BOV gives indemnity to the directors of the La Valette Funds Sicav Plc and obtain an irrevocable waiver of any right of action or recourse by the Sicav against Bank of Valletta and Valletta Fund Management
An interesting document has come to light that renders Nicolo’ Macchiavelli an amateur in comparison. A document entitled “Settlement Agreement” and dated 18th January 2012 has come into Maltastar’s possession.
Before the date of this Agreement, the MFSA had already expressed itself in the clearest possible manner that Valletta Fund Management had failed to observe the investment restrictions of the prospectus of the La Valette Property Fund, that Bank of Valletta had issued false Custodian Reports based on the wrong interpretation of the Prospectus’ Investment Restrictions, and that both VFM and BOV had failed to exercise oversight and monitoring over their delegates.
Besides, John C Ripard was found to have withdrawn shares from this Fund when in possession of sensitive information. Bank of Valletta was later found to have practically breached all the rules in the rule-book of investment services licence holders in selling the Property Fund. VFM and BOV were fined. Mr Ripard was given a reprimand for what is substantially insider dealing; if he had oversped on his way to MFSA, a speed camera fine would have cost Mr Ripard much more than that. But that is justice MFSA-style!
To go back to this (in)famous agreement signed between the Chalmers coterie of friends of the 18th January 2012.
After MFSA’s damning conclusions subsequent to its investigations, any upright SICAV director – if they were really independent and persons of integrity - would have left no stone unturned to make sure that they would sue whoever was responsible for gambling away the Sicav investors’ money entrusted with them. But not in Malta! As if!
They all sat around a table and signed an Agreement that contains a number of unilateral declarations that they have done nothing wrong. VFM, BOV and the directors of the Sicav declared that they have “at all times acted honestly, in good faith and in accordance with their legal, contractual, statutory and fiduciary obligations”. All the parties to the Agreement put each one’s minds at rest that “each of the Parties contends that the allegations levelled at each of them … are unfounded at law and in fact”. The SICAV takes note and accepts these self-absolutions, and – hold your breath – PROCEEDS TO “IRREVOCABLY WAIVE ANY RIGHT OF ACTION OR RECOURSE THAT THE SICAV MAY HAVE AGAINST BANK OF VALLETTA OR VALLETTA FUND MANAGEMENT”.
There is of course the quid-pro-quo: Bank of Valletta indemnifies for damages and court expenses not only the SICAV but also all the directors of the La Valette Funds Sicav in their personal capacity, including Tonio Depasquale. Hence Bank of Valletta headed by its previous CEO Tonio Depasquale and the new CEO Charles Borg indemnify Tonio Depasquale and Charles Borg in their capacity as Directors of the Sicav.
Naturally, in line with the high standards of transparency and accountability of the BOV called OMERTA’, all parties to the Agreement stipulate that “The Parties agree to keep the terms of this Settlement Agreement confidential”.
This scandalous and incestuous behaviour by the bunch of directors sitting on Sicav, BOV and VFM board of directors – naturally all approved as fit and proper persons by the guardian of consciences Dr Andre Camilleri, Director General of MFSA - show the level to which such directors are prepared to abdicate from their fiduciary duties towards the general investing public and how they fail to act as the guardian and of the shareholders.
Indeed Schettino is an amateur next to these righteous persons! Outright Scandalous behaviour! DOES THE MFSA KNOW ABOUT THIS? OR IS THE CHAIRMAN AND DIRECTOR GENERAL STILL WITH THEIR HEAD IN THE SAND TO MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT DISCOVER SUCH SCANDALOUS CASES WHERE DIRECTORS AND FUNCTIONARIES OF FUNDS PUT THEIR PERSONAL INTEREST BEFORE THAT OF INVESTORS.