Clarifications on Financière Rembrandt


 

Starting point

 

 Following an investigation by the Commission des Opérations de Bourse (COB today AMF) carried out within the framework of its usual supervisory powers, charges were lodged against the directors of Financière Rembrandt which resulted in administrative penalties and the withdrawal of accreditation in 2002.

As part of this procedure, Cyrille Vernes, in his capacity as Chairman, was penalised, as was the managing director of the management company who, within the scope of its functions, had the widest measure of autonomy.

 

 Cyrille Vernes, who had no operational function with Financière Rembrandt, was criticized for having allowed the company’s chief executive to breach a number of the applicable rules.

Even before this penalty, Cyrille Vernes had organised the amicable liquidation of the management company. The whole staff had been found replacement positions in other financial institutions or banks around Paris. Out of 11 mutual funds, 9 were sold with the agreement of the COP to a competitor management company and the private clients sold to Rothschild & Cie.

So as to prevent the funds’ clients from incurring losses from the actions of their manager, Cyrille Vernes contributed personally in order to re-establish the initial net asset value. He personally ensured the settlement of all corporate and fiscal debts. The amicable liquidation of the company was executed in such a way as to allow each employee to find a new job and to avoid any liabilities.

The decisions of the COB contradicted

 

However, several legal decisions were subsequently taken concerning the facts that led the COB to impose a penalty. On the one hand, these decisions contradicted the assertions of the COB and, on the other, established that Cyrille Vernes had been poorly treated and had even, amongst other things, been the victim of fraudulent and criminal actions.

 

Condemnation of France by the European Court of Human Rights

 

After being approached by Cyrille Vernes, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) passed judgement on 20 January 2011 and condemned France. The court stated that he had been penalised as the result of an unfair and unlawful procedure, in breach of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

 

Out-of-date information still on the Internet

 

Since 1980, Cyrille Vernes has carried out his activities in Switzerland. Since 2013, he has been director of his management company, with his son Alexis acting as chairman. The conditions in which he has carried out his activities have not been investigated, particularly by the relevant authorities.

The Internet still has articles relating to this old penalty which at times distort the scope and circumstances in which it was handed out. Even though the legal decisions went his way, these articles can still be damaging 20 years after the events of the COB investigation.