Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Aboriginal investment group gets new board

Shareholders throw senior executives out

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TRIBAL Councils Investment Group's embattled CEO, Allan McLeod, has been suspended and a new board of directors elected.

Sources confirmed a special shareholders' meeting Wednesday, called to wrest control of the investment firm owned by the seven Manitoba tribal councils, succeeded in its goals.

The sources said McLeod and two other senior executives, as well as former board chairman Frank Turner, were suspended with pay pending a review of the company's financial affairs.

The accounting firm Lazer Grant has been retained to conduct the review.

The new board is composed of seven members, one representative from each Manitoba tribal council. Glenn Hudson, chief of Peguis First Nation, was named chairman.

The old board had included the CEO and an independent chairman.

TCIG was formed in the early '90s to generate economic development among the province's First Nations.

Each of the seven tribal councils invested $25,000, and with the help of some early government assistance and some fortunate early investments -- most significantly, the Pepsi distributor for Northern Canada -- the company started generating enough profit to be able to distribute about $100,000 in annual dividends to the seven tribal councils.

But a number of factors started to conspire against those lucrative returns and profits turned into losses.

As the poor financial performance of the company became evident, dissatisfaction was growing among the shareholders about management practices. But for various reasons, the former board of directors declined to take decisive action.

Concern started to be voiced in March 2010 when TCIG acquired a corporate jet.

The Free Press has reported TCIG was losing about $600,000 a year on the jet and McLeod was drawing a salary equal to that of CEOs of public companies 10 times the size of TCIG.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 28, 2013 B9

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