Listed Securities

Florida businessman indicted, Stirling Cooke ordered to place $500,000 into escrow

Businessman David Sanz was criminally indicted in the US last month to face charges of racketeering, grand theft and fraud in relation to Florida-based Gulf Atlantic Management Group Inc., which he owned. The offences include an allegation that Sanz illegally stripped off millions of dollars from GAMG over several years and, in a final flourish as the regulatory net closed in, sold its entire book of business of GAMG and that of a related company to Stirling Cooke Insurance Services for $1 million.

Bermuda Fire & Marine liquidators rejected $10-$15 m offer to settle lawsuit

Defendants in a fraud lawsuit involving Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company made an offer last year of between $10 million and $15 million to settle the case, OffshoreAlert can reveal. However, Bermuda Fire's liquidators, Ernst & Young, rejected the offer on the grounds that it fell substantially short of what was acceptable, said a source whose company is owed money by Bermuda Fire.

Theodore P. Netzky et al v. David J. Aubel et al: Complaint

Complaint in Theodore P. Netzky, Lester J. Rosenberg, James Whitney, Mary Claire Frye, Stuart Isen, Ronald N. Weiser, not individually but as Trustee of the Ronald Weiser Trust, and RAM Partners v. Computer Access International, Inc., David J. Aubel, Christina Perry and Roland Perry at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Stirling Cooke – profit up but what lies around the corner?

Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings, a publicly-listed company over which there are several question marks, has reported a profit of $4 million for the three months ended March 31, 1998 - a 41 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier. The company reported that revenues went up by 39 per cent to $19.9 million, while reporting that expenses also increased by 39 per cent to $15 million.

Stirling Cooke accountant Brian Hynes has conviction for fraud

An accountant who participated in one of the world's best-known insurance frauds is currently working for Bermuda-based insurance group Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings as a financial accountant, we can disclose. Brian J. Hynes, former managing director of Carlos Miro-owned Anglo-American International Reinsurance Co., is employed by Stirling Cooke at its London office.

MRM’s millionaire insurance bosses

Mutual Risk Management chairman and CEO Robert Mulderig received a financial package worth $2.67 million for fiscal 1997, according to the company's latest Proxy Statement filing with the SEC. Mulderig received a salary of $452,250, a bonus of $486,842, pension contributions of $11,309 and a profit of $1.72 million from exercising stock options. His right-hand man, John Kessock, who is president of the company, received a package valued at $2.64 million, comprising a salary of $452,504, a bonus of $486,842, pension contributions of $4,000 and a stock option profit of $1.7 million.

Mid Ocean’s Michael Butt receives $7 million package for fiscal 1997

Michael Butt, the 55-year-old president and CEO of Bermuda-based reinsurer Mid Ocean Limited, received a financial package worth $7 million in fiscal 1997, according to the company's latest Proxy Statement filing with the SEC.Butt's remuneration comprised $485,000 in salary, $500,000 as a performance bonus, $209,800 in travel and housing allowances, $53,100 in contributions to his pension plan, a profit of $5.31 million from share options he exercised during the year and a further $417,600 in restricted stock awards that were granted in previous years but which vested during fiscal 1997.

BFCL comes to an ignominious end

One of the most ambitious property developments in Bermuda's history that eventually turned into a four-year embarrassment for its sponsors has ended in typically ignominious fashion. Bermuda Financial Centre Limited was struck off from the Bermuda companies register on December 19 by the authorities and, three days later, the listing of its preference shares was cancelled by the Bermuda Stock Exchange.

Stirling Cooke – What you won’t find in its prospectus

Investors contemplating taking part in the $50 million IPO of Bermuda-based insurance broker/risk manager Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Limited, which is 24 per cent owned by Goldman Sachs, may be interested in a few details they will not find in the company's share prospectus. Perhaps the most noteworthy is the involvement of its subsidiary Raydon Underwriting Management in one of the world's largest insurance frauds. Raydon, which shares offices with Stirling Cooke at Victoria Hall, Hamilton, had the dubious distinction of managing reinsurer North American Fidelity & Guarantee.

Long Botham Boats renegotiates debt

Long Botham Boats Company Ltd., the Bermuda-based, publicly-listed company that owns Henry VIII bar/restaurant, has renegotiated its debt facility with the Bank of Butterfield.

Anything for a fee? A look at CD&P’s role in the NimsTec fiasco

If investors who pumped $2.6 million into Bermuda-based hi-tech firm NimsTec on the basis of misleading and inaccurate information are looking for someone to sue for negligence, they could do worse than to explore the role of law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman in helping NimsTec to raise capital. Before parting with their funds, investors in NimsTec who bought shares in two private placements were assured by NimsTec's officers and directors - who included CD&P partners - that no material facts were omitted from a share prospectus and that "all reasonable care" had been taken in its compilation. However, we can reveal that CD&P should have known about the appalling track record of NimsTec's 3-D camera and printing technology and its management that was not disclosed to investors because the law firm previously represented a similar company called Nimslo.

BSX de-lists NimsTec shares

The Bermuda Stock Exchange yesterday announced that it was de-listing the shares of 3-D firm NimsTec Limited for publishing an inaccurate and misleading share prospectus. The de-listing of NimsTec's shares is a direct result of an investigation carried out by Offshore Business News & Research which publishes Offshore Alert and Inside Bermuda, into NimsTec earlier this year.

Bermuda Fire & Marine insolvent by $1.4 billion

Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company, which was stripped of over $40 million of assets two years before it went bust without Bermuda's regulators so much as batting an eyelid, is now estimated by its liquidators to be insolvent by an astonishing $1.4 billion. If the figures are accurate, Bermuda Fire would become not only by far the biggest insolvency in Bermuda's history but also one of the biggest insurance insolvencies anywhere in the world.

NimsTec’s appalling track record

Investors thinking of buying into high-tech firm NimsTec, which last month became the latest company to list on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, may want to look closely at the track record of its technology and its senior management before parting with their funds. Bermuda-based NimsTec, which manufactures and markets 3-D products, including cameras, has raised $3 million so far from investors in Bermuda, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Investors include Deloitte & Touche (Bermuda) partners Bill Jack and Roger Titterton, who have invested $40,000 between them. The company bears striking similarities to a company called Nimslo, which lost investors in the US, the UK and Bermuda tens of millions of dollars over the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s with the same technology now owned by NimsTec.

Compensation review of officers of publicly-listed insurers based in Bermuda

Brian O' Hara, chairman and chief executive officer of both excess liability carrier Exel Ltd. and its main operating subsidiary X. L., was by far the best paid officer in 1996 of all the executives of Bermuda-based insurers that are publicly-listed in the United States, according to a salaries survey conducted by Offshore Business News & Research.The review shows that O'Hara took home a financial package worth $5.52 million for fiscal 1996, more than $2 million greater than the next highest-paid officer, Michael Butt, president and CEO of property catastrophe reinsurer Mid Ocean Ltd.

NimsTec shares list on BSX

NimsTec Limited, a hi-tech firm which produces 3-D cameras and printers for the medical and photographic industries, has begun listing its ordinary shares on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, where they will be traded in minimum blocks of $100,000.

Charles Collis accused of altering Bermuda Fire & Marine minutes

One of Bermuda's most influential businessmen, lawyer Charles Collis, has been accused of doctoring the minutes of a crucial committee meeting to hide evidence that directors of Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance knew the firm was in financial trouble before they stripped it of $40 million in assets.

Mutual Risk Management fires auditor

Bermuda-based Mutual Risk Management, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has dismissed its auditor of 18 years, KPMG Peat Marwick, and replaced it with Ernst & Young - but will not officially say why.

BF&M policyholders’ ‘not at risk’

Long-term policyholders with BF&M Ltd. are not at financial risk because of a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought against the firm by the liquidators of its former parent, BF&M's lawyers have claimed. Although BF&M Life Insurance Company Ltd. is named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit, long-term policyholders are protected under Bermuda law, said lawyer Timothy Marshall, of Marshall & Company.

Mutual Risk Management acquires CFM Insurance

Mutual Risk Management has agreed to acquire CFM Insurance Managers, a Bermuda company which provides risk management services to captive insurance firms based on the island. Several CFM clients are subsidiaries of European companies and many are involved in the international marine insurance market, a release announcing the deal stated.

Bermuda Stock Exchange to set up investors’ compensation pool

A pool of money to help compensate investors who will lose out in the event of a trading member of the Bermuda Stock Exchange collapsing is likely to be in place by the end of the year, we have been told. To get the pool started, each trading member of the Exchange will be asked to contribute a one-off lump sum.

Entertainer sues owner of Henry VIII restaurant

Entertainer Peter Stoney is suing the company that owns the Bermuda-based Henry VIII bar and restaurant for $32,600, claiming wrongful dismissal.Mr. Stoney, who claims he is contracted to work for the business until at least December 31, 1995, has had his contract terminated by Henry VIII boss Any Allan.

RenaissanceRe goes ahead with IPO 18 months late

Bermuda-based property catastrophe reinsurer Renaissance Re is going ahead with a $50 million initial public offering of its shares, 18 months after canceling an IPO of more than $100 million due to a decline in the world investment climate.Renaissance Re. will offer 2.7 million shares, which represents ten per cent of the company's capital.

Bermuda Fire & Marine lawsuit nears for top businessmen

A decision on whether to sue some of Bermuda's most influential local businessmen for millions of dollars, stemming from the collapse of Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance, is expected to be made over the next couple of months. At stake is over $100 million owed to creditors of Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance and the credibility of Bermuda's regulatory and legal system in relation to protecting the rights of foreigners doing business with Bermuda-based insurers and reinsurers.

Shoreline Mutual moves away from mutual insurance

Bermuda-based Shoreline Mutual, which issues certificates of financial guarantee for vessels entering US waters, has arranged further reinsurance for all its members to protect them against supplemental cash calls being made in the event of substantial claims.The policy, which has been placed by Willis Faber & Dumas and Sedgwick Marine & Cargo and is underwritten 100 per cent at Lloyd's, is expected to strengthen Shoreline's product in the battle for business with its main rival, First Line, which is also based in Bermuda.

Bermuda firms battle for share of COFR market

Insurance executives aligned to two groups in Bermuda have been working frantically over the last few weeks to provide the first certificates of financial responsibility now required of shipowners whose vessels will enter US waters. Up for grabs are tens of millions of dollars in annual premiums. David Marchant looks at Bermuda's newest reinsurance product and assesses the winners and losers.

Possible insider trading in BF&M shares

BF&M Ltd announced a ten per cent stock dividend to shareholders yesterday - only days after some of the largest volumes of trading in its shares for several months. A decision to reward long-suffering shareholders of BF&M Ltd, who have seen their capital investment drop from $10.50 per share in June, 1993, to $6.75 currently, was taken by BF&M's board of directors on December 20.

BSX to start accepting member applications

Stock brokers in Bermuda and overseas will be able to join the Bermuda Stock Exchange as of next week, we can reveal. Literature explaining how to join is due to be sent out over the holiday period to investment firms locally and in North America, where there has been a lot of interest from brokers.

Telco files lawsuit in battle for control of Bermuda Cablevision

Bermuda Telephone Company Ltd has legally challenged the control and ownership structure of Bermuda Cablevision, in which it is the largest shareholder.Telco filed a writ against the cable television supplier at Bermuda Supreme Court on Tuesday under Section 111 of the Companies Act 1981.The section allows shareholders to sue their company if they believe they are a victim of "oppressive or prejudicial conduct".

Bermuda investors seek to sell Turks & Caicos property

FOR SALE - 1,375 acres of undeveloped land in uninhabited East Caicos, 50-100 yards from the ocean, asking price: in excess of $563,750.The seller is Solar Enterprises, the only local company listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange whose shares have never traded.

Dubious Canadian firm forms Bermuda subsidiary

A Canadian company described as "a disaster waiting to happen" has incorporated a subsidiary in Bermuda to promote the firm's interests overseas.International Hi-Tech Industries Inc, which is listed on the notorious Vancouver Stock Exchange, has a net worth of CDN$4 million.But the company's market capitalization — the value placed on it by investors in the marketplace — stands at a staggering CDN$335 million even though Hi-Tech reportedly has no sales revenue and no contracts for any sales.

Bermuda Fire directors stay silent despite allegations of fraud at Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance

Despite the strong criticisms of the collapse of Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance, the company's vice-chairman, lawyer and former UBP MP William Cox, yesterday maintained his year-long public silence on the affair."I have no comment," said Mr Cox, who is the senior partner in law firm Cox & Wilkinson.Bermuda Fire's chairman, former government Senate leader Charles Collis, the senior partner in law firm Conyers, Dill & Pearman, was not available for comment.Other directors who voted to approve the controversial split-up of the company in 1991 have steadfastly refused to comment publicly on their actions since Bermuda Fire went into provisional liquidation in November, 1993.

Bermuda attacked by US politicians over Bermuda Fire ‘fraud’

A powerful political body in the US has launched a blistering attack on Bermuda over its handling of the collapse of Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance.Over $40 million in assets that were dividended out to the insurer's shareholders in 1991 has been described as "a prime example of outrageous irresponsibility by an offshore insurance company".The matter was "exacerbated by a cavalier disregard for the consequences on people living elsewhere", said a report released this week entitled ‘Wishful Thinking: A World view of Insurance Solvency Regulation.'

ACE shares fall due to extra reserving for implant claims

Shares in excess liability insurer ACE Ltd. fell by $2 per share on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday in unusually heavy trading after the firm announced it was setting aside another $200 million to meet breast-implant litigation claims.

ACE downplays exposure to breast implant litigation

Potential losses from breast implant litigation in the United States should not cause undue problems for Bermuda-based excess liability carriers ACE and XL, both companies said this week.