They won’t be holding any tag days for Miles Nadal, onetime CEO at the Canadian-based advertising conglomerate, MDC Partners. Despite presiding over a string of badly timed acquisitions and massive debt, Nadal still managed to maintain his gold-plated lifestyle. His MDC compensation in 2011 clocked in at $23-million.
But in 2015, a whistle-blower in head office ratted him out for failure to disclose certain of his perks to shareholders. Turns out Miles had been dipping into the company till to cover his cosmetic surgery (shurely not velcro plugs?!–ed.) and yacht expenses.
The SEC started sniffing around and Miles subsequently “retired.” When the SEC investigation became public, Nadal generously volunteered to repay more than $21 million in salary, bonuses and expenses.
During his wild ride, Miles had accumulated all the obligatory trappings of success: Luxury digs in the Bahamas and West Palm Beach, an expensive divorce, and status as a regular donor on the charity circuit. His name is currently on a community centre in Toronto’s west end (the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre), and on Twitter he refers to himself as a “philanthropist.”
The trouble is, who paid for all this?
A recent SEC release states that it was the MDC Partners company itself – the shareholders – who “paid for Nadal’s personal use of private airplanes as well as charitable donations in his name, yacht and sports car expenses, cosmetic surgery and a wide range of other perks,” without proper disclosure to shareholders.
To settle the SEC charges, Nadal agreed last month to repay a further $US 5.5-million in penalties and other expenses. He was also banned for five years from serving as an officer or director of a public company. As is often the case in these settlements, Nadal consented to the order without admitting or denying any wrongdoing.
Thus ends the story, one we’ve heard before, wherein rogue Canadian business titans are finally brought to justice only by the US regulators, right?
Possibly, but you can’t keep a good hustler down.
In August of last year, a new ‘independent’ Canadian brokerage firm called Echelon Wealth Partners announced equity financing of $27 million with Miles Nadal and Peerage Capital Canada (a private company controlled by Nadal).
The release talks about how pleased Echelon is to have Miles Nadal and his company as financial partners. (Oddly, we can’t find any reference to the SEC investigation underway at the time.)
However, we can all be certain that there’s no problem caused by that five-year SEC ban. Nadal is not a Director of the Echelon board. And after all, we all would expect an investor of this magnitude to be a silent partner and never to have a shred of influence on how Echelon does its work of keeping the retirement nest eggs of Canadians safe and sound.