Bridgecorp's Rod Petricevic isn't the only villain...
So Rod Petricevic got six and years half in the pokey for his role in the collapse of Bridgecorp and the 'disappearance' of some $450 million worth of investor funds. Thanks to Petricevic, many of Bridgecorp's 14,000 investors have lost their houses, their life savings, their health, their sanity. Unlike Petricevic, they have been given a permanent prison sentence.
Despite Bridgecorp's collapse Petricevic still continued to do his imitation of Richie Rich. Despite the fact that all the investors money had gone down the toilet, he claimed a $550,000 ' performance bonus' for the year leading up to Bridgecorp's collapse. He also sought another $200,000 in redundancy , $99,000 in expenses and half a year's salary worth some $280,000. Just to rub it in, he claimed holiday pay of $53,000.
It is little wonder that he is one of the most reviled former 'financial whiz kids' who were supposedly leading New Zealand into a exciting new 'free market' future.
But it is not just Petricevic who has got blood on his hands.
The fact is that he = and others like him - were able to get away with it because they were allowed to do by people who, in many cases, retain positions of authority and influence within New Zealand business and political circles. None of them will be going to prison.
Despite the fact that he had spectacularly failed once before ( EuroNational collapsed in 1987) , Petricevic still managed to get the Securities Commission to approve the Bridgecorp prospectuses
Jane Diplock, who was Securities Commission chairperson at the time , allowed dodgy prospectuses like Bridgecorp's to sail through the Securities Commission, completely unquestioned. The best that Diplock could come up with was to advise investors to examine the risks and rewards of finance houses like Bridgecorp.
Covenant Trustee Services managing director Graham Miller was the trustee for Bridgecorp. On the Covenant website its claimed that Miller is recognised ' for his expertise in financial matters.' In 2007 he claimed that what turned out to be a desperate situation for Bridgecorp was 'not particularly obvious at the time'.
And over in Parliament Lianne Dalziell Labour Commerce Minister, snoozed through the unfolding finance sector collapse .People like business columnist Brian Gaynor warned her frequently that a disaster was unfolding but she still refused to act. Labour's ideological 'distaste' for 'interfering ' in the market would ultimately destroy the lives of thousands of New Zealanders.
Yet just last year Lianne Dalziell was, without a hint of embrassment, declaring on the Labour website Red Alert that 'the financial elite have gambled away our future.'
'Ma and pa investors' were skinned alive and the likes of Diplock, Miller and Dalziell stood on the sideline and let it all happen.