Milford Asset Management are blaming “the web guy” – not taking responsibility

Milford Asset Management says it has contacted other KiwiSaver fund managers to explain an ?inadvertent breach of conventions? in Google search terms used for marketing purposes.

This comes after rival fund manager Fisher Funds lodged a complaint about Milford?s use of its brand in a so-called ?ambush marketing? campaign where it used?other KiwiSaver providers’ names to try to attract potential customers to its own website by paying for search words.

Hence, when someone typed ?Fisher kiwisaver? into Google, an ad for ?Milford Fisher KiwiSaver? topped the search list with a link to the Milford website.

?It has never been our intention to use such tactics in our marketing,” Milford managing director Anthony Quirk said today.

Except that you were. ? And this is yet another incident in?Milford Asset Management’s murky existence. ?You have to love it – a business that depends on trust more than most, and they simply don’t appear to care unless they’re caught. ?

?The instances reported occurred without our knowledge. In fact, we were shocked to learn of them because we had taken normal precautions to protect the brand of other companies from this sort of incident involving Google search.

?When we learned what had happened, we instructed our web marketing agency to stop Google key word searches while we investigated and resolved the issue. We have also contacted the other companies involved to tell them what we knew of the incident and assure them that it was not the result of any deliberate action on our part.?

Yesterday, Fisher Funds boss Carmel Fisher?said she was furious?at the Fisher brand being misrepresented and had alerted the Financial Markets Authority.

?There is no such thing as the Milford Fisher Kiwisaver. So why would anybody?pay for an ad with that as a headline?”

It’s the “web guy”‘s fault. ?Can’t you see? ?What Fisher should to his hire her own web guy and then let him run amok, and when caught, she can just say it wasn’t her responsibility. ?That’s how it works, right?

He says Milford is taking action to prevent similar breaches occurring in future.

The FMA is already investigating Milford over alleged market manipulation. The fund manager?recently confirmed?it is the subject of the probe, which it says involves an ?individual trader? employed by the firm and ?certain specific trades.?

?The investigation does not have any implications for client funds and has no impact on the day-to-day operations of Milford,? the company says in a statement.

Except for Trust.

There ain’t much left there.

Mind you, some people are gullible. They might just believe it was all unintentional regarding the mounting allegations of Milford?s manipulation of equities. You know, before the end of a financial quarter, some share prices got boosted, which just happened to boost asset performance, and which just happened to cause higher performance fees to be charged to clients. That kind of unintentional.
It?s good to see the FMA have been asked to investigate. It?s starting to look like something is terribly awry at Milford.

By the time your financial manager/advisor is being investigated my the FMA, and they are not taking responsibility for unethical and aggressive marketing techniques and blaming the person they instructed to do the job for them by throwing them under the bus, well, you know… ? Caveat Emptor. ?Don’t come crying.

When will Newstalk ZB and the NZ Herald decide that enough is enough and stop using Milford as the go-to people?for ‘trusted advice’?