WI players lose millions of $$
- Walsh among victims of lost investment By Donald Duff in Jamaica
Stabroek News
February 4, 2002

The West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) ex-chief financial officer Richard Jodhan has allegedly, without the backing of the WICB, invested money from the West Indies Players Pension Fund and a number of players including retired world record holder for the most test wickets Courtney Walsh stand to lose millions of dollars, the Jamaica Herald newspaper reported yesterday.

Jodhan has apparently channeled monies from the players pension fund into another account which failed to yield as much as the previous account.

Apparently the decision to change accounts was made by Jodhan after consultation with the West Indies Players Association president Roland Holder and David Holford, the chief executive officer, both Barbadians and former West Indies Test players.

Walsh, who has an estimated US$300,000 in the Provident Society stands to lose some US$75,000, the Herald reported, adding that Walsh has turned the matter over to his lawyer Delroy Murray of the firm Samson/ Murray/Jackson of George-town, Grand Cayman Islands. Although aware of the problem, Walsh ideally would like to have some dialogue with the WICB before making any detailed public statement on the matter. However, Walsh is quoted by the Herald as saying:"I haven't spoken to the Board yet. So I would prefer if I speak to the Board and find out what the situation is. "I gather though that some mistakes were made and I would like to know more about those mistakes."

The main issue surrounding the failed investment is that Jodhan switched the plan from a straight investment, a super annuation fund to one that included an equity element which realized a major loss in recent years.

Former WICB president Pat Rousseau has said that the investment by Jodhan was unauthorized. "I certainly would not have recommended equities because I know the participants are in for a short period average on seven to 10 years and equities are too risky," the Herald reported Rousseau as saying. I would also have expected him to get the consent of any individual before putting the money in an equity-based fund," he added.

Rousseau explained at the moment both himself and incumbent Wes Hall are liable, "The current president is certainly liable. I also may be liable," Rousseau said adding that the issue is of a very serious nature. "I am concerned about what is happening. It could be over one million US dollars that is involved and as ex-president I may also be liable although the matter was discovered three months after I left office it does not exempt me, as the Board members at the time of the transactions including the president could be personally liable," he said.

This is not the first time Jodhan has been involved in controversial financial dealings with the WICB. He recently lost some US$415,000 on another unauthorized investment with Merrill Lynch.

Jodhan who resigned as the Board's CFO last year is apparently still with the WICB and has recently been promoted and now occupies a position on the Executive Committee. The Provident Fund was established a few years ago with the Test players contributing five per cent of their earnings and the Board 10 per cent. The players had an option however to put more which they were to receive at the end of their careers. It is understood that the issue surfaced after another former Test player Keith Arthurton began to make enquiries about his contributions.