Almost two months after being introduced as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), Trinidadian Larry Nath has “declined” the position.
Contacted yesterday, Governor of Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga, disclosed that his office has received correspondence from GBTI which indicated that Nath will not be taking up the position. GBTI has since named another person as the interim head.
Nath was introduced in November as the new CEO, but there were questions raised last month about his background.
Nath resigned from Trinidad’s First Citizens Bank in late 2014 amid a major investigation involving insider trading. Several other persons were sacked and the entire board of that state-owned bank resigned as a result.
Last month, the Bank of Guyana and Guyana Securities Council both confirmed that they were probing how Nath was named as GBTI’s CEO.
At both institutions, Kaieteur News was told, there are regulations in place that compel financial institutions to provide evidence that their managers are “fit and proper” to hold those positions.
In Nath’s case, it was unclear whether his troubles in Trinidad, where the insider trading issue, was widely reported, was brought to the attention of both the Bank of Guyana and that of the Guyana Securities Council, as regulators of the financial sector.
The accusation was that Nath allegedly acquired shares in the state-owned bank which was going public. As a result, he and other executives made millions of dollars.
Trinidad’s news was filled with the First Citizens Bank’s scandal.
The Trinidad Express, on December 4, 2014, reported that Nath, First Citizens’ CEO, resigned from the company with immediate effect. The Trinidad Guardian reported that First Citizens shares went on the market in the lead-up to 2014, with Nath acquiring 215,000 of the bank’s shares for TT$4.7 million.
As at December 2014 trading price, those shares were worth TT$7.9 million.
“Among the senior executives and directors of First Citizens, Nath’s purchase of shares in the IPO was eclipsed only by the group’s former chief risk officer, Phillip Rahaman, who acquired 659,588 shares. Rahaman’s purchase of the shares for over TT$14 million generated a huge controversy in the first half of 2014 over how he financed the acquisition and whether he bought the shares for himself or some relatives,” the Guardian reported.
One month into the controversy, the board dismissed Rahaman, saying it had “lost confidence” in his ability to carry out his duties following an extensive internal investigation.
All the First Citizens directors who served during the IPO have been replaced, most notably the bank’s chair, Port-of-Spain attorney Nyree Alfonso, who resigned just before the June 17, 2014 special meeting.
The transaction was labeled as insider trading, highly illegal in certain territories.
The subsequent investigation had recommended disciplinary action be taken against Nath, deputy chief executive and corporate secretary, Sharon Christopher, and head of the legal department, Lindi Ballah-Tull.
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