After Van der Moolen’s the garage sale last winter, most of us expected this firm to vanish from the daily news. Could be an interesting textbook case of a company inadequate to adapt itself to the a new climate, with some curious human interest side stories. While the court investigations are ongoing into the board’s mismanagement, some small news has already been released.
Den Drijver versus VDM Liquidators versus Zwart
First of all, the ousted CEO Richard den Drijver suddenly appeared back on stage – and he surprised the world by talking. He gave a short interview. His message wasn’t anything new, the company was in perfect shape when he was forced to leave and he blames the advisory board for the collapse of the firm. Especially Peter Zwart, his successor, was guilty for ruining VDM with requesting the financial watchdogs to raid the firm. My bet is this Den Drijver actually believes his own theory. Then a strange thing happened which is in big contrast with virtually everything written on this website and all official newspapers. The official lawyer and accountant cleaning up the mess confirm Den Drijver has got a point. “Zwart told me himself he invited the financial watchdogs to raid the house”. Peter Zwart denies “that’s bullshit, never requested for any raid at all. We didn’t ruin the company in three months, that has been done in the years before”. I assume the liquidating accountant and lawyer (Gelderloos and Schaink) have been misquoted, and put my money on Peter Zwart. Speaking As someone mentioned in the comments elsewhere on this website, in the Worldcup betting poule of former VDM employees RDD is leading the pack. Visiting the foreign football in Spain paid by the company certainly pays off! (and no, don’t seriously believe it is the real RDD playing. Nice subleague name though.)
The angels of Avalon
With everyone disagreeing with everyone, let’s move on to someone else who absolutely does not agree at all. Enter the company Avalon Media Group, or AMG for friends. Avalon borrowed 6 million euro from VDM in 2008, partly to payback a loan from Avalon to Hans Kroon. It’s a perfect mess with Hans Kroon acting in the advisory board of Avalon (well, according to their website before the press discovered it) and his son Gaby Kroon tied to the same firm. The administrators of VDM reclaim their money with interest, amounting 7,2 million. Because of some alleged hustle with legal entities, other private companies from the director have been seized and a private home has seized as well. These liquidators really bite. (source : fd.nl)
Avalon even hired a well-known Dutch spindoctor, Charles Huijskens, to handle the press. A good read is their highly unbelievable explanation of their view of the story with VDM. They developed a trading platform in stocks and options for the iPhone, a television channel and internet. Especially the iPhone platform must have been way ahead of its time, as it was finished a year before the iPhone itself was released by Apple. Anyway, the AMG / Avalon family claim 10 million from VDM. Feed for the shredder.