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News Round Up

Book your Standard Set B exam now; More details on what the government guarantee actually covers; Three quarters of family trusts broken; Buffet fund buy-back.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Financial advisers can now book their Standard Set B examination, with the first examination sittings taking place from September 20.

The Draft Code of Professional Conduct requires all financial advisers wishing to become an Authorised Financial Adviser [AFA] to sit and pass the Standard Set B examination. The examination deals with knowledge of the laws applicable to financial advisers, knowledge of The Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advisers, and knowledge of consumer protection legislation.

"We have released examination capacity into the booking system for examinations in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from September 20," ETITO Manager - Strategy and Corporate Relations Michael Frampton says. "ETITO will be monitoring bookings and will be releasing examination capacity in the remaining eleven provincial centres shortly."

The examination will be one hour long, computer-based and closed book.

"There is now sufficient clarity due to the passing of the amendment legislation, and the progress of the revised Draft Code, for ETITO to begin making preparations for Standard Set B assessment," Frampton says.

More details on what the government guarantee actually covers
There is more news on the eligibility of government guaranteed investments held in trusts.

Last week Good Returns reported on the Treasury's view that investments held in bare trusts are not necessarily covered by the guarantee.

On Friday Treasury added, to its website, detailed definitions about trust eligibility of investments held in trusts.

Details here http://www.treasury.govt.nz/economy/guarantee/retail/qanda/trusts

Three quarters of family trusts broken
Speaking of family trusts there is a new book coming to the market which is worth a read. The author, Jonathan Cron, of private trustee company, New Zealand Trustee Services, estimates three in every four family trusts are providing little, or none of the protections, their settlors believed they signed up for.

Details here http://www.intelligentinvestor.co.nz/products/Family-Trusts-in-New-Zealand.html

Buffet fund buy-back
The ASX-listed Global Masters Fund (GMF) which invested in shares of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway investment company has conducted a share buy back which has helped some investors exit the fund.

The fund was promoted to advisers in New Zealand when it launched several yeas ago.

Auckland-based Elevation Capital, which owned more than 5% of GMF, earlier this year lobbied for the company to liquidate and/or distribute the underlying Berkshire Hathaway shares and cash to shareholders.

Global decided to undertake an "equal access" buy back at the April 30 NTA less 5% as the major shareholder did not wish to see the GFL liquidate at this point in time, Elevation managing director Chris Swasbrook said.

Elevation Capital was more than agreeable with this outcome, he says.

"The fund's investment in GMF yielded a return on invested capital (including foreign exchange) of +28% which I consider a satisfactory return for the level of risk assumed."

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