DAYS before Christmas Day 2008, an e-mail was circulated among the partners of the local arm of international auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) listing six people they needed to satisfy.
Top of the list was Lawrence Duprey, then executive chairman of CL Financial.
The other five names on the list in descending order were Michael Carballo, then CL Financial group financial director; Mervyn Assam, then executive chairman of CLICO Investment Bank (CIB); Carlos John; Andre Monteil; and Gita Sakal, CL Financial's then corporate secretary.
Question marks were placed in the position titles "others" to be satisfied by the auditing firm.
British Queen's Counsel Edwin Glasgow, counsel to the Commission of Enquiry into the collapse of CL Financial, made the statements yesterday as he read from an e-mail dated December 22, 2008, which was circulated to the local partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The e-mail was part of a new set of documents disclosed by PwC on Friday.
Colin Wharfe, PwC's territory senior partner, was recalled to the witness stand to answer questions relating to a private meeting the firm reportedly had over its handling of the conglomerate's accounts.
Glasgow stated, "PwC was concentrating on satisfying clients, specifically by name Mr Duprey, rather more than doing its job properly."
Wharfe denied the claim.
"It is not satisfaction in terms of make them happy, it is satisfaction in terms of the individuals charged with governance with whom we interact with respect to ultimate decision-making within the group," he said.
"We deal and try to serve all our clients, not just an individual or a particular entity. We cherish and value all our clients and attempt to serve all of them in a similar way."
Apart from the head honchos of CL Financial and its subsidiaries, no other clients were named in the list of those to be satisfied.
Glasgow said that it may be somewhat disconcerting that "people who have become fairly notorious" were on the PwC list.
Glasgow: Mr Wharfe, I think the commissioner's problem may be that you have identified by name some people who have become fairly notorious...I hope that is not a rude word to say, in the course of this enquiry. Some of them are not even assisting the commissioner by giving evidence.
Wharfe: The partnership identified collectively the individuals that needed to be treated with respect to engaging them as our clients. I do not believe at the time this conversation was taking place anyone was either deemed notorious or any such characterisation.
Glasgow: At this time your concern in your own words was to satisfy a number of people.
Wharfe: To satisfy our clients.
Glasgow: But Mr Wharfe, to be fair at least one of whom by now was known to have seriously misled at least one of your partners who gave evidence on oath about being concerned about being misled on Saturday. So he certainly was concerned that Mr Carballo's not referring to the minutes of the September 4th, 2008, with the discovery of what had gone wrong with the Green Island transaction. The scales were beginning to fall off of people's eyes, weren't they?
Wharfe: I cannot comment because you are commingling the two things.The audit was the audit, if there were issues arising post the finalisation of the audit opinion this was for a different purpose.
Glasgow: Very well. Explain again please for the commissioner what do you understand was meant by the phrase 'who must we satisfy' followed by the list of names.
Wharfe: My understanding in the context of our client interaction would be who would be the decision-makers, who would be the ultimate individuals who had responsibility for governance of the entity with whom we needed to interact.
Glasgow also asked Wharfe in what sense he thought Duprey needed to be satisfied.
Wharfe: And that is really stretching my recollection. What I am saying to you is that the only connotation I would have derived from that is that at the time this meeting was being held there was a client to satisfy.
Wharfe said his classification of the meeting as a "post-mortem" was used "loosely".
He said the meeting was a "brain dump".