time Moses had faced court charges.

Ten years earlier, he and a fellow director were accused of more than 30 charges under the Securities Act and the contributory mortgage regulations.

They related to development loans on four projects and concerned alleged misleading or incorrect documents from their companies, Reeves Moses Hudig Mortgage Brokers Ltd and Reeves Moses Hudig Nominee Co Ltd.

The judge threw out the case, but despite the directors' acquittal, an employee was later convicted and fined.

The Moses Reeves company had earlier experienced strong growth and complex corporate manoeuvring.

It was sold to Sovereign Assurance, which was itself a subsidiary of ASB Bank, and then resold to Australian investors for $6.5 million.

But some of the regional franchises were hived off and were steadily expanded.

Moses had a career which was well established before this. Graham Rich is a financial services stalwart who remembers Roger from the 1980s in Auckland.

“Roger was one of the founding members of what was called the International Association of Financial Planning, the IAFP,” Rich said.

“This was founded in 1987 and prior to that he was one of the members of the steering group which established this group.

“He spent hundreds, probably thousands of hours, pro bono, helping to establish the financial planning profession. ”

Moses also co-wrote a book on money and investment.

He was a prominent member of the Jewish community and his funeral will be held at the Beit Olam at Waikumete cemetery in Glen Eden.

Tags: Obituaries

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Comments from our readers

On 28 June 2022 at 4:17 pm Pragmatic said:
I knew Roger from the mid 1980s, and agree with Graham's recollection that he contributed thousands of hours in shaping the financial services industry via the IAFP.

Coincidentally I bumped into Roger recently, and we reminisced around the way the industry was, is, and will be.

Sincere condolences to family & friends.
On 28 June 2022 at 7:32 pm LNF said:
All the while over at Lombard we had a National and Labour Ministers left free
On 29 June 2022 at 7:42 pm Managing Partner & Dean said:
Roger Moses was a true pioneer in the financial planning world. As the say, you can easily spot your pioneers… they have arrows in their backs!

The courts deal with the faults and the flaws – and Roger took the medicine that he was given. Layered on either side of the profile that is outlined here was a bloke who was incredibly generous of spirit, time and money. It’s a true pity that more of this obituary wasn’t devoted to those aspects of his life…

Suffice it to say that without Roger Moses and others, quality investment advice and financial planning would not have become established and recognised in anything like the way that it did in the early 1980’s.

Roger Moses convinced the then Securities Committee Head (pre-FMA) to open the first conference for financial planners. He chaired the International Association for Financial Planning (pre-FANZ) for a term. He convinced a retired Judge to chair the Financial Adviser Disciplinary Committee, which he had helped establish. Then, in his later years, he gave back by mentoring and coaching those who are less fortunate...and all with a sense of humour that was renowned.

I am incredibly proud to have been able to count Roger Moses as a friend…a friend who made mistakes, as we all do. I’m reminded of this when I look in the mirror myself.

It would be a pity to leave the story and contribution of Roger Moses in the form that has been presented here. His life and contribution to the financial advice and wealth management community was immensely more vast than what is shown here…and we continue to reap the unrecognised benefits every day.
On 30 June 2022 at 8:47 am jeff m said:
Condolences to family and friends.

Good that a lot of the very positive work Roger undertook has been called out.
On 2 July 2022 at 12:27 pm Winka said:
I knew Roger from back in our IAFP days, Roger as head of his company (a competitor to my own) and as a friend.

Even after my exit from the profession way back in 2001, I made sure I caught up with Roger for a 'cuppa-chat' on my numerous trips to the big smoke from home Tauranga.

We spoke of a variety of topics, not all linked directly to investment planning, and I discovered a rather diverse range of knowledge that we were able to share.

I do agree with comments that the form that is presented in this obituary is something that should now be extended to include more positive stuff about Roger's input into life when on this planet, rather than dig up a small moment in time where maybe something would have been done differently with the benefit of hindsight, realising during one of our cuppa-chat topics, being that there is no man so big that does not realise that one who has achieved lots has never ever made a mistake or two.
"Those who claim to have never made a mistake, never made anything of consequence", someone once said.

Personally, even though, as I alluded to at the beginning of this wee note, he was a professional competitor, I shall remain firmly understanding of the fact that Roger remains an ultimate HIT man.


And having spoken to many who understood Roger, and took the time to get to know him better, rather than via some legal or other prose, I have not met anyone who believes otherwise.

That, to me, is a very desirable Legacy to leave after your very final day on earth.

And it has appeared over the years that many people in certain professions, (and the Investment Planning profession is a classic example) who have not experienced any 'flak,' either to their face, or, mostly behind their back, then they have been wandering around 'blissfully ignorant' to the point.

I certainly remain open to a 'cuppa' with any of my old colleagues virtually anytime it works, your town or mine, and the clock doesn't cease ticking, so standing by?

Plus I look forward to reading other like-minded & appropriate Eulogies to a dear friend and business colleague.

My sincere condolences to Roger's family as they work through their grief at this special time.
Michael Donovan

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