It has been almost three and a half years when Van der Moolen went down. The company filed for bankruptcy September 10th 2009. A pity. Public trading firms burning money like VDM are thin on the ground. Their quarterly reports were juicy material.
Fast forward to 2013. The court decided what everybody has always known, it has been maladministration. Hans Kroon and Richard den Drijver ruined the firm, investigators concluded. Some members of the Supervisory Board, more specific Van den Broek and De Marez Oyens, also must have had a bad weekend.
The investigation wasn’t cheap - 435.962,05 euros. Judge decided Den Drijver and Hans Kroon will have to finance this. This is only a first hit, as the road is open for claims against them. Shareholder association VEB will be eager to take action.
You can read the full research report and court ruling over here (Dutch). For entertainment, I can highly recommend Steve Brown (Dutch). Former happy gangster must have used a lot of his “imagination”.
Richard den Drijver will be fairly safe. Every management board will have an insurance policy against liability and claims. It’s a field of debate what’s covered by the insurance, incompetence is covered but outright theft isn’t – and the insurance is usually limited to a few million.
I’m an amateur in insurance law. Correct me if I’m wrong. It appears Hans Kroon is in deep trouble as the court ruled he is responsible for crashing the company. However, the man was not a member of the board. That’s an unusual situation – meaning no insurance is going to save him.