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ISI chief resigns over Dominion Finance charges

Thursday 15th July 2010

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Vance Arkinstall, the long-standing spokesman for the Investment Savings and Insurance Association, has resigned after he and the other directors of failed financier Dominion Finance were accused of misleading investors.  

Arkinstall, who has headed up the lobbyist for fund managers for the past 10 years, said the charges meant it wasn't appropriate for him to continue as chief executive of the ISI. He will finish up at the end of the month. Chairman Sean Carroll met with Arkinstall last week before a board meeting to discuss the issue, and said they didn't want to rush the process due to Arkinstall's long service.

"Vance wanted to preserve the ISI's integrity and ensure it continued to operate without being affected by the unrelated charges he is facing, regardless of his intentions to defend the charges," Carroll said.

"He will be strenuously defending the charges, but in the interim he believed it would not be in the ISI's best interests to continue as chief executive during court proceedings."

Last week the Securities Commission accused Arkinstall, Richard Bettle, Terence Butler, Ann Butler, Paul Forsyth and Robert Barry Whale of making false statements in the 2007 Dominion and North South Finance prospectuses and investment statements. The directors each face maximum penalties of five years imprisonment or fines of up to $300,000 and civil penalties of up to $500,000.

Arkinstall's resignation comes after a boom period for the funds management industry following the introduction of Kiwisaver, though financial services have taken a knock in recent years in the wake of the finance sector's collapse. He also headed the committee which nominated the board overseeing the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

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