Sir Elliott Belgrave
GCMG KA CHB QC
BU listened with interest to DJ and others at Voice of Barbados (VOB92.9FM) extending best wishing to Senator Tony Marshall on his appointment to the Upper Chamber of the Barbados Parliament as an Independent Senator. BU on the other hand withholds all plauditory remarks until Tony Marshall shows respect to the public he pretended to serve while he was #1 afternoon talk show host and Chairman of the important National Insurance Scheme.
Some will see the irony of Senators Marshall and Byer-Suckoo being members of that Chamber in the current term. It was the then Minister Esther Byer-Suckoo who refused to renew Tony Marshall’s appointment to the National Insurance Board. The usually loquacious Tony Marshall has not issued a public statement that we are aware of on the matter. There was rampant speculation at the time on BU about the ‘optics’ he would have exuded as Chairman of the NIS Scheme given his former role as a director on the CLICO Board. There was the other camp who believed it had to do with matters arising from the NIS on again off again decision to fund the problem plagued Paradise Beach Development Project (Four Seasons Project). Whatever the reason the public, taxpayers, are none the wiser.
Tony Marshall given his roles to date BU regards him as a person of public interest and we are within our right to place the former banker under the microscope. As the #1 talk show host in Barbados he never used the VOB92.9FM bully pulpit to speak out about CLICO from an insider perspective. Contrast his position with Tony Hoyos who resigned on principle from the Barbados National Bank Board (now Republic Bank) to express his disagreement at the time about the share price government was willing to accept from RBL (how this matter finally was settled is fodder for another blog).
Prime Minster Stuart being congratulated after the DLP was the declared the winner
There are some things the BU household has surrendered to by saying, we just do not understand.
3.3 million CLICO cheque paid to Thompson Associates
3.3 million dollar Thompson and Associates invoice
Exposed by the Deloitte’s CLICO Forensic Report is the fact a 3.3 million dollar invoice was generated by CLICO and eventually made its way into the account of Leroy Parris. BU finds it is ironic the leader of the opposition Owen Arthur was able to produce, at a political meeting last night, the 3.3 million dollar CLICO cheque and supporting invoice. Can anyone guess why? Here is a hint.
Unfortunately BU was unable to monitor the meeting until the finish which proceeded late into the night but here is a summary from Tony Hoyos’ Facebook page.
So an invoice for $3.3million was issued by Thompson & Assoc to Clico in Dec 2008 (while D Thompson was PM of Bds). Maurice King who was named on the invoice as providing some of the legal services billed on that invoice says he didn’t do any such work. The partners of the firm say it wasn’t their invoice. But Leroy Parris, head of Clico back then, authorised payment to T&A and the Clico cheque for $3.3m was deposited in a bank acc’t that the law partners say was not the firm’s. Then the same amount of $3.3m was paid from that acc’t back to L Parris as a part of his “gratuity”. And a few weeks later the public learned that Clico was broke. And nobody has been prosecuted yet for this? What am I missing?
June Fowler, head of BIPA Photo credit: Caribbean360
BU is perplexed by the latest news in this mess, in which it is reported that the BIPA (Barbados Investors Policyholders Alliance) aka CLICO investors – represented by Mr Alair Shepherd QC – has refused to stay the action against the CLICO directors. It is noted that the FSC is represented in this matter by Mr Adrian King.
BU’s attention was initially grabbed (or as it transpires, misdirected and sidetracked) by the fact that Mr Shepherd and Mr King both practice out of Inn Chambers and BU asked for clarification that, although Mr Shepherd and Mr King both practice from the same chambers, they are NOT partners, but ARE, in fact, individual counsel who simply share facilities. As such, therefore, there is no impropriety, nor does BU even suggest such of the two counsel named.
That disclaimer and clarification having now been made, BU asks its family and legal eagles to weigh in as to whether BIPA has the standing to bring its action against the CLICO directors, or not. If not, as this whole CLICO mess is of massive importance to Bajans in general, on what basis BIPA has refused to stay its action? Is there any merit in pursing an action that will be stayed at the end of the day?
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados News, Blogging, Caribbean News
Tagged Adrian King, Alair Shepherd, Barbados Investors Policyholders Alliance, BIPA, Civil Appeal No. 17 of 2001, CL Financial, CLICO, Financial Services Commission, Tales From The Courts
Submitted by Old Onions Bag
Why is PM Stuart holding up elections? Does he not realize the ramification this holds for the party? Such as winning chances….Really now what is the holdup?
Alexandra transfers…..are we done yet or shall this go on forever? This surely was a test of leadership decisiveness and guess what, teachers gave zero?
The Millions sunk in Four Seasons…now pushing up bush and vine….close to a half Billion by now right? ….Will the NIS ( we the pensioners) ever get to see a cent return of that money?
The CLICO debacle continues, leaving many pensioners to suffer not being able to access their pension savings… Was there not to be relief coming to ease their plight ? This is now 5+ years in the making.
What about the Deloitte report, was it really stolen? Does Deloitte not make photocopies of all important reports?
Who will explain the swapping 19.9 acres of government dump lands in exchange for 9.9 acres of River Bay picnic grounds, and not a document ever passing thru Parliament?
Having recapped all the above……are you guys really serious about the electorate giving you another term?
There is a healthy interest by Barbadians in the CLICO Affair as in unfolds in the T&T parent market. A catastrophic failure of local and regional regulatory and political systems. Listen to searching interview by Fazeer Mohammed (known more in Barbados as a cricket commentator) and Afra Raymond, a vocal Trinidadian commentator leading the effort for transparency in the CLICO matter.
Posted in Barbados News, Blogging, Caribbean News
Tagged Afra Raymond, CL Financial, CLICO, Colman Commission, Fazeer Mohammed, Lawrence Duprey, Leroy Parris, Trinidad, Trinidad News
Auditor General Leigh Trotman
Many financial analysts agree that a poor governance structure contributed to the collapse of Wall Street, and precipitated a global economic meltdown not experienced since the Great Depression. A consequence of it all, small countries like Barbados have seen ‘wanton’ destruction to gains accrued to standard of living built out over the years.
On the regional front we have not been immune to the G Virus. We witnessed it with the collapse of Stanford Bank and more visibly with CLICO. The CLICO mess exposed the lack of a robust regional regulatory framework to govern pan Caribbean companies. Several years after the demise of CLICO the jury is out whether any serious attempt has been made to improve the regional regulatory framework. It is ironic to note however that despite a commitment to Caricom by regional leaders, they all own Central Banks with the exception of the sub region.
Locally, we are confronted by the G Virus at every turn. The best example is the perennial disrespect which both political parties have directed at the Office of the Auditor General. Exceptions to the financial rules of government have been highlighted by successive Auditor Generals and ignored by successive governments. How can we be serious about being competitive and building out a disciplined society?
Patrick Toppin (l) Oliver Jordan (r) CLICO Judicial Managers
BU regards the following as a matter of public interest (snagged from Facebook)
This outrageous proposal is the outcome of a totally secret Report filed with the Court by the Judicial Manager last Friday 19th October and mysteriously sanctioned within 7 days without any consultation or public announcement whatsoever. If ever there was evidence needed that this Government has continually made false promises and reassurances to an unsuspecting and trusting electorate, then this is it.
The result will be that policyholders will be lucky to see as much as 50 cents on the dollar. Any CLICO or BAICO policyholder, their family member, business owner or person hoping to keep their job or get a new one who votes for the DLP at the next election, deserves everything (or should that be next to nothing) they will get. This is an outrage, especially as BIPA has had meetings with the Opposition at which viable and satisfactory solutions to the debacle have been negotiated. Is this why the PM has so far been ‘too busy’ to accept BIPA’s invitation to meet with him. Next thing we will hear is that he knows nothing about this. Or maybe he feels that he does not need the 35,000 voters who are policyholders, not to mention all those others who will be devastated by this.
Former Executive Chairman of CL Financial, parent company of CLICO
The following report extracted from the Trinidad Express summarizes a 50 page statement by former CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey which was submitted to the Commission of Inquiry.
Former CL Financial chairman files 50-page witness statement at Commission of Enquiry
By Ria Taitt Political Editor
Story Created: Oct 23, 2012 at 11:03 PM ECT
(Story Updated: Oct 23, 2012 at 11:03 PM ECT )
Former executive chairman of insurance giant CL Financial, Lawrence Duprey, has said that as far as he was concerned, he has done nothing wrong.
Although the failure of the financial conglomerate seriously threatened to destabilise the economy and to date the rescue mission has cost taxpayers $21 billion, Duprey in his witness statement to the Commission of Enquiry which was filed on Monday described himself as “a hardworking and dedicated citizen who worked hard to create wealth for all and was instrumental in the creation of thousands of jobs”.
Read full report
Kaymar Jordan, Editor in Chief, Nation newspaper (l) George Pilgrim, General Secretary, DLP
BU observed the Talkback Forum hosted by the Nation newspaper this week and contrary to Editor in Chief Kaymar Jordan’s pronouncement that it was a success, we beg to disagree. Perhaps she measured success based on the 500 hundred attendees and 1,500 streaming the event (it would be interesting to know how many people streaming the event were logged on from Barbados). However, if the Nation newspaper is the people’s choice and is touted to have a circulation of greater than one hundred thousand then some may judge that – at the height of the silly season – the forum should have attracted greater numbers.
Regarding the content of the discussion, BU suggests that the report card cannot be graded with a pass mark if the government side was NOT represented. Yes there was a lively discussion but if the forum was constructed to bring key stakeholders/commentators together to discuss “The Next General Election”, surely a full ventilation of the topic could not have been achieved in the circumstances.
BU has stated on other blogs that the government erred by not sending a representative to the session. We note the general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party DLP) has taken umbrage to the quality of the invitation sent to the Prime Minister by the Nation newspaper, indicating that the Nation deviated from protocol. It does not mean Mr General Secretary that Stuart could not have dispatched an emissary to participate who could have used the opportunity to speak to any discomfort the Prime Minister has with the invitation. A better outcome to addressing public perception. This government continues to have a problem appreciating and responding to the political dimension to several issues.
Patrick Toppin (l) Oliver Jordan (r) CLICO Judicial Managers
One of the most discussed issues in Barbados in the six months has been the CLICO Forensic Audit Report. The Nation Newspaper has cherry picked and published those parts which make for ‘good’ reading. BU is pleased to post the full report for ALL Barbadians to read.
Forensic Audit of CLICO International Life Insurance Ltd. (under Judicial Management): – Report as of December 5, 2011
Thanks to the BU family member who submitted the report.
Owen Arthur, Leader of the opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)
There was a noticeable shift in debating strategy on the government side in the Budget debate just completed. Minister Chris Sinckler known for the old fashion debating style in the mould of the late Harold Blackman and Lammie Craig appeared at times to be straining at the leash to go after Arthur which he resisted. Surprisingly it was Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart who departed from his usual studied delivery to attack leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur on the CLICO matter and the buried and forgotten FBI Report.
The aggression which Stuart unveiled during the debate surprised many. Barbados Labour Party (BLP) supporters believe Stuart has finally shown his true colours. What man of integrity what! Democratic Labour Party (DLP) supporters are breathing a sigh of relief that their man has shown some passion at last.
Of interest to BU is the fact Prime Minister Stuart selected CLICO and the FBI as the issues to launch his salvo on the other side. Given the protracted nature of a CLICO settlement and the likelihood many CLICO policyholders will be dissatisfied at the outcome – why select the CLICO issue? Not to forget there is the Leroy Parris dimension. Messy! A reasonable conclusion is that the government will attempt to attribute some of the blame for the CLICO Mess to Arthur and the BLP. Good luck if that is the strategy.