Barbados Policyholders of CLICO form Non Profit Incorporated Group

Like I mentioned before, there was a mini-conference at Divi-Southwinds on Friday night and many options and discoveries were made in the small and packed room… The main result of this gathering is there are now five Interim Officers and a Non Profit Agency to be formed and Incorporated so as to pursue what emoluments  are entitled to people who placed their money, lives and trust with the Colonial Life Insuance Company, also known as CLICO for short – there is consideration to have British-American users to also be affiliated since Brit-Am is a CLICO subsidiary.

Former CBC Anchor and Inter-American Development Bank executive Sharon Marshall was in attendance with her Cuban-born hubby, she revealed she is still making payments without knowing if her Final Annuity is truly available!

There was an analysis of the solvency of CLICO’s Barbados assets which do not appear so healthy, according to Doug Skeete, most of which he mentioned before at the Ermy Bourne Resource Centre last year.

What was different this time around is he was very careful how he worded it, but it clearly indicated the Supervisor of Insurance, Senator Jester Jepter Ince, was deemed culpable and therefore it is for the courts to decide how accountable he is in the whole debacle where Investors and Policyholders are still trying to learn if they have anything to draw when they retire?

Doug Skeete gave a detailed comparison of how Trinidad handled its CLICO problems, he's seen here making a point as Coordinator June Fowler took copious notes.

Noted Attorney Hal Gollop says if what one reads in the papers is accurate then there can be a strong case presented that certain officers within the agency acted in a manner not dissimilar from Insider Trading.

One member of the Group suggested that if Investors and Policyholders were 10,000 then each should notify their Families as to how to vote next elections if Freundel Stuart and Chris Sinckler do not take bold and/or drastic steps to redress the crisis which has many folks scared and sleepless. If an Action Movement cannot convince the current administration to intervene then let them know from early there’s a potential 60,000 exponential votes emanating from ten-thousand disgruntled CLICO ex-Customers!

Hal Gollop, Attorney At Law in the foreground to the right, as former NUPW Executive Council member Volta Lowe (in scarf) all are paying close attention to the query from a member of the audience that night

As an example of the transparency which Mrs June Fowler expects from CLICO Officials, she disclosed to the intimate gathering the minutes of a meeting held with CLICO executives earlier this week (COMPLETE AUDIO AND VIDEO ARE AVAILABLE IF NECESSARY);-

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
11:00 a.m.

Present were

  • Terrence Thornhill, President – CLICO Holdings
  • Geoffrey Brewster, President – CLICO Life
  • David Clarke, V.P. Sales – CLICO Life
  • June Fowler – Policyholder

After pleasantries and introductions were exchanged, Mrs. Fowler advised the gentlemen that she would be making notes for her meeting on Friday, February 11, 2011 to report to those policyholders who were attending. Mr. Thornhill stated that he did not see a problem in sharing the information because they too were supportive of a solution to the two year issue. They all agreed that it had been going for too long and they expected that it would have been resolved by now (solutions found and executed).

He also stated that they would like to see the level of negative publicity kept to a minimum since they believed that the investors and policyholders were partners in the operation of CLICO.

They all agreed that they failed in their efforts to communicate with their investors and policyholders in the early stages but indicated that the situation was much better. Mrs. Fowler did indicate that it would appear that only EFPA clients received letters and Mr. Brewster stated that she should have received one as an FPA client. Mrs. Fowler informed them that she only received end of year correspondence relating to income tax filing.

The popular Barbadian lawyer made it clear that while it can be easy to prosecute a Breach or an Anticpatory Breach based on prevailing circumstances, Juducial Management is necessary to show how Investors and Policyholders may acquire some form of fliquid financial remedy rather than a "paper" solution where they only achieve a Moral Victory

In response to a question regarding the status of the investors and policyholders funds and whether they could indicate the value of the assets, Mr. Thornhill stated that they were looking at solutions and had map out several plans for safeguarding the funds of investors and policyholders. He reiterated that their objective was to ensure that policyholders suffered no loss. He however, indicated that the major issue would be timing (and I assume this meant the time funds would be paid out to investors, etc.).

Mr. Thornhill indicated that they could not communicate any plans for moving the company forward because they were awaiting the imminent arrival of the judicial manager. They also did not want to pre-empt any plans the JM might have and felt they had to communicate to the public as a cohesive body (as oppose to them saying one thing and the JM saying something else).

Mrs. Fowler extended an invitation to anyone of the management team to the meeting on February 11, 2011, but they felt it was not the right time since they did not have concrete answers for the anticipated questions from the policyholders and investors and did not want to create any undue or additional anxiety for them.

Mr. Brewster indicated that they (management and staff) were meeting daily with clients when they came into the company, some were receiving payments and others were making payments.

Maureen Inniss (standing) had so many Comments & Questions, eventually they had to tell her that the next remark was her Final Comment or Question - she actually and rather proudly indicated she only just began her interrogation!

In response to a query on how the staff and remaining agents were coping, Mr. Clarke stated that they were coping well under the circumstances, counseling was provided for them and again, because of the length of time it was taking to resolve the situation, some persons were experiencing stress.

Mr. Brewster also indicated that a website was set up specifically for queries Investors and policyholders could post their questions, etc. and someone would respond to them in a timely manner.

Mrs. Fowler wanted to know if it was possible for the Judicial Manager to come in and within two years liquidate the company, selling off the assets and then the investors, policyholders are paid only a percentage or not all of their funds? Mr. Thornhill stated that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler stated that there would be no fire sale of CLICO’s assets so that possibility would be extremely remote.

Mr. Thornhill stated that going forward their communication to the public would not be a single channel approach but that it would encompass letters, press releases, via the website, etc. to keep clients informed.

Mrs. Fowler wanted to know if clients should continue to pay their insurance premiums and Mr. Brewster stated that it was important to do so to avoid their policies lapsing. In addition, he stated that clients with health insurance should continue to pay as well, especially those above a particular age group since it would be difficult for them to purchase new health insurance with any pre-existing conditions.

Expert Guitarist Chris Reid suggested that if the Government of the Day was hoping the current crop of Policyholders & Investors would die of Old Age before they act to address any improprieties (even after telling Bajans that CLICO Trinidad had NOTHING to do with CLICO Barbados) then what has to be made known to Freundel Stuart and Chris Sinckler from early is that there at least 10-thousand CLICO subscribers who feel alienated and if they do not get the satisfaction they deserve then they will approach friends and family and get at least 60-thousand voters to remember Chris & Freundel at the next Elections whenever called!

Overall, I believe the meeting was a “getting to know you/us” session for the management of CLICO and Mrs. Fowler.

The CLICO management said nothing new. They continue to sing the same refrain as the late Prime Minister David Thompson, the current Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, “the investors and policyholders funds are safe and each one of them will get their money back”. However, they were unable to make any commitments, due to the absence of a Judicial Manager.

  • Observation

It should be noted that the Oversight Committee headed by Mr. William Layne exited CLICO since July 2010 and to date the Judicial Manager, even though appointed as indicated by the Minister of Finance is not yet on premises at CLICO. It would appear that until the JM is in place, the management’s hands are tied.

In summary, investors and policyholders will continue to agitate for more comforting answers than those provided above by the CLICO management team.

June D. Fowler
CLICO Policyholder

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