After six months, top investment banker Steve Bideshi is leaving his job as the interim CEO of state-controlled CL Financial after the Government failed to come to terms with him with regard to a three-year compensation package. In a statement yesterday, CL Financial chairman Shafeek Sultan-Khan announced that Bideshi was leaving the financial institution on January 31 after he "completed his obligations as as the interim CEO of CL Financial." The statement indicated that Bideshi was "returning to the pursuit of his other business interests," although the banker left the top job at Citibank in Turkey in July last year to join CL Financial.
Before leaving for Turkey, where he lived and worked from 2004 to 2009, Bideshi served as Citibank's T&T country head from October 17, 1995, to August 1, 2004. The Guardian understands that at the heart of Bideshi's decision to leave the CL Financial organisation after six months was a growing disenchantment over what he saw as the foot-dragging by the Government over finalisation of the terms and conditions of his contract. There was also some disagreement with the compensation package, although sources close to him insisted he was not leaving because of the money. Sources said that Bideshi agreed to leave his job in Turkey based on a letter of employment as the interim CEO of CL Financial for six months during which time it was expected that the terms and conditions for the balance of the three years would have been worked out.
The three-year time frame was based on the fact that the Government signed a three-year agreement on June 12 with majority shareholder and former CL Financial chairman, Lawrence Duprey, aimed at restructuring the conglomerate by disposing its assets and lengthening the maturity profile of its debt, which is estimated to be over US$2 billion. The job of restructuring CL Financial is a huge one as its last audited financial statement, which was for the 2007 financial year, put its assets at $100 billion with operations in 32 countries and an interest in over 70 companies.