Two former Gen Re execs have been facing SEC & AG queries over their contributions to the AIG reinsurance fuss. Ronald Ferguson was still under contract as a Gen Re consultant but was just fired for taking the Fifth at a deposition.
It turns out that Ferguson & Elizabeth Monrad are also both Colgate directors. Here's the text from Jack Ciesielski's blog:
"Let me state the facts up front: I am a shareholder of Colgate-Palmolive and I have been for years. I own it, and it’s in accounts that I manage for clients. I’ve held it for years because I have high regard for the company, and I still do. But there’s a situation brewing there that bears watching.
In the ongoing AIG International investigation, former General Re CEO Ronald Ferguson has been questioned by the New York State Attorney General’s office over questionable transactions with AIG International. At Colgate-Palmolive, Mr. Ferguson chairs the audit committee, and is a member of the finance committee.
Also in the AIG International investigation, Ms. Elizabeth Monrad is responding to regulators’ questions about General Re transactions with AIG International. Ms. Monrad was the chief financial officer of General Re, and has since moved on to be the chief financial officer at TIAA-CREF. The pension fund reports “that she received a “Wells” notice from the enforcement staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission. ” Ms. Monrad is currently on leave of absence from TIAA-CREF. At Colgate-Palmolive, Ms. Monrad chairs the finance committee, and is the deputy chair to Mr. Ferguson on the audit committee.
While not involved in the insurance transactions, Colgate nevertheless finds itself affected by them: Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Monrad are very key persons on the Board. I make no assumption of any wrongdoing by them - that’s for the regulators to determine - but one can imagine that while they’re under investigation, their priorities may be quite different than they were at the beginning of 2005. How long will the investigations last? How will their priorities be reassigned as the investigations continue?
Most importantly: where does Colgate-Palmolive fit into the priorities of Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Monrad? The audit and finance committees need the talents of its members even more urgently as Colgate embarks on its ambitious plans to rationalize capacity. The distractions posed by the investigations are a concern to me. They should be a concern to all other long-term Colgate-Palmolive shareholders as well."