PORT OF SPAIN –– Two days before the chairman and managing director of CLICO were fired for not following instructions with regard to payouts, its former chief executive Eugene Dziadyk was paid $17.3 million for his policies.
Dziadyk, a Canadian actuary who had three US currency policies, was paid on June 3.
Unlike other policyholders, like former director Nigel Salina who had a two per cent interest on his policies, Dziadyk had 12 per cent interest on the three policies.
For his three investments valued at of $499,919.15, $1,083,051.82 and $1,086,935.36 in 2007, he was paid $3,239,842.96, $7,018,970.63 and $7,044,138.85 respectively.
The $17.3 million represents 85 per cent of the money owed to him with the interest.
The payment was made even after Minister of Finance Larry Howai called for a report on the matter.
At the Sir Anthony Colman’s Commission Of Enquiry, it was revealed that Dziadyk had benefited from an interest credit of $63 million on an account.
As a CLICO director, he penned a letter which is available on the commission’s website, retroactively increasing the interest rate of his Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) — which he opened in 2004 at CLICO — from 12 per cent to a whopping 75.48 per cent.
“In accordance with the amendment to the above policy dated March 17, 2004, and approved by Mr Duprey, an interest rate of 75.48 per cent shall be credited to this policy covering the period March 17, 2004, to April 24, 2007. This policy may be surrendered without penalty,” the letter stated.
The letter which was dated April 24, 2007, was also the day Dziadyk had a meeting at the Central Bank to discuss liquidity issues and the inadequate response of the Central Bank among others.
Henry Hamlet, a CLICO department manager who gave evidence at the commission, testified on the special arrangement.
As a result, Dziadyk’s account grew from US$2.3 million to US$12.5 million.
Hamlet had said Dziadyk took out about US$10 million (TT$63 million) from the account which was left with a balance of US$2.1 million.
That balance left in the account with the interest is what Dziadyk was paid on June 3.
Dziadyk’s payment takes the sum paid to former directors of the company to $53.3 million.
Four former directors and their companies who were classed as “related parties” when CLICO went bust in 2009, have already been paid $36,188,690.90 million.
They are Ian Garcia and his company Events Unlimited; Clinton Ramberansingh and his connected parties (Bianca Ramberansingh and Martina De Silva); Vishnu Ramlogan and Salina and his company Nigel Salina & Associates.
The directors and their connected parties are among ten identified to be paid $63,207,849.78 million on their policies with interest added.
On May 1, Salina received his money which amounted to about $2 million. Salina had four policies –– two in US dollars and two in TT dollars.
On May 4, former financial controller and chief marketing officer Ian Garcia and his company Events Unlimited also received close to $16 million.
Garcia, who never appeared before the commission, had five policies — three in TT dollars and two in US dollars.
One of his policies, worth $6.4 million was in his company’s name Events Unlimited.
Garcia and Events Unlimited were publicly named in the CLICO commission by CLICO’s attorney Neal Bisnath.
Bisnath had said at the CLICO enquiry Garcia was one person who benefited financially from his job at CLICO by creating a company (Events Unlimited) and awarding it work from CLICO.
Bisnath had explained how CLICO had made a US$3 million draft to Events Unlimited which was authorized by former CEO Karen Gardier (who is also identified to be paid) and Garcia.
Bisnath had said the US$3 payment was wire transferred to a US account of Events Unlimited and then US$1 million was returned to open an EFPA policy.
On June 2, Ramlogan collected his $3.5 million from CLICO.
The directors include people who were summoned to the commission to be cross-examined but opted to pay the $2,000 fine instead of giving evidence.
The payment issue had led to a face-off between Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran and former CLICO chairman Gerald Yetming.
Rambarran, a former employee of CL Financial’s CMMB, is being advised by Ram Ramesh, his former boss and former adviser to Duprey when the company sought a bailout from the government.
Last Friday, hours after he defended the directors’ entitlement to be paid, Rambarran fired Yetming and managing director Carolyn John.
Yetming said the reason he was fired was “a blatant lie”.
Rambarran had written to Yetming on Friday evening stating: “The bank has re-evaluated its strategy for the future conduct of the affairs of CLICO and in this regard the bank is constrained to discontinue your appointment as chairman of the board. We wish to record our gratitude to you for your contribution to the management and affairs of CLICO.”
However, the Central Bank had said in a release on Friday night: “The Central Bank took this action after CLICO failed to follow direct instructions issued by the bank on March 26, 2015 setting out the protocols for all disbursements to policyholders and creditors under the CLICO Resolution Plan. These instructions included obtaining approval from the Bank for all payments prior to disbursement.”
Wendy Ho Sing, the former inspector of financial institutions, has been named as executive chairman with immediate effect.