A few weeks ago, one of my favorite columns in the Philippine Daily Inquirer came out with this juicy morsel:
A female sales agent of RCBC Securities—said to have been a rainmaker of this brokerage house for about a decade—is now facing criminal charges for questionable transactions with her own personal clients.
Based on a regulatory filing, RCBC Securities has also asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to blacklist the agent, Mary Grace “MG” Villafria Valbuena, on the back of “strong documentary evidence” culled by the brokerage.
MG—sued by her employer for “falsification” of commercial documents—was allegedly able to divert investments made by high networth clients to another account. In some cases, she even issued fraudulent receipts to unsuspecting investors.
An official estimate of the damage was only about P80 million, although the Ayala trading floor is abuzz with talks that the amount was much higher.However, what appears to be an open and shut case of corruption in the corporate world is actually just the veneer. The story actually continues and outlines possible directions point all the way to the top:
Rogue trader with management’s blessings?
The supposed rogue trader who was accused by RCBC Securities of running off with a huge sum of clients’ money seems to be ready to turn the tables on her accuser.
According to our source, the brokerage firm’s former “rainmaker”—Mary Grace Valbuena—is all set to spill the beans on her former superiors, including what her camp claims was the sanctioned use of a scheme where all clients’ stock transactions were coursed through a single trading account that was managed solely at her discretion.
Our source added that the operation was running for several years already and was supposedly approved and encouraged by Valbuena’s superiors since the arrangement was “mutually beneficial.”
“Her activities as a stockbroker practically paid for all the salaries of the brokerage firm’s employees,” the source said, who added that Valbuena was ready to come out with documentary evidence to prove her claims. “It goes all the way to the top.”
So will the issue be settled quietly or will we see more skeletons coming out of the brokerage firm’s closet? Abangan.