Lawerence Duprey Ousted From CL Financial Board

Lawerence Duprey and the Duprey clan, who have been synonymous with CL Financial, have been ousted from the board under the terms of a new agreement signed yesterday between Government and the conglomerate’s directors.

Duprey, 75, is said to have officially tendered his resignation as chairman of CL Financial on the signing of the agreement which is meant to save the group from bankruptcy.

“It is the end of an era as far as Duprey not being chairman,” Michael Carballo, CL Financial’s chief financial officer, said yesterday. 

Duprey has been replaced by Government appointee, Euric Bobb, a former Central Bank governor, who is currently chairman of Clico, a CL Financial subsidiary.

“It is the end of an era as far as Duprey not being chairman,” Michael Carballo, CL Financial’s chief financial officer, said yesterday.

Duprey has been replaced by Government appointee, Euric Bobb, a former Central Bank governor, who is currently chairman of Clico, a CL Financial subsidiary.

Bobb was appointed to the Clico board after Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira signed a January 30 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Duprey, giving Government control of Clico, British American Insurance Co, Clico Investment Bank (CIB) and Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB).

This time around it was not Nunez-Tesheira but Conrad Enill who signed on the dotted line of the new agreement which amends the MOU. Enill, according to a Ministry of Finance release, is the acting Minister of Finance. Newsday has learnt that Nunez-Tesheira left yesterday for a conference in Jamaica and she returns on Monday.

Under the new deal, Government agreed to Duprey’s request to have three of his nominees appointed to the board. Government has approved his picks of Carballo, who also remains as chief financial officer, British QC Andrew Mitchell and Steve Castagne, the founder and chairman of brokers M&M Insurance Services Ltd.

However, Government has full control of the board with four directors: Bobb, former Citibank managing director Steve Bideshi (deputy chairman); Caribbean Airlines board member Shaffeek Sultan Khan and Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Alison Lewis. Apart from Duprey, there was also no room on the board for his cousin Roger Duprey, who has been replaced as a director. Also to be removed are Clinton Rambaransingh and Leroy Parris.

“I wish to stay out of the press,” was all that a sedate-sounding Duprey would say yesterday when contacted by Newsday for comment. “I want to stay out of the press. Thank you for calling, okay?” he added.

The new appointments, coming after weeks of talks between Duprey and the Government, will have to be approved at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders of CL Financial, which is carded for June 30.

That meeting is set to see objections raised by a member of the Duprey-clan, Kirk Carpenter, who has indicated his opposition to the new deal.

But according to the Ministry of Finance, over 67 percent of the shareholding of CL Financial have indicated their support of the announced appointees. The new agreement largely aims to place the management and control of CL Financial assets in the hands of the new board “in order to execute the actions contemplated” by the January 30 MOU which aimed to correct the financial conditions of Clico, British American and CIB, and to protect policies and pensions.

Key aims of the new agreement will be: “ensuring that the debts of (CL Financial) are managed as appropriate and satisfied”; and “causing (CL Financial) to repay to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago sums expended” in furtherance of the objectives of the MOU.

Enill yesterday told Newsday the new agreement also deals with addressing the issue of the shortage in the Clico statutory fund.

“This is dealing with the shortage in the statutory fund, that is in the start of all of this,” he said.

Carballo yesterday said the debt for the group stood at about US$2 billion or about TT$13 billion. Getting Duprey to step down was a condition set by Government from the outset of these negotiations and was crucial to dealing with CL Financial’s debt.

“He is off, he has formally retired from the board,” said Carballo.

Carballo said Duprey is now a majority shareholder in the new entity, adding that he will not play any part in the corporate governance of CL Financial. With Government in control of CL Financial, it means that all of the group’s subsidiaries fall under their purview, including Angostura, Home Construction Limited, Lascelles, the rum company acquired by Angostura in Jamaica, Caridoc in Chaguaramas as well as the group’s real estate holdings in Miami and Clico Holdings in Barbados.
Source: www.news.co.tt

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: