Don Brash to take over as MD at Huljich Wealth Management and leave ANZ National board (Update 1)

Don Brash to take over as MD at Huljich Wealth Management and leave ANZ National board (Update 1)

Huljich Wealth Management has announced that former Reserve Bank Governor and National Party leader Don Brash has taken over as Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at Huljich Wealth Management.

He is taking over from Peter Huljich, who has resigned after taking responsibility for "not living up to the highest standards of transparency."

(Update 1 includes Trustees Executors welcoming move).

Huljich has been mired in controversy in recent weeks over allegations it misrepresented the performance figures for its KiwiSaver funds.

"In recent days, there have been a number of allegations about the way Huljich KiwiSaver Funds have been managed," Brash said in a statement.

"Some of these allegations are unfair and some are untrue," he said. "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," Brash said.

"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," he said.

"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."

Chris Huljich will replace Peter Huljich 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," Brash said.

He added he had taken an indefinite leave of absence from the board of the ANZ National Bank. Meanwhile Trustees Executors, which acts as trustee for the funds, said it welcomed the moves.

"We believe these changes clear the way for a fresh approach," said Trustees Executors Northern Regional Manager Clynton Hardy.

"As Trustee, we have at various times over the past two years worked to resolve a number of issues that arose with the management of the Scheme," Hardy said.

"The Trustee has worked behind the scenes for the benefit of members to ensure that the terms of the offer are adhered to," he said.

"Having just had to issue a new prospectus to resolve the 2008 and 2009 instances of non-disclosure, we were satisfied that all outstanding issues of potential concern to members had been rectified and disclosed."

Hardy said that Trustees Executors would "actively engage with the new Board and management to ensure the interests of members remained paramount." Former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger is the Chairman of Trustees Executors.

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