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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Board members and shareholders representing the majority of common shareholders in TradingScreen announced today the initiation of a legal action against TradingScreen Chairman of the Board Giampiero Grandi in response to significant corporate governance breaches occurring since May 2016.
Given the seriousness of the offences perpetrated by Grandi, the majority shareholders of TradingScreen have required his immediate suspension from the TradingScreen board and his replacement as an independent board member.
The lawsuit filed with the courts of Geneva, Switzerland on October 6, 2017, describes how Giampiero Grandi fictitiously employed one of his associates in his private businesses for no services rendered to TradingScreen. Job fraud is a clear case of misappropriation of corporate assets and constitutes a criminal offence.
Furthermore, after an investigation commissioned by the majority shareholders, it has also been discovered, among other improper behaviours, that:
Giampiero Grandi systematically concealed his background when securing his current role in the TradingScreen board. As president of American Express France, Grandi was indicted as a responsible party in the “Sentier Case” (“L’affaire du Sentier”), one of the biggest European money laundering scandals of the 90s . This failure to disclose critical background information constitutes a breach of duty, which has exposed TradingScreen to undue risks in operating its financially regulated platforms and establishing certain business partnerships.
Through an action opposed by the majority shareholders but supported by TCV, Giampiero Grandi also organised a scheme to allocate to himself and the current CEO, Pierre Schroeder, an unprecedented compensation in cash and stock grants despite a dramatic deterioration of the company’s performance and lack of innovation under their joint leadership. This situation occurred in contravention to the company’s existing compensation rules and precedent practices.
Board Chairman Giampiero Grandi and CEO Pierre Schroeder have destroyed an immense amount of shareholder value as a result of their strategic mistakes, reckless management, and wasteful practices in a company previously known for its creativity, cost management, and success.
Through delayed reporting and other mechanisms, Giampiero Grandi has obstructed numerous shareholders’ requests for information necessary to exercise financial control. This situation created a virtual blackout of the company’s current financial position, representing a clear breach of the company’s information duty to its board members and shareholders.
The majority shareholders feel compelled to communicate this regrettable and damaging situation to all TradingScreen shareholders and employees. This legal action will be the first of many actions to safeguard the company from the further mismanagement of bad actors and to protect the value of all shareholders, employees, and clients alike.
The majority shareholders also urge the board members and Technology Crossover Ventures, Bob Trudeau and Frank Placenti, to act now, exercise their fiduciary responsibility and support the initiative to suspend and remove Giampiero Grandi. This action would help restore the confidence of shareholders by demonstrating that TCV promotes corporate governance best practices and its intention to revert the recent lack of oversight, which, for the last year, has been detrimental to all TradingScreen stakeholders, including clients, employees, shareholders, and even TCV itself.