David Chaplin 's Opinion

A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

Inside Money: Kudos to Peter Huljich

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Peter Huljich
Peter Huljich

Forget about Gareth Morgan, for my money the person who has done the most to bring enlightenment to the KiwiSaver industry is Peter Huljich.

For, as you may remember, it was Huljich's little faux pas last year that set the ball rolling (or 'fast-tracked' it anyway) on KiwiSaver disclosure reforms.

As we speak, the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is probably printing out copies in triplicate of the various submissions received in response to its November discussion document 'Periodic reporting regulations for retail KiwiSaver schemes'.

The original MED paper is a little wordy so if you want to get the gist of it without the mental anguish try this simple version of events as told by law firm Chapman Tripp.

(Yes, that's correct, I said a lawyer simplified something.)

My previous blog last week included a link to the submission from research firm Morningstar on the proposed KiwiSaver disclosure regs - here it is again if you missed out last time, it gives a pretty good overview of the issues at stake.

Super fund and KiwiSaver industry body Working Savings NZ has also published its submission calling for a pragmatic approach from the MED bureaucrats.

That sentiment was echoed by a couple of the KiwiSaver providers I spoke to who said the MED proposals as they stand are not practical for most - however, they didn't dispute the need for a standardised approach and greater transparency for investors.

"The industry was probably head that way (towards better disclosure) anyway," one provider told me. "But regulation will standardise disclosure and speed up the process."

So kudos to Peter Huljich.

Incidentally, Huljich's own KiwiSaver scheme has been tipped as a possible takeover target with talks allegedly underway. That wouldn't necessarily be a surprise as the upcoming disclosure regs will force many providers to consider their futures - expect at least one KiwiSaver merger announcement shortly.

David Chaplin

A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

David is a freelance journalist who has covered the financial services business on both sides of the Tasman for over 15 years. David has edited magazines and websites for the financial advice, investment and superannuation industries. Today, he contributes to various publications in Australia as well as his bi-weekly blog for the NZ Herald under the 'Inside Money' banner.

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