Questions are being asked about the propriety of the transfer, by Dundee Merchant Bank*, of the cash and securities it held of an estimated 60 Canadian investors, to a private company that had virtually no assets, and was not a financial institution. B & C Capital Ltd., a Cayman company whose principal officer was the fugitive, Ryan Bateman, did not have the legal authority to manage client assets, and it reportedly not only co-mingled clients funds with its own, but it allegedly used that money to trade securities and other investments, for its own profit.
As we have shown in previous articles, Dundee's transfer form for client assets, specifies "Bank" and also "Financial Institution" for transferees, and B & C is not now, nor has it ever, had a charter as a financial institution, in the Cayman Islands, or elsewhere. Victims have stated that they were assured that B & C was indeed a bank, and that is the sole reason why they allowed it to take custody of their cash, securities, and corporate records.
Did not the senior management of Dundee Bank have a fiduciary duty to ensure that client wealth would be protected, through a transfer to a financial institution, and does the failure to protect client funds and assets constitute a breach of that duty ? Those questions deserve answers; while Dundee no longer exists, its former officers are certainly strictly liable for any breach of fiduciary duty they may have committed, or permitted to occur, through gross negligence.
Who authorized and directed Dundee staff members to allow client funds and assets to be sent to B & C ? Were the officers of Dundee's parent, Dundee Corp, a Canadian bank holding company whose assets were also sold, culpable ? The former chief executive of Dundee Merchant Bank, who was also the president of Dundee Corp,. Derek Buntain, needs to answer these questions. Perhaps Cayman regulators can ask him.
* Also known as Dundee Bank.