The former directors of failed finance company Strategic Finance have successfully negotiated a deal that sees them avoid civil or crown action against them, so long as they uphold some binding commitments made as part of the deal. The $22m settlement sees the directors avoid further court action in return for making a significant payment and promising not to act as a director, CEO, CFO or promoter of a public issuer for several years.
The deal was made with the Financial Markets Authority and the Strategic Finance receiver, PwC. Interestingly, the fine print includes a line "without the regulator's approval", which suggests that any of the directors could, if they wish, mount a case to obtain permission to act in one of the roles for which they are now disqualified.
This is an interesting outcome. It enables the directors to avoid any form of conviction or detention. In effect, they are free to carry on their lives, albeit within the constraints of not performing certain roles. I doubt that would be too much of an inconvenience for the gentlemen concerned. However the investors lose 85–95 cents of every dollar they invested. The sounds like a deal in which there are a few winners (the directors) and many losers (the investors). I understand the deal has been done, but how fair is this type of outcome?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.