EYE-BALL’s Human Evil Exposed – John O’Neill (CEO-ARU) … Part 7 – The May 5th ’88 SBS Board Meeting …
Human Evil Exposed –
(CEO-ARU) … Part 7
Definitions of Allegations alleged against Mr John O’Neill and his cohorts …
Part 7 commences … The May 5th ’88 SBS Board Meeting … …
Now that John O’Neill was popping champagne corks with the knowledge that he had Cleary well and truly cast in his baited fish-hook – he only needed one more thing before he could take back control of the SBS Board. That was a turncoat Independent SBS Director.
There were four to choose from – SBS Director Ross Cribb was close to Cleary so that was a no-go – Bruce Treloar was against all things SBNSW and had only be on the SBS Board since Aug ’87 and that was also a no-go. He had also been a Director of the Tamworth Building and Investment Society that became part of the SBNSW late 70’s and early 80’s set-up to have a go at the Commonwealth Savings Bank. Treloar was no friend of the SBNSW.
The other two Independents were Alwyn Thomas [now Deceased] – and Warren Osmond – both long-term Directors – and had been with the RSL Mutual Permanent Building Society when it became part of the SBNSW/CSB agenda when they merged with the SBS back in 1982.
During this mid to late April ’88 period while the Audit Report was doing its thing – O’Neill approached both these Directors with intent to arranging some type of deal to win their support – he needed only one if it came to that.
In O’Neill’s approach to Mr Osmond’s and as told by him – he had to decline O’Neill’s lunch invitation because he had an earlier engagement with his NSW RSL CEO position – so he never received the approach. Yet – and at a later meet encounter – Mr O’Neill went up to Mr Osmond and poked his finger at his chest and said:
” … the next time I invite you to a lunch meeting – you’d better be available and show up!”
Swear to god – this is word for word out of Mr Osmond’s mouth – Mr Osmond turned 90 in Nov 2009 when this conversation was held. He also commented about the May 5th Board meeting after O’Neill appointed himself as Chairman and sitting in the ‘big chair’ –
“… he looked like the cat who had just caught the mouse …”
It was easy to infer that Mr Osmond did not like O’Neill – he had many more stories to tell and notes have been made … shortly after the May 5th Board room coup he vacated the SBS Board and played little further role in what happened when the SBNSW began to run their merger show – he could see how O’Neill was running the show but what could he do as a minority and marginalised Director.
Of the four Independent Directors – leaving out Cleary – that only left one possibility – that being Mr Alwyn Thomas. His ‘turncoat’ status was confirmed when the FOI documents became available and the researcher spoke to the other Directors. Some of those documents are uploaded and presented below.
O’Neill picked his mark and sold his story well – or was it that he made Mr A Thomas an offer he just could not refuse. Whatever that full price was is not known – but there are smackings and evidence of face-value perks in the presented documents other documents to be uploaded at a later date.
Alwyn Thomas became the SBNSW nominated Deputy Chairman after O’Neill elevated himself from Deputy to Chairman with Dennewald’s sacking. The Deputy position was always a SBNSW appointment as owner of the SBS fixed-capital. This was part of the price O’Neill paid.
Mr Thomas also seconded the motion to removed Cleary as a SBS Director – [see Board minutes below Resolution Nos 100 – 103] – and this further revealed his ‘turncoat’ status to the other Independent Directors. It is safe to assume that the price tag O’Neill paid for Thomas’s vote had to have been worth his while – all the while ensuring that he did not turn on O’Neill for the collusive nature of the approach. O’Neill was playing – ‘lets do a deal’ and using the SBS Treasury profits to fund his game-plan.
When one looked at the provisions in the SBS May ’88 accounts – the Treasury provision of $5 million and the missing $3 million of Treasury profits not announced in the gross profit figure – you don’t have to be too smart to realise where this money might have gone, or how it might have been used. The SBS covered the costs to extract Dennewald’s resignation as Chairman – and there was also the Cleary termination payout and we know that was $500k or two years in lieu.
After Alwyn Thomas came on board with the SBNSW’s agenda – O’Neill had all his plucked ducks lined up in a row and he was now ready to declare his own hunting season.
But – and it is a big but – there was a ticking bomb ticking away in the background – is was a massive oversight and just one of the many mistakes made by the NSW Premier and the SBNSW Executives on this mine-field planted road to incriminate themselves. O’Neill and any of his SBNSW lieutenants should have realised the mistake before they went forward – but the hubris involved had O’Neill believe he was invincible. When this bomb eventually went off it blew everybody out of the water – more on this in a later post. For now …
The 5th May SBS Board Meeting:
Below are links to copies of the minutes from this meeting:
Dennewald did not agree with the opinions expressed in the Macquarie Bank report – this was disclosed during a conversation involving the SBS Treasurer, Mr Cleary and Mr Dennewald before the SBS Treasurer went on leave in late Mar ’88. Mr Dennewald further stated at this meeting that he wanted to see the SBS survive and become independent of the SBNSW and moves were in play to make this happen.
To confirm this, and during the research period when discussions with the Apr ’88 appointed SBS AGM Finance – Mr Greg Bates – were held, Mr Bates stated that his job interview with Mr Dennewald included a statement that the appointee would be involved in dealing with merger discussion between the Newcastle and Illawarra Building Societies.
Mr Dennewald shared Mr Cleary’s vision for the SBS and was voting with the SBS Independents for some time because of this shared vision. O’Neill was aware of this. Mr Dennewald’s opinion of O’Neill was not something that can be repeated verbatim hereto – except to say that he did not think O’Neill was the best choice for the SBNSW GM position – Mr Dennewald was aware of the SBNSW rumours about non-performing loans. There were many things discussed that night in the after math of the Treasury sting to pull of the futures play and some $8 + million profit in Mar ’88.
Mr Dennewald was also Chairman of the Board of a Pitt St Merchant Bank and had some general knowledge of the SBS Treasury’s ‘futures play’ that was just completed. The SBS treasurer had discussed it with Mr Dennewald and Mr Cleary together in an after work Board room meeting before the ‘play’ became fully engaged in early Mar ’88.
One of the topics discussed at length was the recent receipt of the KPMG Treasury Bonus Proposal requested by Cleary after the Christmas Bonus debarkle over the SBS Treasurers bonus.
During the meeting referred to above, Dennewald gave assurances about the KPMG proposal and its forecast pool value – he shook the SBS Treasurers hand and told him directly that he would get his bonus – that it would go before the May 5th Board meeting for approval and with the Board’s current voting record he could guarantee it would pass.
There was no way given after what was discussed that evening that Dennewald would have gone quietly as Chairman of the SBS – O’Neill had to make it a worthwhile deal – and even though the SBNSW had the right to replace him – it was Dennewald’s silence that O’Neill would have to pay for. O’Neill was spared the blood-letting – it was the SBNSW Chairman Reg Watson who did the number face to face with Dennewald on the morning of the SBS Board meeting and away from the SBS Head Office.
Immediate after this sacking happened and the meeting broke – Dennewald rang Cleary and told him what had transpired – Cleary was as one could understand – devastated, and he knew then that the writing was on the wall – all he could do now was wait and see how O’Neill was going to play out his agenda. Whatever defence Cleary had in his back pocket at that point – would be like a punter down to their last dollar with a single race to go – his chances of a hail-mary trade were about the same as winning lotto.
Had Cleary sought any type of legal advice prior to this Board meeting, and given what he had been through during the grilling he received over the Audit Report, defies his position – it should hav ebeen his first line of defence. Why he did not is still to be explained.
Cleary has not talked about this – he refuses to. If one could hazard a guess – he still carries a hole in his heart as does so many other SBS Executives over what happened that day. But in all honesty – Cleary has to wear much of the blame for being outwitted by O’Neill – O’Neill played offence and Cleary thought defence would be good enough. He seriously underestimated O’Neill and that has to cast some doubt to Cleary’s savvy about the personal game he was playing with O’Neill over the previous 10 months – since O’Neill’s appointment to the MD position at the SBNSW.
This is an important question – legal opinions obtained by Regulatory Authorities after the coup happened clearly indicate that a legal challenge would have stopped O’Neill dead in his tracks. This was another major oversight by the SBS Management team – but before we go there in another expose – let’s first deal with the May 5th SBS Board meeting … see minutes below …
The SBS Board 5th May minutes:
Company Secretary Comment:
One can say – it was a very clean and clinical coup!
This is one way to describe the events as they’re presented, yet according to Directors who were at that meeting – you can be assured that it did not all go as smoothly as the paper trail would have you believe.
Numerous discussions were held with the SBS Company Secretary during the research phase about the conduct and procedures surrounding this 5th May SBS Board meeting.
A most interesting discovery happened before the meeting took place. O’Neill approached the Company Secretary – [Paul Gibbeson] – outside the Board room and before anybody had entered and gave him a copy of the propose resolutions agenda that was to be put before the Board. The Secretary was then told by O’Neill that his attendance at the meeting was not required. O’Neill handed the Company Secretary his game-plan ‘script’ for the meeting.
It is widely understood and acknowledged that most Board room vote results are known in advance – it’s a case of knowing your Directors and how they will vote on certain matters. The SBS Secretary was not privy to any of what happened during the course of that SBS Board meeting – other than what was reflected in the minutes above.
It is important to get a broader perspective of how the SBS Board control switched between the SBNSW and then to the SBS in Aug ’87, and then back again after the 5th May Board meeting – and to fully appreciate the personal feud being played out between O’Neill and Cleary.
The table below is a reconstruction of SBS Directors and their allegiances, as they were from before Mr Treloar’s appointment at the Aug ’87 AGM – and through to the Board structure after O’Neill had to resign his Chairmanship and Director status over ‘conflict of interest’ issues in July ’88. His dismissal from the SBS Board was at insistence of the Co-Operatives Dept, and the Assoc of Permanent Building Societies Review Committee.
[Position and original allegiances included – and subsequent Board Room Changes through until the merger with St George Building Society in Aug 1988.]
Board Minutes Comments continued:
Before Resolution 104 passed – [page 4 of Minutes] – the minutes reflect Cleary and Mr Cribb left the meeting. During this absence and as told by Mr Cleary – Mr Cribb placed a phone call to Premier Greiner about Mr Cleary’s imminent demise and they talked about a payout/termination payment. It had been O’Neill’s intention not to offer Cleary a payout – but some discussion was held on the matter with Premier Greiner and Greiner agreed to the two-year contract extension before Cleary’s termination was enforced – this netted Cleary a $500k payout.
In the wash up it was the cleanest coup ever staged – and when Cleary did his ‘walk of shame’ saying goodbye to the SBS staff after he exited the Board meeting – there were many tears from staff and Cleary. He called into the SBS Dealing room on his ‘good-bye’ walk and sort out the Treasurer – at this point the Treasurer was expecting news about the Treasury Bonus Proposal going before the Board.
As mentioned previously – both Dennewald and Cleary had pledged that the KPMG TBP was to go before this Board meeting for approval. The Treasurer looked at Cleary and was not too sure what Cleary’s message was to be.
With everything that had happened during his overseas absence – and with the SBS Treasury Audit completed – the SBS Treasurer was still trying to find out what had happened while he was away. In a brief and curt meeting with Cleary the previous day over his outstanding expense claims from his trip, Cleary denied to reimburse his exspenses, saying that he should take them to Bain Refco.
When asked by the SBS Treasurer about the bonue proposal going to teh Board meeting, Cleary responded in a dismissive tone indicated the Bonus proposal was still on the Board’s agenda. This was the first time the SBS Treasurer had seen this side of Cleary – it all added to the mystery of what and how had things changed since he had been away.
Now – and in real-time of the afternoon of the 5th May ’88 – and with Cleary now standing in the SBS dealing room – expectation was clearly written all over the SBS Treasurer’s face – Cleary approached the Treasurer and extended his hand but not with his normal robust handshake – he took the Treasurer’s hand softy and clasp the shake with his other hand and bowed his head. The SBS Treasurer took his hand and was unsure what to expect – he could see Cleary had tears in his eyes and this was not a good sign.
Cleary choked down twice in trying to say something – he took a deep breath and broke the news that he had just been sacked and was out the door – and that security was waiting to escort him out of the building. He could not look the SBS Treasurer in the eye – and he quickly shook the hands of the other people in the room and left.
This was a monumental shock to everyone – Cleary could not speak for his choke down of emotion – all he managed to say to everyone was that it was over and he wished everybody good-luck. The whole dealing room was in shock with the news, Cleary’s son – who was a SBS Trainee dealer left the room with his father and that left a hollow and empty tone within the room – everybody was devastated. Sobbing could be heard from the hallway as loyal staff waited their turn to say goodbye.
The SBS settlements Manager – S.B. – came over to the Treasurer to verify what had just happened. The SBS Treasurer told her what Cleary had said and slumped back into his chair in shock. This was not just at Cleary’s dismissal – but also at the disappointment over the Treasury Bonus Pool that had been 10 months in the making and was now in limbo. Some $4.5 million in KPMG calculated bonus pool funds had just evaporated … the repercussions were unfathomable in the immediate moments it took to realise what was at stake and had just happened.
The Treasurer made a phone call to Len Thompson – the SBS Deputy GM – in the immediate aftermath to try and find out what had happened. Thompson took the call and informed the SBS Treasurer about Dennewald as well. About an hour or so later – all Head Office staff were given the following letter from the new Chairman John O’Neill – it’s dated the 6th May but staff at Head Office received it on the 5th.
Comments on O’Neill’s staff mail out:
Paragraph 3 – commencing … “Their report – [Macquarie bank Report – MBR ] – makes it clear that the Society needs to merge with a larger Financial Institution.” ...
[If anyone wants to read and review the Macquarie Bank Report for themselves – please use this link to download a PDF copy – [12mb large – 74 pages.]
Everybody was still in shock when the letter was delivered. In fact the SBS Treasurer was so angry at receiving the letter he threw his letter away without reading it. He found another letter left by someone and that letter is the one that appears above. At the time it did not make sense because no one outside the SBS Board had seen the MBR.
The O’Neill game-plan was still in play and on-going and this letter had so many things in it that were not fully explained. Nobody could understand or fathom the reasons for what had transpired. Cleary’s staff were loyal – and his loss left a massive void.
O’Neill believed he had been a clever little rooster having just pulled off his coup – but this letter and some 24 years later, it can now be revealed as the beginning of the deception and trail of lies O’Neill was attempting to juggle as he built his house of cards to cover his tracks.
O’Neill has entrapped himself with this letter – and as Chairman of the SBS Board and with the responsibilities he owed to the SBS members and staff after the coup – this letter proves his first priority was to the SBNSW thus compromising his fiduciary responsibilities which was later agreed toby the Regulatory authorities. This letter exposed O’Neill’s criminality …
The SBS Treasurer needed to talk to someone about what was happening – he was still to read the Phil Gray Audit Report – and to his new-found dismay there was no one left that he knew or trusted to counsel him about anything.
At the time the SBS Treasurer had no idea how factual O’Neill’s comments were – Cleary’s payout had placed him under a gag order – the Deputy GM Len Thompson was sent on Administration leave for near 2 months – there was nobody left other than the new AGM finance Greg Bates who the SBS Treasurer was still to meet.
The SBS Treasurer was already thinking the new AGM Finance was a SBNSW appointee and stooge to help with the merger agenda. To be fair to Mr Bates in a hindsight perspective – he had joined the SBS just three weeks earlier – no consideration was given up by the SBS Treasurer as to how he must he have been feeling about his new career choice in the aftermath of the O’Neill coup.
At the time this appointment cut no sway with the SBS Treasurer – he gave Mr Bates a hard time for the rest of his employment by the SBS. It would prove to be no fun being on the end of that equation. After the merger with St George – Mr Bates did go to work for the SBNSW as a GM. There was no excuse for the SBS Treasurer’s behaviour toward Mr Bates over the ensuring three months – and in research discussions held with Mr Bates over recent years – the relationship has warmed and information exchanges have happened. It has been revealed it was his opportunity loss also.
A relates to the letter from O’Neill to the SBS staff – it is now know that there is no validity in O’Neill’s statement of facts as quoted above – Macquarie Bank were deliberately misguided about the SBS’s current financial position when the report was commissioned – how else could they had got it so completely wrong.
So whatever the opinion Macquarie Bank came up with in their report – it was always going to be a flawed opinion. This was attested to by the Minister for Co-Operatives when he read the report – and when Cleary gave his response – [these responses can be read using these links – Cleary’s response PDF – Co-Operatives response PDF.]
As a SBS Director, and now the Chairman of the SBS – O’Neill was acting in direct conflict with his fiduciary responsibilities as a SBS Director – and a Director of the SBNSW. As a lawyer himself this does not say much to his integrity as a person – or to how he discharged his duties and responsibilities as a Lawyer and in the position in which he exerted his personal wants over and above what would be in the best interest of the SBS members and staff.
This was just the tip of the iceberg of what was about to follow. With all that is now known of the events that followed – O’Neill and his crime pals should be cooked goose’s – the problem being who is interested in this Corporate RAPE and FRAUD involving some $70+ million some 24 years later?
These crimes just don’t pertain to O’Neill’s actions – all the other SBNSW appointed SBS Directors, Paul Kearns, Bob Thomas and the new kid as at the 5th May and the SBNSW Company Secretary – Richard Turner – all voted with O’Neill in this little self entrapment. This was a collusive affair and they were all complicit in what transpired. This is the exact time and date when the Corporate RAPE of the SBS commenced.
The retrieval of the MBR:
So in the context of this Staff letter, and the minutes of the 5th May Board meeting – the search for the MBR some 20 years later was on in full. Initially there were objections to its release under FOI rules from Macquarie Bank and one other – Westpac Banking Corporation – the new owners of St George Bank – the former St George Building Society who took over the SBS in Aug ’88. Those objections were overcome and the MBR showed up some months later.
From the reading of that report – the case against the NSWG and the SBNSW took on a new lease of life – so many pieces of the puzzle fell into place. This MBR became the link document that opened so many doors to the Regulatory documents and everything that followed from there. [To read the synopsis on the MBR posted on-line as a part of this expose – please click here.]
In real-time and when these events actually happened in May ’88 – the SBS Treasurer can still remember how he felt and dealt with the ‘loss’ and the altered circumstances after that 5th May Board meeting. He was completely out of the knowledge loop – there was nobody to ask about what had happened because they were all looking for lifeboats of a kind and nobody wanted to hang about and give him the information he wanted – he did not even know if they would or did have answeres to his questions.
This was perhaps the saddest day in the SBS Treasurer’s career which ended shortly thereafter when O’Neill leaked the SBNSW Audit Report and another internal SBNSW report on the SBS Treasury to the media. [Those media stories can be read in Part 6 of this expose and are linked here – near bottom of post.]
The SBS Treasurer asked himself a thousand times in the immediate aftermath what did all Dennewald and Cleary’s handshakes and promises of a month or so ago mean now? He and his Treasury team had been betrayed and the efforts to have accomplished so much now took on a different perspective as the SBNSW were about to get their hands on all the profits made.
What was he to tell his staff? What was the new AGM Finance all about?
All the SBS Treasurer knew was that yet again – and despite his efforts to try and protect himself – he had again been royally screwed by fuckwits to fuckin’ ignorant to get out of their own way and learn as opposed to destroy what they did not understand.
There were so many unanswered questions swirling in his head – it was like living in a daze for several days and weeks after – one can talk about chopping off the head of a snake to kill all that lurks beneath – O’Neill’s plan was executed to perfection – but was it legal?
Not only was O’Neill ruthless in his coup – he had now became vindictive and vicious – he was not done yet with the blood-letting – this little Johnny boy was on a roll and he was gonna make people see that he was someone important and that people should look past his short stature and see someone big in the making. All his life he has ridden on the back of others … these allegations will be covered in later posts …
So to deal with his immediate loss, and try to function as a Treasurer in the new AGM Finance Greg Bates world of rules, and – ‘please explain everything’ before you even think of doing a deal – he tried to pigeon-hole what had transpired as a misadventure – a natural occurrence so to speak in market terms – and in the face of having nobody he trusted around him except his own staff – he started to treat the episode as if it was like one of Phil Gray’s hypotheticals in a what-if type scenario.
He began to think of it as having got a big play wrong in the market – dealing with it this way was about the only way he could find the strength to deal with the loss and the disappointments. He could see the same despair it all in his staff’s faces – everybody was hurting and he had no answers. All those promises – all those happy times only a month or so ago – all now a distant memory.
O’Neill had no idea what he had destroyed – it had been a utopian environment – a dealers paradise – and the fruits of that environment created and allowed to happen under Cleary’s Management – his absence of intervention or control was either pure genius on Cleary’s part – or complete stupidity in that nobody above the SBS Treasurer had any goddamn idea what was going on.
To this day O’Neill has no idea what devastation he created or caused to all the SBS Staff in general. It was not just the SBS Treasury staff with long faces – people’s lives were altered – and many never really got over it. Yet – O’Neill was not done with pouring more oil on the fire – winning back the SBS Board control only was a fraction of the battle – and after the news of the Board room coup – plenty of people began to line up to have a go at knocking O’Neill off his perch.
This was a game from his perspective – how dare he play with people’s lives and entitlements to serve his own twisted Machiavellian and Freudian brain function!
O’Neill’s actions were pure ‘evil’ – and in this lifetime or the next – he will get the opportunity to feel what everybody at the SBS felt that fateful day on the 5th May 1988. He had no idea what he was doing with his merger agenda – he nor his Treasurer Phil Gray had any knowledge level that could explain what had happened at the SBS Treasury – they just decided – ” … if we don’t understand what happened we had better shut it down.” What fuckwits … even at this stage O’Neill nor Gray wanted to meet the SBS Treasurer and ask him any direct questions.
KPMG Proposal – Treasury Bonus Pool (TBP):
There was one saving grace for the SBS Treasurer in his confused and rabid mindset – the KPMG Treasury proposal. It was delivered to the SBS on the 24th Mar ’88 and its authenticity had to be accepted by the new Management – or so he thought.
The Treasurer had read this proposal a week before he went on leave. He had also discussed its draft format with Dennewald and Cleary the same night he had drinks when discussing the ‘futures market play’. The TBP numbers the proposal produced were in excess of $8 million – and the SBS Treasurer had a bonus clause in his contract that read – [see clause 2 below]:
This Clause 2 was inserted at the insistence of the SBS Treasurer in remuneration negotiations with the then AGM Finance – Paul Ogilvy. Too many times in past employes his Management had not honoured promises made when it came to Bonus payments and remuneration entitlements.
Ogilvy had resisted at first – but when the SBS Treasure played hard-ball and said it was a deal-breaker – Ogilvy confessed up why he could not offer the clause. He stated that nobody at the SBS had any bonus clause in their contract and that there was no Bonus system or structure at the SBS. It became obvious that new ground had to be brokered and this Clause 2 was then agreed to by both parties and inserted – with an understanding that the TBP was to be a work in progress – and to be developed via mutual and independent discussions. KPMG were brokered in on the deal in Dec ’87 and their Executives had several meetings with SBS Executives and the SBS Treasurer over the next three months.
The KPMG Proposal was the fruit of that labour and during its work-up period – everybody at the SBS Executive level knew the Treasury staff were entitled and to share in this TBP.
This TBP was in line with other like Bonus structures KPMG had been involved with – the SBS Treasurer experience in these matters was extensive – it just never panned out the way it was supposed to when dealers started to earn more than Management – everybody wanted a bump – yet without the dealer nobody got a cent …
The KPMG had considered every aspect giving respect to the SBS and its Building Society status – it was not mainstream Financial Markets or though it was at that time in the same league and ranked far ahead of most Banks and Merchant Banks … The TBP had been looked at from every angle – and in most Bonus structures being applied in professional dealing rooms a simple formula was being sed – the 25% rule – 25% of earnings to cover salaries – 25% for gross costs – 25% for Admin share, and 25% for Bonus split.
Because of the Building Society stature – the TBP adopted an agreement reached between all parties to use a sliding scale – see the TBP document for a full breakdown.
As things now looked – all that effort and structure and owed monies was now sitting on a shelf somewhere never to be seen again – and O’Neill was in a rush to get his hands on the capital value where this TBP ended up. Stupid thing is – the SBS paid over $8 million in tax for the ’88 year – why would O’Neill pay all that tax and not pay a similar amount to the SBS Staff for a fantastic year as had been negotiated before O’Neill bought his road-show to town. The SBS reserves before the SBS treasurer stood at $39 million – at the end of May ’88 they stood at near $68 million if the $5 million provision and the revaluation profit in the SBS portfolio was taken into account.
The sale price the SBNSW received from St George was $75 million – in what universe can you imagine that the SBNSW would have received that value if the SBS Treasury had not have done his stuff – O’Neill was making himself look good and all on the efforts of the SBS Treasurer – the guy he buried – burned – and then spat out on a career dump heap …
To try and not be seen as a complete oxymoron – and not appreciative of the SBS Treasurer’s efforts – O’Neill threw him a $200k bonus less the $101k in tax – with no chance to make it tax effective – like super or some other reasonable arrangement – take it or leave it was the offer.
In further discussions between Dennewald and Cleary before the Treasurer went on leave – they talked about specifics and numbers attached to the TBP. At that time the TBP calculations agreed to had the value of the pool in excess of $7 million – by the end of May it was above $8 million – the outcome from the 5th May Board meeting had now left this hanging out there with nobody left who could even make any kind of presentation to the new Management.
Some 50% of the TBP was to be shared with all SBS staff outside of Treasury – and the balance being shared with the existing SBS Treasury staff.
The SBS Treasurer had discussions with his staff about bonus’ and indications had been given they would be receiving 100% of their salaries as a bonus depending on their length of tenure. When the SBS Treasurer first started there were only two staff in Treasury – himself and – S.B. – in settlements – it was this way until October 19th ’87 – that fateful ‘crash’ day when Trainee Dealer – M.L. – came on board with additional settlements staff. Then came another Trainee in December – S.C. – and a Chief Dealer – D.M. – in mid February with another two settlements staff.
All these preliminary ‘heads-up’ Bonus discussions all happened before he went on leave. M.L. was also to be to be rewarded with his ‘Dealer’ wings and a new ‘package’ including a car and other perks. This was to be an additional surprise announcement at a time after the TBP was approved.
The Settlements Manager who had already received a significant upgrade was to receive another boost – and all the other staff were to receive salary reviews of 10-15% for their efforts in addition to their bonus entitlements. There were also approved plans to expand the desk with another 3-4 senior dealers in coming months – dealer stations had already been created for them in a major dealing room restructure.
Without the SBS Treasury support staff – and in particular S.B. – the SBS would never have been able to accomplish what was achieved – S.B. gave her all, and in all of the SBS Treasurer’s past employs – never had he had such loyal and devoted staff. It was a case of shared success breeding more success. He will never forget the devotion his staff offered up – it was truly the happiest career time of his life and sharing it with these staff made it just that more special.
So when Cleary came into the dealing room after the May 5th Board meeting to deliver his news – the shock and horror all over the SBS Treasurer’s face after Cleary had given him the news about his sacking had more than just the loss of Cleary as his immediate Boss to deal with.
He truly felt Cleary’s loss – but he was also suffering another loss that was not even on Cleary’s mind at the time. Cleary had his payout as some consolation – and it took some time for the SBS Treasurer not to feel once again screwed over by his Management – and the naivety in the way he blind trusted others who controlled his destiny. Cleary’s payout was not known at this stage – it had to be something the SBS Treasurer knew – nor Dennewald’s – nor what had actually happened in the Board meeting – it was an environment where he had to bite down on his rage and want to smash someone.
The SBS Treasurer was still yet to receive a copy of Phil Gray’s Audit report – and he was still to meet the new AGM Finance – Greg Bates. He was still completely in the dark. Since his arrival back the previous day, everybody who might have had some knowledge about the Audit outcome was keeping ‘mum’ about what had happened. He had not been able to find out any information from any of his superiors about any of the things that had happened whilst he was away.
During the 5th May Board meeting a new SBS GM was appointed as per the minutes above – Mr Tony Howarth – he was a GM at the SBNSW and he became the caretaker SBS GM to oversee O’Neill’s merger agenda for the SBS with the SBNSW. It would be a week or so before the SBS Treasurer was summoned to meet the new GM.
Now that was a meeting – Mr Bates was there as well and fireworks ensured. The SBS Treasurer exploded when he was told what the new deal was – he dared them to sack him there and then and called them both ‘fuckwits’ and many other unkind metaphoric pseudonym’s. He flew into Greg Bates every opportunity he had – and humiliated him as best he could. This was the Cleary loss – the bonus loss – the dealing room autonomy loss – it was the career loss – all of that had bottled up and he was now venting.
In his own mind he knew he could not work for O’Neill in any capacity – Cleary’s after work stories about O’Neill had poisoned the SBS Treasurer’s perspective – and in that light O’Neill was a fuckwit and would always be a fuckwit.
It’s very ironic that the documentary evidence and the stories told throughout the research phase can now prove all that has been said – and still to this day the SBS treasurer has never had a face to face meeting and any type of direct conversation with O’Neill.
The outburst in Howarth’s office – Cleary’s old office – was perhaps the dumbest thing the SBS Treasurer had ever done – he never stopped – he used every profanity he knew and just kept paying out … poor Mr Bates never got a word in edgewise and Howarth asked him to leave in the face of the unloading tirade. It did not improve that much when Howarth tried to calm him down …
This part of the story continues in the next installment … where O’Neill’s underbelly becomes exposed and how the ‘ticking bomb’ – all of his own making blew his dreams away – and yet he was able to recover – and that was when the FRAUD of the decade began to happen with Premier Greiner’s full involvement, and sanction, and with his help.
Part 8 … continues – The 5th May Board Room coup responses …
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