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Executive Chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) resigns

Executive Chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) resigns

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The saga involving regional financial conglomerate CLICO took a new twist this week with CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited’s Executive Chairman Leroy Parris announcing his retirement.{{more}}

On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, Paris, the face of CLICO (Barbados) for decades, announced his retirement as chairman of parent company, CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited, and its subsidiaries, CLICO International Life Insurance Limited and CLICO International General Insurance Limited, effective May 31, 2010.

Paris, who turned 65 on Tuesday, said he was retiring from CLICO Mortgage and Finance immediately.

Earlier in April, he had disclosed that he would retire from CLICO International Life Insurance at the end of July, and would concentrate on working with the managers and agents to rebuild and ensure CLICO’s continued survival.

All that changed with the announcement that he would now retire next month.

The announcement of his retirement comes at the height of the CLICO controversy and on the heels of the resignation of two CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited’s board members, attorney-at-law Leslie Haynes and economist, Professor Frank Alleyne.

It is claimed the resignations followed a meeting held on April 14.

Earlier this week, Parris was strongly criticised by William Layne, Permanent Secretary in the Barbados Ministry of Finance, for withdrawing two mature deposits worth over a quarter million dollars from a subsidiary company.

Layne has taken Parris to task for withdrawing two deposits from CLICO Mortage and Finance Corporation (CMFC) in the sums of BDS$129,827.74 and BDS$136,776.58, respectively, when they matured on December 3, 2009, and January 8, 2010.

He told the Sunday Sun last weekend the Oversight Committee had written Parris a letter on the matter since CMFC was in receipt of public funding from the Central Bank of Barbados and was not in a position to repay the money.

When contacted, Parris said when the deposits matured, he asked the CMFC’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew St. John, if he could pay the deposits and he responded in the affirtmative and dispatched a cheque to him.

The Sunday Sun disclosed that Parris also produced a letter from Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Delisle Worrell, dated February 3, 2010, indicating CMFC

had an obligation to pay deposits of all clients, “including yourself” [Parris] at maturity.

Parris added even though he had withdrawn the mature deposits, he still had deposits in CMFC.

The top insurance executive stated his attorney corresponded by letter with Layne on April 21, 2010, stating that the withdrawal of deposits from CMFC was made by Parris in his capacity as “a citizen of Barbados”.

On Tuesday, February 3, 2009, in a press and investors conference, held here in St. Vincent, upstairs the Golden Apple Restaurant, on Halifax Street in Kingstown, Parris went to great lengths to convince Vincentians that CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited was clear of the financial troubles affecting the Trinidad and Tobago-based conglomerate CL Financial Group, as the Barbados and Eastern Caribbean operation was totally independent of the parent company.

“I can stand right here in this building, under the roof, in all of these lights, and confirm to you, as a commitment that CL Financial in Trinidad cannot leverage on any assets in Barbados or the Eastern Caribbean.

“Don’t panic. Be calm. Your money don’t go to Trinidad. Your money don’t go to prop up any entity in Trinidad,” he added, noting that CLICO Barbados is worth $1.4 billion and has made a profit in each of its 25 years of existence.

“I want to remove the fear that Trinidad is going to come and take money out of St Vincent, Trinidad is going to come and take money out of Barbados,” he asserted.

Following the press conference, an investor told SEARCHLIGHT: “I don’t understand how they could be all part of one company and say that if that company is going through a problem they can never be affected.” (HN)