Archive | Diligent

Year-old Huljich resignation turns to trouble for Diligent

Published 4 April 2012

Peter Huljich has caused more bother for one of the listed companies where he was a director, Diligent Board Member Services Inc, by resigning without notice after he was charged over undisclosed Kiwisaver topups.

Mr Huljich and his private company, Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd (renamed HWM (NZ) Holdings Ltd last August), were fined in December for undisclosed top-ups of the Kiwisaver fund run by the private company in 2008-10.

He’d been charged in 2010 and resigned from both Diligent and NZF Group Ltd in April 2011, after the Kiwisaver fund was sold.

NZX Market Supervision said on Friday it had discovered, when it was reviewing Diligent’s notice for its 17 April annual meeting, that Diligent had only 2 directors on its audit committee instead of the required 3. Mr Huljich had been an independent director and was on the committee.

Diligent applied for a waiver from the requirement to have 3 directors on the committee, saying it was subject to the US Federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which required that all members of its audit committee be independents. “Therefore, it is not possible for Diligent to appoint one of its other 2 existing directors (Alessandro Sodi & David Liptak) to fill the vacancy on the audit committee, because neither of them is an independent director. Instead, Diligent must appoint a new, independent director as the third member of its audit committee.”

Diligent – which chose to be incorporated in Delaware but listed in New Zealand – said it had been looking for a US-based independent director.

One of the audit committee’s 2 members is Rick Bettle, an independent who was also chairman of Dominion Finance Holdings Ltd. Mr Bettle is one of 6 Dominion Finance directors facing charges of misleading investors in offer documents & advertisements of the parent company and subsidiary North South Finance Ltd. Their High Court trial has now been set down for June 2013.

Dominion Finance Holdings entered voluntary administration in October 2008 but was placed in liquidation in February 2009 with an estimated deficit exceeding $115 million. The whole group owed creditors $400 million.

NZX Market Supervision declined to grant Diligent a temporary waiver, saying the rule was important to the integrity of the market and Diligent hadn’t sought a waiver immediately Mr Huljich resigned a year ago.

Earlier stories:

23 March 2012: SFO investigation into NZF Group follows conviction for ex-director Huljich over Kiwisaver prospectus

21 December 2012: Peter Huljich & company fined for undisclosed Kiwisaver fund top-ups

22 July 2011: NZF withdraws prospectus after talks with new authority over one transaction

12 April 2011: Huljich quits 2 public companies after KiwiSaver business sold

19 November 2010:Securities Commission lays criminal charges against Huljich

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Attribution: NZX release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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