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Marcus James is back as CEO of Access Financial Services

Published:Wednesday | August 6, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Marcus James

Marcus James, who was stripped of his responsibilities as chief executive officer of Access Financial Services Limited in April, has been reinstated to the position on the orders of the Supreme Court late last month.

The functions of CEO were previously taken over by the board of directors.

Among the 13-point order made by Justice Bryan Sykes is a prohibition on any steps to alter James' salary and emoluments, unless they are being increased.

James was unavailable for comment when Wednesday Business tried to contact him, but a source close to the matter confirmed that he has been reinstated to the position.

A legal source, who preferred not to be identified by name, said that "as far as I am aware, there has not been a breach of the order".

James made the application for the injunction against Christopher Berry, Gary Peart, Brian Goldson, and Mayberry West Indies Limited.

In April, Wednesday Business reported that the board of Access Financial Services stripped James of his management responsibilities but not his title.

The board gave those responsibilities to Alexander Johnson, who was appointed by resolution on April 14 to act as chief executive officer of the company, along with James. However, Johnson's appointment was later reversed after the court clarified an earlier ruling that had varied an injunction James previously obtained that stopped the board from removing him as CEO.

interlocutory injunction

In a notice to the Jamaica Stock Exchange dated May 5, 2014, Access Financial Services said the board, by resolution passed unanimously on May 2, 2014, revoked Johnson's appointment to the post of co-CEO.

"The powers that were revoked from Marcus James, and subsequently conferred on Mr Johnson, will be henceforth vest, remain with and be exercised by the board of directors," said the market filing.

James' application for what was effectively an interlocutory injunction was heard over 11 days between April and July this year.

Justice Sykes, in granting the application, ordered that Berry, Peart and Goldson - all directors on Access Financial's board - take no part in any disciplinary process nor the hearing of any charges against James.

He ordered that Berry, Peart and Goldson abide by the recommendations of any panel established to adjudicate on those charges and to ensure that such recommendations are implemented as the decision of the company's board.

The judge also granted an injunction restraining the defendants, whether acting in concert, by themselves, their servants, agents or otherwise, from disposing of, transferring, dealing with or voting the shares or the majority shares in Access Financial in a manner contrary to the terms of a standstill agreement, or removing James as CEO until the court's judgement is given in the claim.

Justice Sykes acknowledged that Berry, Peart and Goldson, as directors of Access Financial, are permitted to use their powers under the articles of association to pass resolutions and make decisions for the operation of the company. However, the order emphasises that they are prohibited from using those powers to remove James as CEO.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com

Marcus James, CEO of Access Financial Services Limited.