18 Jul 2019

ANZ shareholder demands info over property sale to former boss David Hisco

7:41 pm on 18 July 2019

An ANZ shareholder is demanding the bank disclose more information about the sale of an Auckland residential property to its former chief executive and his family.

ANZ CEO David Hisco.

ANZ chief executive David Hisco. Photo: Photosport

KiwiSaver provider Simplicity, which owns a minor stake in ANZ, sent a letter to the bank this week asking for a copy of the independent valuation carried out on a home sold to David Hisco's family in 2017.

"The reason we request the above is due to the highly unusual nature of the sale price given general market conditions at the time, and publicly available valuations that were at a much higher level," the letter said.

"Given the purchase and sale of the property was made with shareholder funds, it is reasonable for shareholders to understand the basis on which these transactions were made."

ANZ bought a St Heliers home for $7.5 million in 2011 and covered the cost of renting it to Mr Hisco, until he and his family bought it in 2017 for $6.9m.

The property's capital value was $10.7m in 2017, according to Quotable Value data.

In June, the bank announced it had parted company with Mr Hisco following an investigation into his expenses.

ANZ company secretary Simon Pordage responded to an earlier letter from Simplicity on 5 July, to say the bank had been as open and transparent as possible regarding Mr Hisco's departure.

ANZ was cooperating with a Financial Markets Authority investigation of the transaction, he said.

Simplicity managing director Sam Stubbs said it would consider legal action to seek a ruling that ordered ANZ to disclose the property valuation information if it did not oblige.

"The lack of transparency about the sale ... At almost $4 million below its valuation, is extremely suspicious," Mr Stubbs said.

"If the ANZ withholds necessary information and choose to be opaque, it sets a very worrying precedent. We all need faith in the companies we invest in via KiwiSaver."

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