But if women are given seats at the board table, who will keep the table polished?

November 13, 2010

How to build your female numbers and get a better ethnicity balance with just one board appointment.

Dunno about you, dear constituent, but Alf feels not one whit of embarrassment about the continuing dearth of women on the boards of New Zealand’s top companies. Nor is he alarmed, dismayed or perplexed.

If the people who run our companies have opted not to have too many women directors, it’s obviously because that’s the smart thing to do.

In Alf’s experience women make a great cup of tea and are dab hands at cleaning the office at the end of the day.

But a Government-appointed official with a grand-sounding title wants more of them – lots more – sitting around the board table rather than keeping it nicely polished, which is where there skills reside.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Mallard disagrees with Cullen’s adviser on compulsion, then let’s listen to the adviser

June 24, 2010

Mallard reckons you'll thank us for this when you retire.

Alf is always attracted to a proposition with which Trevor Mallard disagrees.

Obviously, such a proposition must have a lot going for it, and furthermore there are many such propositions that have a lot going for them, because this Mallard bloke happens to be a disagreeing sort of character. Disagreeable, too.

This explains why Alf tapped eagerly on to an item posted by Mallard on Red Alert this morning, to find out with what he is disagreeing today and then going out to promote it as an idea with the Mallard seal of disapproval, which naturally makes it highly attractive to right-thinking citizens.

Lo and behold, today it relates to savings and whether they should be compulsory.

Read the rest of this entry »

Explanations, please, on who made a killing from the promotion – then demotion – of Allied Farmers

February 21, 2010

Alf is hoping our Commerce Minister, the splendid Simon Power, will whistle Mark Weldon across to the Beehive this week for a “please explain”.

Weldon, of course, is the Chief Executive of the NZX and was a member of the Capital Market Development Taskforce. The task force came up with a bundle of ideas for improving that bit of our financial system.

Last week, Power was saying the Government shared the taskforce’s view that capital markets are key to improving the financial wellbeing of all New Zealanders and a vital source of finance for business.
Read the rest of this entry »

There are bigger bastards than bankers

July 26, 2009

It was a predictable result, if ever there was one.

The Sunday Star-Times conducted a survey to learn: “Trust in financial institutions has collapsed.”

Alf could have told them that.

But perhaps it is of interest to find that some types of adviser are less trustworthy than others, which means the SST at least has determined who is the lowest of the low.
Read the rest of this entry »