Our organisation and our people
The SFO is a small, Auckland-based agency with around 50 employees, 90 percent of whom perform front-line activities. Principal roles are investigative lawyers, forensic accountants and financial investigators. The agency is moving towards diversifying its expertise into data analysis and intelligence expertise.
Evaluation and Intelligence
The Evaluation and Intelligence team is responsible for the initial evaluation and assessment of complaints, as well as referral to other agencies as appropriate. This unit is also responsible for coordinating external and internal intelligence, and developing the SFO’s contribution to financial crime prevention strategies.
The two Investigation teams deal with all matters of serious or complex financial crime which the Director has decided to investigate. These might include: general fraud, mortgage fraud, employee theft, procurement fraud, financial markets fraud, bribery and corruption.
The Corporate Services team manages all activities relating to strategic planning, accountability reporting, financial management, human resources, IT systems, operational policies, media and communications, conferences and general administration.
Senior Leadership Team
Chief Executive and Director
Julie Read joined the SFO in October 2013. Ms Read is a lawyer who studied at the University of Tasmania. After approximately seven years in private practice, she joined the Australian Government Solicitor in 1989, which conducted Commonwealth prosecutions on behalf of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). Ms Read was appointed Manager of criminal practice in 1992 and in 1997 transferred as Assistant Director when the CDPP established its own office in Tasmania. In 2002, she accepted a statutory appointment as Regional Commissioner for Tasmania for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
She has also held a number of other senior executive roles with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), most recently Special Counsel, Litigation and prior to that Senior Executive, Major Fraud and International.
Ms Read has a wide experience in relation to international criminal law and represented ASIC on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions Standing Committee 4 on Cooperation and Enforcement.
Ms Read is married and has brought her husband and two dogs with her to live in New Zealand.
General Manager, Investigations
Rebecca Rolls joined the SFO in May 2009 as an Investigator. Prior to that, Rebecca spent 15 months as a Senior Investigator for the Ministry of Health (then) Audit and Compliance directorate, dealing with investigations into fraud by medical providers.
Her background in the New Zealand Police spans 11 years, seven of those spent as a Detective in the CIB working with a wide range of squads. In 2007 she was promoted to Sergeant to supervise the Counties Manukau Investigation Support Unit which (among other matters) initially dealt with all fraud complaints for that district. After joining the SFO, Rebecca was appointed a Case Manager in 2010 and then Acting General Manager, Investigations in 2012. Her team primarily dealt with the many finance company and investment frauds investigated by the SFO. She was appointed General Manager, Investigations in 2014.
General Manager, Investigations
Nick Paterson joined the SFO as General Manager, Fraud & Corruption (now Investigations) in July 2010. Before that, Nick was Executive Director of EY’s Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services team. Nick has specialised in fraud and forensic investigations since the mid 1990s. Over this period he also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and McCallum Petterson, as well as the Financial Services Authority and EY in the UK.
Nick is a Certified Fraud Examiner and past president of the Auckland CFE branch. He has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of London.
Nick is currently on secondment with the Gambling Commission.
General Manager, Evaluation and Intelligence
Graham Gill has led the Evaluation and Intelligence team at the SFO since March 2012. He joined the team initially on secondment from the Commerce Commission where he was a Manager in the Competition Branch, but his position was made permanent in September 2012. Prior to that, Graham was a Detective Sergeant in the NZ Police Criminal Investigation Branch in both Wellington and Auckland. He has also spent time working across Asia as a human resources manager for a Sydney-based technology company. Graham has a BBS from Massey University and a post graduate qualification from the University of Auckland.
General Manager, Corporate Services
Carol Palmer joined the Serious Fraud Office in May 2012. Prior to this Carol was the Wellington Regional Business Manager for Grant Thornton New Zealand.
Carol is an experienced General Manager with a particular focus on Corporate Services Management. She has worked across a number of industries including IT and tourism.
She is a Chartered Accountant and graduated from Massey University with a BBS and a DipBS.
Paul O'Neil joined the Serious Fraud Office as General Counsel in December 2016. Prior to this appointment, he was the Head of Enforcement at the Financial Markets Authority responsible for overseeing conduct of the FMA's civil and criminal proceedings. As part of this role, Paul also represented the FMA on the International Organisation of Securities Commission's Cooperation and Enforcement and Screening Group Committees. Paul had previously worked in private practice as a litigator at law firms in both New Zealand and London across a wide range of practice areas, including regulatory investigations and proceedings, energy, construction and telecommunications. Paul holds an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland.