British American Financial (BAF) wants to buy Clico (Bahamas)?

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baf-cooperIF! If the 30,000 policyholders of Clico Bahamas receives a BAILOUT from the government of the Bahamas that would be a great idea for the mothers still crying. Clico Bahamas is now in liquidation. And plenty, PLENTY BAHAMIANS ARE UPSET! LIKE, the father who is sick and cannot get health services. The retiree who retired last week, but all the money gone! And the young high school girl who graduating this year, but her college fees are GONE FOR GOOD!

Last night on a ZNS TV newscast a young Bahamian sent a message out to those 30,000 policyholders suggesting that his company, British American Financial, can possibly consider buying assets in the failed CLICO. Now if this happens it is quite possible some of the 30,000 policyholders can smile again. Yes, that too would be a great fantasy.

British American Financial is said to be 100% Bahamian owned. Its head office sits near the East West Highway and Blue Hill Road. The company unlike Clico Bahamas is chaired by Basil Sands, a Bahamian! Chester Cooper a young Bahamian also heads its management team.

In 2006 British American Insurance Company announced talks of its acquisition by the Bahamian boys from its parent company British American International, which was at the time based in the United Kingdom. The Company had resided in the Bahamas for 80 years.

Back then the company held more than 40,000 individual policyholders and some 400 group accounts, covering some 6,000 employees and 15,000 individuals in total. The company had more than $622 million of life insurance coverage in force. Yes the company appears STRONG, buy why was it sold?

In 2007, February to be exact,  the public was made aware that the approval by the Bahamas Registrar of Insurance was given for the sale of the company, and British American became a 100% Bahamian owned company. John Wilson upon that announcement, a partner in the McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes law firm, was made the principal and director in the company. Luciano’s Restaurant on East Bay Street was the venue for the good news.

But here is where our questions begin in this whole ‘love affair’ now being expressed for CLICO Bahamas. During that press conference on that balmy Wednesday evening in 2007, Chester Cooper wined and dined guests present for the announcement. But the head of the company refused to tell members of the press what the cost of the acquisition was and every attempt to find out was denied. Hmmmmmmm?

Cooper then told members of the media that the sale price was an eight-digit figure (?? – 00,000,000 – ??) and that FirstCaribbean Bank International financed a small part of the deal. Hmmmmmmm.

“This is the beginning of an exciting, new era in the company, the insurance and financial services sector in the Bahamas as well as the wider community,” he said.

“It is in this context that this move today is a significant evolution for British American, its cadre of loyal staff, our clients and the public at large. As we embark on a new mission to build on its great legacy, we are enthused to introduce shortly a reenergized brand and a vibrant platform on which we will innovate and on which we will grow.”

Now on Wednesday April 1st 2009 (two days ago), Cooper appeared on ZNS TV 13 news suggesting that BAF just might consider purchasing the assets of CLICO Bahamas. Now knowing what we now know and looking deep into the context of this time we live, this announcement raises some questions for us. In a small tabloid newspaper called The Bugle, which hit the streets of the capital two weeks ago, a headline captured our eyes. It read, “CLICO! The Inside RIP-OFF!” The in-depth article began talking about CLICO and identifying who is who and what is what.

In that article it highlighted the culprits of CLICO (Bahamas) tracing their greedy tracks back to the steps of Trinidad. The article unveiled all of the dirty dealings of the company. In so many words it read, how all the money walked out of the Bahamas, without the Governor of the Central Bank tracing a dime of it. All $70 plus million of the Bahamian people’s investments GONE! It tracked the CHIEF CULPRIT TO BEING A MAN NAMED Lawrence Duprey, head of CL Financial, the parent company of Clico (Bahamas), which was also bailed out by the Trinidadian government.

Bahamas Press was STUCK GLUED to the article. And then came the juices of this story. The Bugle wrote:

“CL Financial has 7.5 million shares in issue and its stated share capital is TT$7.5 million. The company’s major shareholders are: Dalco Capital Management, with 1,947,833 shares; the CL Duprey Investment Trust, with 1,634,335 shares and the employee pension plan of the British American Insurance Company, which is registered here in the Bahamas.

Now this information was also reported in the national newspaper of Trinidad called the Trinidad Guardian. Bahamas Press wonders, could this be the same British American Insurance Company, bought by our Boys in 2007? Could it be that the company was never sold to BAB/BAF and possibly that’s why no dollar figure was given? What is the current financial state of BAF? Where are its investments held outside the Bahamas? Are there any investment for BAF held in CL FINANCIAL BASED IN TRINIDAD? What is the name of the assurance company that insures BAF insurance policies? And our main question, if what both The Bugle and the Trinidad Guardian wrote about investments on the books of CL FINANCIAL in the Bahamas is indeed so, we wonder whether or not BAF, (the new owners of British American Insurance Company), is indeed that company mentioned registered in the Bahamas?

Bahamas Press attempted to receive a copy of BAF’s AGM report, but was denied access to it? We wonder why? A reply came back saying, “We are not a publicly traded company and therefore, we cannot disclose our AGM report.” Hmmmmmmm! Perhaps these are too many questions, receiving NO answers. BUT WE ARE CERTAIN THE POLICYHOLDERS OF BAF WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THEM SHARED.

Bahamas Press would love to hear that a Bahamian owned company wishes to buy CLICO, as the Prime Minister taunts. However, we simply want to know whether or NOT that company is IN BED WITH CLICO ALREADY!

14 COMMENTS

  1. @rudy
    I keep hearing the word inaccurate information. Mind you we can go deeper into this ya know? We can detail much more. We can say much more than we have said in this post.

    1) Please explain where you see inaccuracies in this? BAF did purchase British American Insurance in 1997. Where is that inaccurate?

    2) CL Financial the parent company of CLICO based in Trinidad. Where is that inaccurate.

    3) Listed on the shareholders list of CL Financial is British American Insurance – Registered here in the Bahamas. Where is that inaccurate?

    Now if you push us and If we hear nothing from BAF, we will explore more MUCH MORE OF WHAT WE KNOW, even going into the history of British American which leads to an Italian in Europe. Don’t challenge us we hold allegiance to NO ONE! And bloggers like you Rudy, should know that by now.

    Bahamas Press/Editor

  2. Big Blogger u spot on. This aont gat nuttin to do with BAF. All my family insured with BAF for ever. They been around from back in the day and when my grammy died a year ago they paid her claims in less than 2 days. One other company where she had insurance took almost 2 months nuff respect for BAF and the Bahamian boyz

  3. @media
    Now media you know you wrong for that. Wellie my sidekick,you know more than I do. It’s just that I know these two young men and I believe that they are trying to make a difference, I just would hate to see inaccurate infromation adversely affect their business. You know we are usually on the same page.

  4. no man on dis page has a shred of evidence linking di Bahamian British American owned by dem local boys as having anything to do with dat Duprey fella and his cronies at clico. Until someone can say one ting factual about dis, maybe, like Kevin, we should just shout for Bahamian success and seperate it from dem foreigners who have done such bad tings.

  5. What’s this about?

    I really feel for the people who has Clico policy, I feel for all other Bahamians who did put investments and savings with Clico I hope they end up get their money back and all interest, and everything else.

    But why we bring in British American and Colina in this discussion, That is not helping the people with Clico policy get there money back.

    And you all doing is taking the atention from this Clico mess and dragging all other people into this who don’t have nothing to do with it, This is not about black and white Bahamian and black crab and all that This about why the Clico owner take the Bahamian policy owner money out the country and didn’t get the govenment permission and then thief it.

    So let’s stop trying to stray way from the real true point and that is getting back the money to the Bahamian people who need there money in hard times

  6. As a black nationalist i am always proud when a group of black Bahamians come together and create a successful business venture.Until proven otherwise in a court of law i am praying and rooting for my black boys,Chester Cooper and John wilson.They are an inspiration and a shining example for our youth.

  7. @Wellie
    Well my friend on the note of supporting black Bahamians, we must also consider protecting black Bahamians. What about all of those Bahamians who lost their college tuition,and medical funding; is there any support for them? While your erroneous fragments are feeble at best, let me assure you that you have a voice too but not on ZNS “LIVE TALK BEEN GONE” and if you don’t believe me ask Steve Mckinney.
    On the matter of the attempted murder of the former CEO of the Bay Street Boys Company and the attempted assisination attempt of Mr Christie because he was a threat to the insurance industries (PRO NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE) both matters will be dealt with at a Rawanda style criminal hearing… trust me, big brother has the evidence and it will be exposed..

    Your boy isn’t the first to do positive things in the country. Where have you been? If you are so pro-black why in the hell didn’t you lead a revolution to stop what happened to Sir Lynden in a fruitless commission of inquiry… If you are so pro-black why in the hell didn’t you start a revolution to speak out against Obie Wilchombe wrongful incasaration in the 1990’s. Must be a black crab aye? Wake up my friend true Justice knows no race, affiliation, politics nor religion.

    Just on a note of integrity, Where do YOU stand with the rapes of the young boys in Grand Bahama who have contracted HIV while our Government sat idolly by? The Bahamas wants to know?

  8. I applaud the efforts of the likes of bahamaspress for really going the extra mile in exposing the truth, especially with regards to the CLICO fiasco. I have a few friends that were burned pretty badly as a result of their clico annuity investments, and I think it’s really a shame that it appears to be business as usual as far as the regulatory bodies are concerned. It gives credence to the popular belief in this country that there are two sets of standards. Had this happened in the U.S.(despite their many shortcomings), surely heads would have rolled at the very top. But then again, the third world country mentality that only allows the “the connected” to literally get away with murder and everything else has prevailed again. I’ll be watching this situation with British American very closely, so once again, thanks for keeping us informed.

  9. @rudy
    Well Rudy we know when we hear from or persons like you we expect no better. Bahamas Press could have suggested that you “RUDY” would make a GREAT Prime Minister and Wellie your side-kick, and your response would have been the same.

    WE JUST EXPECT NO BETTER! PLAIN AND SIMPLE!

    Bahamas Press/Editor

  10. what trash! can we at least try to do a better job of supporting Bahamians (especially black bahamians) doing positive things????

  11. OK OK pull the train back just a little bit. Is Bahamian cooperate entities taking on the traits of the Russian mobs or have we always been this way? Why is Alexiou Emmanuel photo posted in the article…? Why was the former Colina Imperial CEO fired after the attempt to kill him failed? Who in this mob of gangstas ordered his killing and what did he know?
    I want to pack up and leave this country of murderers right now!!!!… No wonder the fellas on the streets killing, they are only showing the true face of the shadows in the dark…
    Didn’t this same execution mob made an attempt to asasinate Mr Christie too… ?
    A communist Bahamas in a modern era…who would have thought.

    Somehwere alomg the line we have allowed greed to take hold of our principles and now the chickens have comed home to roost…
    If this country is going to survive this era of corruption and Russian style mafia attacks on persons who beg to differ or present a competative threat the leadership has to be shown from the top down… Ingraham needs to forget about loyalty and put the Bay Street Boys in check…

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