He's more likely to be seen in the social pages than scoping out an annual general meeting or results briefing but Peter Huljich has the business community divided over his acumen.

Huljich has been in the media spotlight over the last week after admitting he topped up three KiwiSaver funds run by his wealth management company to compensate investors for poor investment decisions.

The Securities Commission is investigating the unusual transactions and ratings agency Morningstar has slammed the moves.

Other fund managers say he has broken the "golden rules of investing" and want him removed as a KiwiSaver provider.

But friends and former business associates claim Huljich isn't trying to rip anyone off and just made the wrong call.

The 34-year-old Huljich is the son of businessman and rich-lister Chris Huljich who, with his brother Paul, made the family's fortune by setting up manufacturers Best Corporation and then selling it to Griffins.

The family is no stranger to entrepreneurship.

Peter Huljich's grandfather came to New Zealand from Dalmatia at the age of 11 and started a restaurant at the age of 19.

Chris and Paul set up the food business Top Hat Bacon which became part of the Best business while studying commerce at Auckland University.

Peter's sister Rachel Huljich, a former Miss New Zealand, set up childcare business Small World before selling it in 2006 and moving to Sydney.

Older brother Jason runs a financial services firm in Australia.

Last year the National Business Review valued the Huljich family at $125 million.

Fund managers say they have never seen Huljich or any of his staff at a listed company meeting or results briefing - a key time when investment managers get a chance to question management on the performance of a company and its future potential.

Before launching Huljich Wealth Management in 2007 Peter Huljich had never had a public track record for managing money.

The wealth management company was launched at swanky Freemans Bay restaurant Clooney, just as the global financial crisis was beginning to hit its peak.

At the time, Huljich chairman and former head of the National Party Don Brash acknowledged the difficult times but said it also presented opportunities.

Huljich's KiwiSaver funds have grown quickly and now has more than 70,000 people signed up with more than $117 million invested.

But the scheme also had the lowest average balance of $670 per account as of September last year compared to the average across all schemes which was $2650.

Huljich's salespeople have targeted students and people living in low-income areas and last year the company was linked to illegal door-to-door selling.

Huljich is also involved as a director in finance company NZF Money which recently received a B rating from Standard and Poor's after its parent company NZF Group was viewed as being weakly capitalised.

Huljich's other investment in accounting software business Diligent Boardbooks flopped badly after its IPO.

Chief executive Brian Henry resigned over his failure to disclose involvement with EnergyCorp, which went into receivership in the late 1980s and resulted in his bankruptcy.

But Huljich also has a tightknit group of supporters.

Businessman Mike Pero, who got to know Huljich when he sold part of his mortgage broking business to New Zealand Finance, now NZF Group, describes Huljich as a professional.

"My dealings with him have been good.

"I would have him on any board.

"I know there have been some accusations about his experience, but I wouldn't question him at all," said Pero.

"When I dealt with him my feelings were 'he knows a lot for a young fellow'."

PETER HULJICH
Age: 34.
* Managing director of Huljich Wealth Management.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce, Diploma NZX, SAFin.
Companies: director of NZF Group (formerly New Zealand Finance), Diligent Boardbooks.
Family: one of four children.
Interests: Boxing, owns a stake in Auckland restaurant Clooney.