Richard Morin resigns from the office of CEO Pakistan Stock Exchange

KARACHI: The Canadian national Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Richard Morin, who had been under fire for violating rules of his employment contract and failure in bringing any positive changes in the market, has resigned from his office.

[the_ad id=”32940″]“We would like to inform you that Richard Morin has tendered his resignation from the position of Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited which was accepted by the Board of Directors of the Company with immediate effect, at its meeting held today,” a letter issued by PSX to Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) noted.

“Richard Morin, Managing Director PSX, was served three show-cause notices and he failed to satisfy the Board with his responses despite three given opportunities. Today Richard Morin tendered his resignation to get a face saving exit. He was disqualified on fit and proper criteria of Securities Exchange (licensing & Operations) Regulations due to his false reporting to Canadian Securities Authority (CSA), Board PSX and Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP),” a member of the Board said.

It had been established that Morin was working as Chief Compliance Officer for a wealth management company in Canada and signing AML and other important compliance reports on behalf of his Canadian wealth management company while in employment with Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) thereby falsely reporting to regulatory bodies in two jurisdictions.

Resignation of Morin raises a number of questions over the state of affairs of Pakistan’s corporate sector, capital market and the apex regulator. “His quick entry and snappy exit approves that ‘no questions are asked’ from the ones who recommended his appointment, and the ones who approved his appointment in great haste,” an official said.

His appointment is a floating-blunder, imaginable from the ones who may have conflict of interest and a scheme to benefit from it, but how about regulators, the full PSX Board and SECP. How could they ignore the fact that a person who is stating him to be the Chief Compliance Officer, CEO and Chairman of a Company and having 45% stakes in it, is itself a solid evidence of incompetence and lack of knowledge about basic norms of law as it is a severe conflict of interest to club the portfolio of “Compliance” and “Executive”.

The possible Chinese Consortium Director who was behind this scheme had probably thought that the opponent groups may raise question about his lacking on regulatory and business side, so they marketed him like that. But how about our regulator, were they a sleep, they approved a person having two portfolios which in general terms is a crime.

After his appointment, tall claims of turning around the PSX were made which included increasing investor base from 250,000 to 2.5 million in three years, launch of ETF within a year and introduction of new trading platform and increasing liquidity and turnover of PSX.

Certain PSX departments which he claimed to be the main hub of turnaround and uplifted face of PSX, are now over staffed, not even a single product was introduced, number of investors for the first time in the history decreased, turnover and index nosedived as the market capitalization eroded by $46 billion within 15 months of his service, and PSX share value nose-dived to Rs11 from Rs28.

“It would leave a very bad mark over the functioning of our regulators, if Morin is allowed to leave without due investigation and imposition of penalties, because the law says, PSX MD appointment and relief is sole ‘jurisdiction’ of Commission. Either the PSX Board has to take the responsibility and pay for the foreign trips that he made on account of PSX and developed his own and his Chinese partner business,” an broker said.

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