Why Infinz awards are worthless

NBR reports on Infinz and their now suspect and dodgy awards:

Fund manager of the year awards won by Mark Warminger and Milford Asset Management will not be reviewed in the wake of High Court market manipulation findings, says the Institute of Finance Professionals.

After an investigation triggered by the NZX in mid-2014, the Financial Markets Authority sued Mr Warminger alleging he manipulated the market on 10 occasions that year.

Last week the High Court found the FMA had proved its case on two counts.

During the hearing, Mr Warminger told the court he had won fund manager of the year awards three years running, in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The awards were from Infinz, which picked Milford as Equities Fund Manager of the Year in those years.  

A press release from Milford in May 2014 noted the award as its fifth in a row and quoted Infinz judges saying: “Milford enjoyed another year with NZ equity performance significantly above the benchmark return. Mark Warminger has continued to demonstrate an uncanny ability to select the best performing stocks.”

Asked whether Infinz would review those awards in light of the market manipulation finding, Infinz chairman Philip King said the organisation had no process to review awards given in the past.

“It’s not for us to play judge and jury,” he said.

No, a judge already did that for them and found that Mark Warminger and Milford Asset Mangement manipulated stocks to their benefit…and as a consequence they won awards for it as well.

That just makes the awards meaningless now. They reward and recognise dodgy and unethical behaviour.

“It’s different to an Olympic sport where someone’s missed out on the gold by one tenth of a second and then there’s been an issue about the winner.”

“It wouldn’t be a straightforward process.”

Reconsidering awards would require reconvening the judges, who are volunteers, and reviewing evidence, he said.

“We understand an appeal is possible so we wouldn’t do anything until that full process has played out. You have to give that time to happen.”

Actually, no. Infinz has not covered themselves with glory here. They are now as dodgy as their award winner is.

One commenter at NBR quipped:

“It’s not for us to play judge and jury… It’s different to an Olympic sport… It wouldn’t be a straightforward process.”

Helluva lot of excuses right there. Pretty sure INFINZ already played judge and jury handing out those awards in the first place. If I was a fund manager passed over because of proven cheat claims I’d be feeling pretty ripped right now, with these comments being a nice bit of salt for the wounds…

Infinz are now a joke. Obviously ethics are optional within the finance industry these days.

 

– NBR

 


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