Breaking: Don Brash Takes Over As MD at Huljich Wealth; Allegations of Misrepresentation Levelled at HW’s KiwiSaver Funds

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Huljich is New Zealand’s largest KiwiSaver fund. Let’s hope nothing’s happened to those funds, in light of the allegations and this recent and sudden change at the top.

pacificEyeWitness.org was first alerted to these allegations in media releases issued by Auckland City Councillors under the City Vision ticket. They pointed out that Auckland’s Mayor John Banks was involved with Huljich Wealth and highlighted the discrepancy between millionaire Banks’ public stance on transparency, and his business involvement, namely with Huljich Wealth Management. To read those releases, go to the search tab on this site.

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Huljich statement to stakeholders 04.03.10

BRASH TAKES THE HELM AT HULJICH WEALTH MANAGEMENT

04.03.10

Dr Don Brash, chairman of Huljich Wealth Management, has taken over as managing director and chief investment officer of the company.

“In recent days, there have been a number of allegations about the way Huljich KiwiSaver Funds have been managed,” Dr Brash said. “Some of these allegations are unfair and some are untrue.

“But since I returned from overseas last week, the board has conducted a full review of our operations. It has become clear that the board has not been kept fully informed in a timely manner about certain transactions, and as a consequence Huljich Wealth Management has not lived up to the highest standards of transparency.

“Peter Huljich has accepted responsibility for these lapses and has tendered his resignation as managing director and chief investment officer. The independent directors are committed to following best business practice and accordingly have accepted that resignation.

“I have agreed to become the managing director and chief investment officer with immediate effect, and we will actively seek an experienced director to take my position as chairman.

“Mr Huljich will no longer be a member of the investment committee, but will continue to assist the company by taking responsibility for some areas of operational management in order to provide the necessary continuity.

“Mr Chris Huljich will replace him on the board.

“I can assure all those who have invested in our KiwiSaver funds – more than 70,000 New Zealanders – that we continue to be absolutely committed to protecting their savings, and growing them in a careful and responsible way.”*

Dr Brash has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the board of the ANZ National Bank.

ENDS|

An Independent View of Huljich’s Wealth Management Inclu. KiwiSaver Fund

Martin Hawes, a well-known financial adviser in New Zealand, wrote on the 28th February in the NZHerald.

Huljich board members (Peter Huljich, Don Brash and John Banks) are all successful. However, as far as I know, none has a background in fund management or investment expertise.

I wonder what their governance and investment processes are like – are they using best practice in looking after other people’s money?

Two things are disquieting: First, Huljich sold privately owned assets into the fund cheaply to try to make up for the losses that the funds had taken.

Huljich claims this transfer was made with all the right intentions but the effect made the returns on the fund look better than they actually were – encouragement for people considering which scheme to join.

Who Runs Huljich Wealth Management?

Source: Huljich Company website

Don Brash (MA, PhD)
Executive Chairman / Chief Investment Officer ( now taking over from Peter Huljich)
Don is a former Governor of the Reserve Bank, a position he held for over 14 years. Currently, Don is a director of ANZ National Bank and Transpower New Zealand Limited. He is also Chairman of the government advisory 2025 Taskforce. During his career he has been a director of several companies, listed and unlisted. In the 1980’s, he led the New Zealand Kiwifruit Authority and Trust Bank Group and was the Chief Executive of Broadbank, a merchant bank, in 1971. He served as an economist for the World Bank in Washington and was the Parliamentary leader of the National Party from October 2003 to November 2006. As well as his financial and economic wisdom, Don brings a reputation for financial probity, prudence and commitment to Huljich Wealth Management.
Peter Huljich (BCom, DipNZX, SA Fin)
Head of Operations (he has resigned after a review, pushed in part we suspect by these allegations being made public. Despite HWM questioning the veracity of those allegations, they’re still replacing Peter Huljich as MD. We note, however, he has not been removed from the operational running of the company. He will still be involved for “continuity”.)
Peter Huljich is currently a director of a number of Australasian companies, including New Zealand Stock Exchange listed NZF Group and Diligent Board Member Services. Peter brings extensive investment knowledge and experience to Huljich Wealth Management.
John Banks (QSO) (currently Auckland City Mayor,  Auckland SuperCity Mayoral Candidate, widely tipped as the frontrunner at this leg of the race, solid business acumen)
Director
John has been a Member of Parliament for 18 years, a Minister of the Crown for two terms and is currently the Mayor of Auckland (his second term). His business career spans over 40 years and includes successful ventures in commercial and residential property development, the education industry and the hospitality industry. He is currently a chairman of a number of Australasian companies. In 1999, John was appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for Public Services. John brings invaluable public and private sector experience, and sound business judgment to Huljich Wealth Management.
Henry Tongue (BCom, PGDipCom)
Senior Portfolio Manager
Henry has over ten years experience in the capital markets, beginning as an equity analyst for a leading New Zealand stock broking firm before moving to London in 1999. In London he worked as an analyst for global investment bank Credit Suisse before joining the funds management team of Abbey National’s industry-leading Asset Backed Securities programmes, managing more than US$10 billion. Since returning to New Zealand in 2003, Henry has been working with Peter Huljich to develop the Huljich Group investment portfolio in the Australasian equity markets. Henry brings extensive knowledge of the UK and Australasian capital markets and possesses excellent technical knowledge in portfolio construction and risk management.
Vedran Babich (BCom (Hons))
Senior Relationship Manager
Vedran is the Senior Relationship Manager at Huljich Wealth Management, overseeing all client procedures and managing the internal accredited distributor networks within Huljich. He has experience in Corporate Management with the Intercontinental Hotels Group and Business Development and Growth with Vodafone, where Vedran developed the training programme and trained and managed all of Vodafone’s internal business consultants. Prior to this Vedran was consistently one of Vodafone’s top performing sales representatives nationwide. With the Huljich KiwiSaver Scheme, Vedran manages client relations and procedures while coordinating Huljich staff and accredited distributors to ensure the highest level of service for our clients and their KiwiSaver needs.


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