STM’s Kentish released from arrest, shares reinstated

The board of STM has released a statement to the London Stock Exchange announcing that its chief executive Alan Kentish was released from arrest and bail yesterday without any charge.

In statement released this lunchtime via a Director Declaration post, STM Group said that it  “remains fully supportive” of Kentish, following the recent investigation into some of his business activities and subsequent arrest, as reported, earlier this month. 

In this morning’s statement STM Group originally added that the company’s shares remained “suspended from trading at this time” but then issued a fresh statement a couple hours later outlining that they were once again listed.

The updated statement confirmed that “recommencement of trading” in the company’s shares took effect from 12pm today.

As reported yesterday, shares were suspended in STM Group yesterday morning, while at the same time it was announced that the company had acquired Malta-based Harbour Pensions.

Today’s earlier statement read: “STM Group Plc (AIM: STM), the cross border financial services provider, is pleased to update the market that Alan Kentish, the Chief Executive Officer of STM, was released from arrest and police bail on 13 November 2017, without any charge.

Following STM’s announcements of 30 October 2017 and 3 November 2017, and after consideration of the options available to Mr Kentish, an application was submitted for judicial review against the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) to the Supreme Court in Gibraltar on 9 November 2017.  No date for this hearing has yet been determined.

Separately, the RGP have now taken the step to release Mr Kentish from arrest and police bail. Mr Kentish continues to cooperate fully with the RGP whilst they conclude their investigation.”

‘No merit’

The statement added the the STM board has been advised that the documentation lodged to support the judicial review “robustly defends” that there is “no merit’ to these allegations and that it remains “fully supportive” of Alan Kentish.

The company  announced that on 2 November, Kentish resigned from two Gibraltar regulated subsidiaries, being STM Fidecs Insurance Management Limited and STM Life Assurance PCC Plc. These resignations were “purely voluntary” and were to mitigate any potential reputational damage to the subsidiaries and to put in place the first steps of the relocation of the Group’s Head Office out of Gibraltar (as per the announcement of 30 October 2017).

“This move will also allow Mr Kentish to fully focus on furthering the strategic objectives of the Company,” the statement concluded.

‘Strong grounds to appeal’

The later statement added: “The Board of STM and the Subsidiaries have taken legal advice as to whether the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has sufficient grounds to make the Appointments and have been advised that there are strong grounds to appeal the Appointments.

“The Subsidiaries have therefore filed and served an appeal against the Appointments (the “Appeal”) with the Gibraltar Supreme Court (the “Court”). The Appointments have also been temporarily stayed by Order of the Court of 8 November 2017, pending the hearing of a substantive stay application by the Court which is scheduled to be held on 20 November 2017. The Court has also made a Privacy Order at the hearing on 8 November 2017.

The company added that the Subsidiaries are in ongoing dialogue with the GFSC in relation to “establishing a collaborative route forward” and that it hopes to reach a resolution through this route.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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