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Hands clean!

Parris says he’s just a scapegoat for CLICO collapse

Six years after the collapse of CLICO International Life Insurance Company (CIL) in Barbados, the man who led the former financial giant has broken his silence, telling policyholders and investors he is sorry for what happened.

However, retired president and executive chairman of the CLICO group Leroy Parris said this afternoon he had done nothing wrong to cause the life insurance entity to end up in the hands of judicial managers and put the payment of pensions and other investments in jeopardy.

Leroy Parris

Leroy Parris

“If I had to do what I had to do, I would do the same thing over. The way I managed it, I would manage it again . . . prudent, straightforward and honest. I did nothing wrong,” Parris insisted.

“I did what I had to do and I did it right in the best way I knew; in the most professional way I was trained and I was convinced in my mind I did a good job. You might not think so now [but] you can say what you like. I took that company with $2 million in assets and when I walked away from it, it had a billion dollars in assets.

“I can walk with a straight head, straight face, cause I know what I have done. I am no thief. The only thing I have going for me is my name, Leroy Parris. Nothing more. I am nobody else, just Leroy Parris,” he further declared.

Parris, who has been under severe public scrutiny ever since CIL failed in 2009, resulting in thousands of investors out of pocket, blamed the collapse on “a run on the company” when word first broke that the Trinidad-based parent CL Financial had gone under.

“I am sorry what happened, but it is not under my control,” Parris said as he spoke to the media with two of his four attorneys at his side –– Queen’s Counsels Hal Gollop and Vernon Smith –– in Gollop’s Roebuck Street, St Michael office.

He said he felt the pain of the distressed policyholders, noting that he could also lose out big.

“I am one of the largest ones [investors who possibly stand to lose]. I am sorry. It bothers me that everyday I drive around this country and I see the investments that I had control of, to see how they look, the way that they [are] treated, the direction they [are] going, it really hurts,” Parris added.

“I can sit here and stare you in the face and tell you that Leroy Parris has never taken one blind cent from the policyholders’ funds and put it in my pocket at no time,” the former CLICO head stated unequivocally.

“First thing, I never used to sign cheques . . . I was too busy. So if you had to wait for me to sign the cheque, you won’t get paid.”

Asked what he thought went wrong to cause CLICO’s Barbados operations to fall apart, Parris identified “a run” on the insurance company after the parent company in Trinidad collapsed.

“The people in Barbados had asked the policyholders to pull their money out of the company . . . that the money was going to go to Trinidad, so the policyholders ran to the office and took their money out of the company,” he contended, noting that any financial institution that experienced that would inevitably collapse.

Government announced in December last year that it would establish a new company to manage a restructuring plan for CIL.

However, judicial manager Deloitte Consulting disclosed late last month that CLICO had run out of money. It said pension payments could no longer continue because the long promised Cabinet-approved injection of funds to sustain the operations of the company and proceed with the proposed restructuring had not been forthcoming.

Parris has pointed an accusing finger at Deloitte, expressing disappointment at the way they were handling the affairs of CLICO.

Leroy Parris

Leroy Parris

“I’m a hurt man . . . to see what those guys did for four and a half years or so and to kill it . . . Ask them how much money they took out of it . . . how much money they were paid. That is the question you should ask –– how much money were they paid out of that company?”

The retired insurance executive went further to suggest that Deloitte should present a report on the amount of money received and what they had done to keep CIL alive.

“My assertion for a judicial manager put in a company is to turn it around and make it work, not to kill it. That’s what happened to CLICO. But I become now the [scapegoat], I become the one who did everything wrong . . .”

In the first place, Parris said, the company should not have gone under judicial management.

He suggested that someone could have been employed to lead CIL to “keep an eye on the system”, retain some of the insurance agents and keep the company running.

“The company cannot survive unless it sold insurance. But [judicial managers] fired all the agents,” Parris lamented.

He also addressed the issue of the Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA), the investment product that promised high rates of returns.

“If you had a doubt in that particular policy, you could have stopped selling them. Trinidad stopped selling them. All we had to do was stop selling that individual policy and sell the traditional insurance that we were selling before. This was a short-term investment policy. This policy was only for two years, three years, depending on how long you wanted to put your money in the company,” the CLICO executive explained.

Parris, meantime, steered clear of commenting on his relationship with the late Prime Minister David Thompson who represented the company in his private capacity before becoming this country’s leader.

38 Responses to Hands clean!

  1. Movement of Concerned Citizens
    Movement of Concerned Citizens February 3, 2015 at 1:55 am

    On hearing the news of Parris’ clean hands, here was the reaction all over #Barbados –

    • Cheryl A Rollins
      Cheryl A Rollins February 3, 2015 at 6:43 am

      To frigging mad to laugh. Let’s get our money that’s all.

  2. Movement of Concerned Citizens
    Movement of Concerned Citizens February 3, 2015 at 1:56 am
  3. Fabian Dottin
    Fabian Dottin February 3, 2015 at 6:17 am
  4. Lynn Lucas
    Lynn Lucas February 3, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Better to keep your mouth shut, than to open it and remove all doubt !!!

  5. Tony Webster February 3, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Well then bossman, based on “the facts”…as you present such……just relax…lay back…and let those four Big-time legal beagles…gently massage your troubled temples…and soothe away any lingering concerns of personal culpability, or any scintilla of moral responsibility. Fear not…justice will be done, my dear friend. The only caveat that might be worthwhile mentioning…is dat dem lawyers doan come cheap…and those of heavenly status, such as Q.C.’s…are even more accustomed to isssuing invoices of a magnitude that could build one a lovely mansion, complete wid a shiny-new Jaguar moto-car.

    One other suggestion: do not under any circumstances…allow dem to peruse (“vet”…is now in fashion)…any legal loan agreement, between you , and anyone else! Let your madam…or your gardener… do this.
    Alternatively…and I stronlgly recommend this… just say a prayer. Or several.

  6. Di-sharon Boyce
    Di-sharon Boyce February 3, 2015 at 6:55 am


  7. Smaxine Greaves-Smi
    Smaxine Greaves-Smi February 3, 2015 at 7:27 am

    “If I had to do it again. ..I would”…

  8. Ronald R Thompson
    Ronald R Thompson February 3, 2015 at 7:36 am

    He is lying he should be in jail long time and his late pal david thompsom

  9. Betty Lashley
    Betty Lashley February 3, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Four lawyers if you’re innocent why you nead 4 lawyers

  10. Caroline Reifer
    Caroline Reifer February 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Arrogance + ignorance = delusional.

  11. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall February 3, 2015 at 8:24 am

    The same way you entitled to your pension the policy holders entitled to they policy money.

  12. Rawle Maycock February 3, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Please explain the check that checked out in your name having in vestments ain’t nothing in a company if it’s alleged that the person or persons extracted, more than their shares if you knew that the company shouldn’t be in the receivers hands how come you didn’t no that some things was going got a lot to answer to.

  13. Peter S. A. Francis
    Peter S. A. Francis February 3, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Was he not instructed to cease selling policies, and then continued to do so?

  14. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock February 3, 2015 at 9:07 am

    All roads, lead to him.

  15. Gregg Moseley Clarke
    Gregg Moseley Clarke February 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

    hmmmmm no comment

  16. Alloy Austin
    Alloy Austin February 3, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I want my $$$$$$$$$$$$

  17. Princess Tiny Neferua
    Princess Tiny Neferua February 3, 2015 at 10:06 am


  18. Betty Lashley
    Betty Lashley February 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

    He is so clean that the BANK call him to take his money out

  19. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock February 3, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Peter s.a. francis, that’s a point that I’ve mentioned quite recently, he should have been fined an his license revoked but the supervisor of insurance did nothing, an nobody called the supervisor to account, I asked who gave the order for him to continue, writing policies.

  20. Heather Dottin-Bancroft
    Heather Dottin-Bancroft February 3, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I want to know one thing only? When the people run to the company and took out their money did Mr. Parris also took his or is his still there?

  21. Ike Turner
    Ike Turner February 3, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Only one thing i see interesting here i can actually buy into… What did that accounting placedo for 4 years

  22. Maxine Hutchinson February 3, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Was the name “CLICO” some translation for “Trade Confirmers” that was also in the hands of Trickidadians?

  23. Dawn-Marie Rawlins
    Dawn-Marie Rawlins February 3, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Ha ha ha i probably dont understand the questions asked and answered!

  24. Carl Harper February 3, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Using a high-powered microscope to determine how “clean” are those hands.

  25. Rommel Jordan
    Rommel Jordan February 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    u should be in jail iah doing 700 years u know much poor ppl u leave hurting and now playing u saying sorry

  26. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce February 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    It seems Barbados does attract pure Crooks.

  27. Wrigley Don
    Wrigley Don February 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Trinidad hostile financial takeover of Barbados and the rest of the carribean

  28. Larry Davis February 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I agree with Neval Greenidge, I also worked for the CLICO group in the banking side and witnessed some of the actions of Mr. Parris and Mr. Duprey. Thank God I got out when I did (1993) and the bank was eventually sold or it would have gone down the tubes as well. Would be interesting to look into the downfall of Plantations Group which was engineered by CLICO and what happened to the assets there which by the way were handled by the same Deloitte’s and no statements were ever issued as to the disposition of those assets. Mr. Parris was never trained nor had the experience to be the leader of CLICO, he was simply a puppet of Lawrence Duprey and did exactly what he was told to do with no questions asked, that is his crime and he can not walk away with a clear conscience.

  29. Bajanguyster February 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    hands clean what crap you talking about the ship sink on your watch people money gone and talking about hands clean mmmmm you should be in prison that is what

  30. Dianne Griffith
    Dianne Griffith February 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    So true Danny Clarke Colombian well said

  31. Alec Pierr February 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Waste of my time

  32. Hyvester Douglas
    Hyvester Douglas February 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Which of the hands?

  33. D Lau Beckles
    D Lau Beckles February 3, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Why wait so long,

  34. Bobo February 3, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    (Money the root of all evils) question please —Deloitte Consulting please tell me during four and half years, how much money you have suck from Clico Investors, you never had so good.

  35. Bobo February 3, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Mr Parris, yes you did a good job with Clico, i was quite proud that i have invested all my eggs in one basket, plus a ”plan” for four adopted children– (for education development) and what have you done you sat on your black ass and let this great company run to ruins, in my opinoin at the beginning of Cental collapse, you should have strap your goodies and employed PR to convince the Policy holders their monies are in good hands, the company today would be standing on its own feet in Barbados .

    The other disgrace is — Mia Mottley the instigator –her words, people of Barbados go and withdaw your money—last but not least—-Mr Parris, Yor money is secured– did you though about the policy holders (pensioners) like myself–arent we too young to run up and down Nelson Street– did you thought about that.

    And never forget– ”the sins of the fathers lies upon the children” what about your children.

    You must know- how much Deloitte Consultancy took per month, of course it was not your money– so who cares

  36. Stephen Lovell February 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    The thought of criminal proceedings can cause even the dumb speak.
    Neil Harper you are so wrong.


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