Two Names. Same Face. Laidlaw and Company
Sands Brothers & CO, a brokerage firm, were facing several arbitration law suits that left them to hand out millions of dollars in rewards to previous clients who sued the company over their investment practices. The attorney’s representing clients in the arbitration cases began to recognize the number of large arbitration cases pending and informed their clients on the likelihood of them not receiving their full settlement agreement due to insufficient funds to satisfy all arbitration cases against Sands & Brothers Co. Many clients were advised by their attorney’s to settle for a lower reward in order to reap the total funds won but the offers were declined.
In efforts to slow the payment process down to figure out a plan to avoid the payment of arbitration rewards, Sands & Brothers Co. continuously appealed all arbitration settlements and withdrew from the New York Stock Exchange; They later also applied to withdraw as a broker-dealer from the NASD knowing that non-members are not subject to penalties, including suspension.
It came to surface that Sands Brothers International Ltd was soon changed to Laidlaw & Co. Ltd, a secure and healthy brokerage with a clean record. Clients with arbitration cases against Sands & Brothers Co. began to worry that assets would soon be transferred to Laidlaw & Co. Ltd. in efforts to conceal assets and avoid paying rewards.
In 2003, the NASD resurrected new policy stating that any brokerage desiring to transfer more than 25% of their assets must seek approval first; However, it was too late to demand Sands & Brothers Co. to follow protocol as they had already withdrawn from the organization and were non-members. Clients were again advised, this time by Sands & Brothers Co. attorneys, to accept less than half of the settlement reward. Clients continued to reject the offer and attorneys continued to contact the NYSE and NASD, who at this time, was no longer accepting communication stating, “they can’t force the company to honor it’s arbitration awards, now that it’s no longer a member”.
Laidlaw & Company is a well-known investment banking firm that operates nationally and internationally, with its parent company located in the UK. Their vision is focused on
“…providing comprehensive investment banking services to emerging growth companies and wealth management services to institutions and individuals.” The firm is currently under the direct supervision of CEO Matthew Eitner and Head of Capital Markets James Ahern. Both executives have backgrounds in investment banking and are active supporters of charitable endeavors focusing on education. Both men have also been subject to preliminary injunction endorsed by the U.S. Federal Court just last year:
“The Court Order enjoins Laidlaw and Messrs. Eitner and Ahern from ‘continuing to disseminate false and misleading proxy material’,” in efforts of taking over Relmada Therapeutics.
Two Names. Same Face.
I find it not by accident that Laidlaw & Co’s foundation, established on deception and manipulation, managed to create hairline cracks into craters through the company decades later. It appears that the idle rumor hidden beneath the firm resurrected, with its swift and crafty methods of appearance, to rear its ugly head when CEO Matthew Eitner and Head of Capital Markets James Ahern were issued restraining orders and an associate injunction against them for disseminating false and misleading proxy materials in December 2015.
Coincidence? Allow me to pay tribute to the history of Laidlaw & Co. and exactly how it became relevant by drawing attention to the specific reason for their existence. Scandal!
Laidlaw & Co, formerly named Sands Brothers & Co., was solely established to avoid and cover up arbitration cases against brokers working on behalf of Sands Brothers & Co at the time. I find it to no surprise that years later the firm with two names, yet has the same face.