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21 Feb 2018 2:43
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  •   Home > News > Business

    NZ Super Fund used 'Paradise Papers' firm

    The managers of the NZ Super Fund has confirmed that it used Appleby, the firm at the centre of the "Paradise Papers" leak.

    It is not believed the huge leak of private documents from Bermudan law firm Appleby includes information about the NZ Super Fund.

    The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the manager of the NZ Super Fund, confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that it had previously used Appleby, which has been at the centre of the "Paradise Papers" document release.

    An investigation, carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, has exposed politicians, sports stars, celebrities and even the Queen's offshore financial dealings after more than 13 million Appleby files were leaked.

    Many of the files relate to the movement of billions of dollars through tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, where wealth can be legally protected.

    The Guardians' statement said it had used Appleby to advise on re-insurance contracts and products with investment managers Elementum Advisers from 2009 to 2011 and Leadenhall in 2013.

    "At this point Appleby is unable to confirm whether or not there has been a security breach of the Guardians' documents.

    "However, given the nature of the work Appleby undertook, the Guardians is confident there will be no negative commercial implications for the NZ Super Fund from the potential breach," the statement said.

    The NZ Super Fund also invested in a private equity fund that Appleby was advising, but the return on the money committed - $US30 million - has already been realised.

    The statement concludes by saying that using collective investment funds in places like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda is "legal, common and widely considered best practice portfolio management".

    For the 2017 financial year, the NZ Super Fund was the largest New Zealand taxpayer, paying income tax of $1.2 billion.

    The Inland Revenue Department is interested in hearing from any New Zealand taxpayer with exposure to Appleby, saying it would be "prudent to come forward and explain their position to us".


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