The litany of shortcomings and breaches at Stocks and Securities Limited was what led to the hiring of Zachary Harding as CEO in 2019. In a statement Monday Harding says he took the reins of company in September that year, with a mandate to report to the board, fix some of the “well known issues” spanning several years and pave a new course.
He says he set up a special committee to fix these outstanding concerns and insists he had a track record for working with the Financial Service Commission to remedy the concerns. He resigned in 2022, but says even up to time he did not know that Usain Bolt was even a client with the entity, as he says the name or any affiliated company never came up.
Harding explains that another former CEO was also cited in the local media as having no knowledge of the track star’s account despite serving in several posts at the entity over many years. He went on to state none of the senior management team he led at the company was working there when Bolt opened his account. He says he was reliably informed only recently that bolt’s team only dealt with one person at SSL and that was allegedly Jean Ann Panton.
Panton has since reportedly confessed to defrauding several unsuspecting clients and falsifying client information dating back to 2010. She is since parted ways with SSL. The authorities conducted a search of the St Andrew residence recently but to date no charges have been formally laid.
Harding however insists he was never aware of any such improprieties at the time. He is distancing himself from the latest matter adding he’s equally disgusted and welcomes the forensic audit.
Meanwhile, Harding who now heads a new entity says he is not nor has ever been a shareholder at SSL. He also says no SSL shareholders nor any of their affiliated companies have any shares in any company he owns or has shares in.
He went further, cautioning the public against misinformation seeking to link him to bolt during the time of his leadership adding there have been repercussions. Harding however empathized with the affected persons and hopes they will be fully compensated.
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Reporter: Neika Lewis