25 Mar 2010

KiwiSaver managers put on notice

5:55 am on 25 March 2010

The Securities Comission has put KiwiSaver fund managers and company directors on notice, saying they must adhere to the rules or face tougher measures, or even legislation.

The Commission has issued guidance to all KiwiSaver providers clarifying several aspects of the rules regarding how they promote their products, and disclose information about the performance of their funds.

This follows concerns about one fund manager in particular, Hujlich Wealth Management, which failed to tell investors that one of the directors had personally topped up poor performing funds.

Philip Macalister, publisher of the financial magazine Good Returns, says the guidance is a kneejerk reaction to the problems revealed at Hujlich but may help to shore up public confidence in KiwiSaver.

The Investment Savings and Insurance Association, which represents fund managers, says the group is working towards developing industry standards on investment disclosure and practive.

Chief executive Vance Arkinstall says the vast majority of KiwiSaver providers understand and follow the rules, but the guidance will clarify any differences in interpretation.

Mr Macalister says only half of all KiwiSaver providers are members of the association, so it may need to enforced by the Securities Commission or through legislation.

The Securities Commission says it will issue similar guidance to the public, to make them aware of all the issues they need to be aware of before joining KiwiSaver.