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First Citizens special meeting set for Tuesday

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The special meeting of First Citizens Bank Limited to elect new directors takes place next Tuesday at 10 am in the lobby of Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s. Notice of the meeting was issued by the bank’s corporate secretary Sharon Christopher. Finance Minister Larry Howai, in his capacity as Corporation Sole, has nominated former attorney general Anthony Smart to be the new chairman of the state-owned bank replacing attorney-at-law Nyree Alfonso, who retired from the board at the bank’s annual general meet­ing on May 12.  


Other nominees announced by Howai are Jean-Pierre du Coudray, a director of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce; Joel Pemberton, a chartered accountant and CEO of Trinity Exploration and Production Plc; Michelle Durham-Kissoon, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance and the Economy; Courtenay Williams, attorney and senior partner, Pollonais and Blanc; and Hazar Hosein, CEO, Land Settlement Agency, Ministry of Land and Marine Affairs. At the bank’s last AGM, Howai’s representative, Vishnu Dhanpaul, voted out two directors, Sho­bee Jacelon and Marlene Juman, and indicated that Corporation Sole would not support Alfonso or Rishi Baddaloo to return to the board.


The change in the bank’s directors comes just months after a controversy over its initial public offering and former chief risk officer Philip Rahaman’s purchase and sale of a substantial amount of shares in the state financial institution. Howai ordered an investigation, which is still ongoing, into the circumstances of Rahaman’s purchase and subsequent sale of shares. Rahaman spent $14.5 million to acquire the shares, then sold 634,588 of them on January 14, making a profit of over $12 million inclusive of $718,950.92 in dividends. The transaction was allegedly brokered by Bourse Securities. 


The shares were sold to Rahaman’s cousin Imtiaz Ahmad, his aunt Alia and five companies owned by the Rahaman family. Rahaman was later fired by the bank. Another casualty of the IPO controversy was Subhas Ramkhelawan, managing director of Bourse Securities, who resigned from his positions as an Independent Senator and chairman of the T&T Stock Exchange (TTSE).