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Brash replaces Huljich after KiwiSaver lapses

Brash replaces Huljich after KiwiSaver lapses

March 4 (BusinessWire) – Auckland society pages regular Peter Huljich has stepped down as managing director and chief investment officer of the wealth management firm that bears his name to be replaced by chairman and former Reserve Bank governor Don Brash.

Huljich had faced mounting criticism and demands for regulator action after he revealed he had made top-ups from personal resources to improve the apparent investment performance of Huljich KiwiSaver funds.

The Securities Commission is already investigating the issue, which has also caused embarrassment for ratings agencies that reported the Huljich funds' performance without scrutiny.

Brash, who will take up the reins effective immediately, said Huljich “accepted responsibility for these lapses and tendered his resignation.”

Huljich will continue to have some responsibility for operational matters.

“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,” Brash said in a statement.

“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.”

Last month, Huljich Wealth Management updated its prospectus after allegations it transferred assets into its KiwiSaver funds at prices below fair value, prompting a Securities Commission investigation into the matter.

Clynton Hardy, a spokesman for the firm’s trustee Trustee Executors, said it welcomed the change, and was satisfied “all outstanding issues of potential concern to members had been rectified and disclosed.”

Chris Huljich will replace Peter Huljich on the firm’s board.

Brash will take an indefinite leave of absence from the board of ANZ National Bank, though no appointment will be made during this period, the bank’s general counsel and company secretary Debra Blackett said in a statement.

The roles and reputations of both Brash and another Huljich director, the Auckland mayor, John Banks, had been increasingly brought into question as the issue dragged on.

(BusinessWire) 11:53:05

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