Mark Daly’s latest on Duff & Phelps will have the New York office of that esteemed company hopping mad.
After the New York MD, Marty Dauer, responded to yesterday’s episode by saying that they did not comment on things out of context, today’s Reporting Scotland stated that Mr Whyte recorded a two-hour conversation between himself and Mr Grier of D&P. The implication is that this whole conversation is in the hands of the BBC.
That is a lot of “context” for D&P to consider!
Tonight’s allegation is that Mr Grier wanted Mr Whyte to make a statement confirming that D&P and its predecessor MCR had not been involved in the Ticketus deal, thus removing issues of conflict of interest. Mr Whyte seemed to be going along with this, suggesting that a story could be issued via Media House, the renowned PR company.
Indeed the next day a statement went to Mr Whyte to approve, confirming what D&P were asking him to, but he did not do so.
It would appear that Duff & Phelps have a number of areas where they could be vulnerable regarding this issue.
The Reports it issued regarding progress of the investigation and administration were statutorily required for Companies House and for the Court of Session.
In addition, Lord Hodge called for a specific report on the conflict of interest allegations.
The Insolvency Practitioners’ Association also investigated, and one assumes D&P responded to them too.
Mr Daly’s latest programme leads me to infer that the explanation offered to those bodies might not constitute the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
These are very complex issues, and it is understandable if the analysis thereof in D&P perhaps became confused, leading to unfortunately and inadvertently incorrect information being passed on.
It would of course be a serious professional matter for the parties involved if it was shown that there had been attempts deliberately to mislead the court, Companies House or the IPA.
As well as formal disciplinary action, anyone shown to have misled the court could face a criminal prosecution.
Even with instantaneous communications across the Atlantic, Duff & Phelps did not offer a comment in response to what was said tonight. One wonders if Mr Grier is on a plane to New York as we speak, so that the GE Sigma Six black belt, Marty Bauer, MD of Duff & Phelps New York, can get some explanation from his Scottish colleague for the ever-deepening mess surrounding the UK business D&P acquired last year.
Why would, if we accept the BBC premise, a respected practitioner like Mr Grier place his reputation at risk like this? Then, in considering the answer, we need only look at the fees charged by D&P for their 8 months involved. Millions of pounds will operate as a motive for a great many things. In addition, the D&P global website mentioned that its UK arm is dealing with the biggest insolvency in UK football history. The Rangers administration offered the chance for D&P to make its name prominent in the UK.
Between them, Mr Grier, Mr Whyte, Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark have definitely succeeded in so doing!
Posted by Paul (yellow belt in Origami) McConville