Vancouver - Berkshire Investment Group Inc. expressed disappointment today that a hearing panel of the Pacific Regional Council of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada ("MFDA") has rejected a settlement agreement between the MFDA Staff and Berkshire arising from its failure to supervise the activities of Ian Gregory Thow, who was an independent advisor and co-branch manager and officer of Berkshire's Victoria branch office until June 1, 2005.
Berkshire is disappointed that a proposed settlement was not approved by the hearing panel; however it will continue to cooperate with regulators working to settle the matter.
Prior to June 2005, Thow had represented to certain individuals, some of whom were Berkshire clients or former clients, that he would purchase certain investments on their behalf. Such investments were not approved for sale by Berkshire. The monies paid by these individuals were not paid to Berkshire and were not invested as represented by Thow. Thow resigned for cause effective June 1, 2005.
Berkshire has settled many claims made by its clients and former clients relating to Thow's activities. Other claims which have been alleged against Berkshire relating to Thow's activities have not been settled due to circumstances specific to each claim, such as insufficient detail of loss or lack of connection to Berkshire.
Manulife Securities acquired Berkshire on August 31, 2007. As is customary for transactions of this nature, the vendors (including Portland Holdings controlled by Michael Lee-Chin) continue to be financially responsible, and have indemnified Manulife, for all claims and losses relating to Thow's activities, including the MFDA settlement. Although Manulife is not responsible for the unfortunate and regrettable activities of Thow, Manulife is monitoring the status of any remaining outstanding claims. Manulife is anxious to see that any remaining claims that are determined to be legitimate after receipt of additional information or determination by the courts are honoured and paid.
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|Berkshire Investment Group Inc.