Fund managers bleary from a night celebrating the success of their own kind awoke Thursday morning to news that an outsider, and upstart competitor, had slipped up.

After weeks of controversy the resignation of Peter Huljich from the investment/KiwiSaver company he started was not really surprising.

Few rivals will miss him but the mood amongst fund managers following Huljich's exit was one of relief that something has happened rather than gloating at the fall.

One KiwiSaver manager told me the actions against Huljich, and consequent resignation, were encouraging evidence that the regime's check and balances worked - albeit a bit slowly.

Another said the fact the story made the headlines at all - outside business pages - was a milestone for the funds industry and a step in the right direction for financial literacy.

"Who would've thought," he said, that the public would actually care about a technical funds management issue.

Another interpretation could be that the presence of celebrities Don Brash and John Banks in this story ramped up its newsworthiness.

Let's be generous and say people now want more information about investment performance attribution and less about the social lives of celebs.

If so, they'll be interested in how the Huljich funds track from here on in. The appointment of Brash as the company's managing director and chief investment officer might calm a few nerves.

However, Brash doesn't really have experience as a fund manager. It's one thing to make big picture decisions about interest rates; it's quite another skill to manage money day-to-day. Competitors I spoke to were quite bemused about the move - and perhaps it is just an interim solution.

Some also pointed out that Brash, as a director, still bears some responsibility for earlier Huljich decisions. Another also baulked at his use of the word 'independent' next to 'director'. Both Brash and Banks are minority shareholders in Huljich, which is all above board, but it does tarnish the independence claim.

David Chaplin