Bud..Van der Moolen may be bankrupt, but the stock is still open for trading. The original plan was to delist the shares on August 10th 2010. However, according to this press release the suspension of trading in the shares is postponed until the December 2010 expiration. This way the  outstanding option positions in MOO are settled in a subtle and easy way.

Hercules owns 6% of VDM

Hat tip to this site for noticing. Written by Martijn Kok: a penny stock trader who accumulated over 6% in Van der Moolen shares after the crash. Maybe better known as “Hercules”, for manipulating penny stocks as Cardio Control a decade ago.

The famous memo

Next point. I received an internal memo for all employees of Van der Moolen. It’s written by CEO Richard den Drijver two years ago. It’s old, but genuine and an entertaining read nevertheless. All employees must have known. A few of his famous lines made it frequently to the comments.

From: +Risk Management [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: dinsdag 25 maart 2008 16:49
To: (…)
Subject: FW: Time for Change please forward to those who did not receive it.

Dear colleagues,

On the web side off VDM, we have presented the strategic presentation 2008 which most of you have received with the press release for the year 2007 last week.

Be free to forward this text to the staff members, traders, and brokers who were not copied in.

I and Michiel as board off VDM like to share some further information about the future and the changes we need to accomplice for the next 114 years.

Time for Change

Last week we have had the yearly VDM press and annalist meeting for the year 2007.

The Board of VDM (WE) made the promise to the shareholders to be profitable in 2008.

We also explained that the VDM focus would be three business lines:

1) VDM Trading

2) VDM Institutional brokerage

3) VDM Retail Banking

Partnership’s can only work if WE (all partners/ stakeholders within VDM ) can share and benefit from the success of VDM only than those who are the WE can commit them self to the future of VDM.

First, learn to share, if you cannot share you will never learn to multiple

Important to understand who are WE? We are the stakeholders in VDM being:

Share holders, Supervisory Board, Board, Management, Support staff and Traders/Brokers.

To make the future a success we have to learn from the past

The last 5 years share holders did not make anything the stock went from high EU 30 to

low EU 3 and currently trade on the expectation of zero future earnings why?

When we look to what happened to VDM in the US (the loss of hundreds off millions of dollars). This happen when traders violate trading rules in 2003-2005 ore make serious trading mistakes it was always the shareholder who paid because there are no reclaims on bonuses paid out. When we have to defend the company for those actions and mistakes made by traders all legal bills are paid by VDM Holding again the shareholder. When we facilitate clients (loan desk US 2005) and kickbacks are paid ore other favors which lead to fines by the exchange again it is the shareholders who paid millions off dollars.

VDM is and was not alone in this and the security industry forces exchange regulated company to invest in procedures, controls, compliance and risk departments etc that is a part off working in this industry.

What we have recently seen happening in this industry with banks and brokers go bust, big position losses by traders ore the hiding off position losses to collect end year bonuses, substantial increases in trading margins and increase in cost of capital are leading to more and not less cost off working in this industry. Those off you who think cost related to work in this industry is not there problem and the only cost related to trade is the square meter around them should wake up. It my be that what you want bud this not how VDM can survive ore by the way any organization working in this industry can survive nor can it receive anymore the support of shareholders willing to support this attitude.

On top of that, VDM was and is still not operating as one organization. This put’s huge amounts of additional cost on VDM holding to monitor manage and support all the individual operations. In addition, global membership’s infrastructure and IT knowledge is not shared in other words not all the advances off working for one big organization are not yet in place.

Why not: Because too many participants/ individuals within the VDM group want to have there one ‘’small’’ operation within the organization this feels save and comfortable bud which create a lot off red tape and lost opportunities.

What can we learn from this : When WE as VDM do not work as an team ore as one company bud as individual company’s and within these individual company’s as individual operations where we even within these operations are not willing to share knowledge, support staff, risk, cost, investments and infrastructure there is no future.

I mentioned all stakeholders should participate in the success off VDM.

When we look to Europe in 2007 VDM Trading and VDM Institution Brokerage was a success. Over 2007 in Europe, we paid a total compensation to (only continued business in 2008) to traders off more then EU 40 mio of which was EU 23 mio was paid in bonuses. Contributed to share holders VDM from these European profitable operations was little more then EU 7 mio hardly a fare share of profit distribution between the stakeholders within VDM.

We as VDM Board see VDM Trading and VDM Institutional Brokerage as crucial in combination with VDM Retail Banking this because eventually all Retail bank end users eventually will directly trade with VDM trading ore use the facilities of VDM institutional brokerage. Bud this only will work if trading managers and traders are open to change and are willing to share cost off running these operations. You do not need to be a genius to understand that when the party is a success traders collect more the EU 40 moil and VDM shareholders collect little more then EU 7 mio and when something goes wrong and the party is over the shareholder have to pay (see the 100 off millions in the US ore discontinuing business EU), not an attractive proposition for anybody to invest in.

There are several solutions to make it work bud clear is WE all have to be willing to invest in this future and be willing to part of this bigger successful VDM group and be willing to see WE not as ME because than there is no future for YOU in this.

End 2007 the board agreed with the management EU and US that they would come with a proposal to distribute all cost over the entities and that they would come with a proposal before 1 April 2008 being effective

1 Jan 2008. Cost was only a part of this discussion more important is global trainee trading centers, networks (access to all global memberships), IT, support and capital. Times are changing so the Board will appoint a small task force with representatives from US en EU who will look at the total VDM organization and all it’s aspects and will talk with those responsible to have there input which will lead to decisions in Q2 2008 effective 1 Jan 2008 for the road map for the future and success for WE instead of only ME.


Richard den Drijver
Van der Moolen
Keizergracht 307
1001 GJ

T: +31 (0)20 535 6748
F: +31 (0)20 535 6788
E: [email protected]
W: www.vandermoolen.com