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Cape Town - Fidentia was a bustling financial services company that employed a large number of people, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.
Braganza Pretorius, for former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown, cross-examined the company's broker Steven Goodwin and probed his knowledge of general operations.
Brown faces nine charges of fraud, theft, corruption and money-laundering, related to Fidentia and several affected companies.
His lawyer asked Goodwin if he knew the company employed around 1200 people full-time and about 1400 consultants.
“It was a large, vibrant organisation. It's quite conceivable that there was that amount of people,” the ex-broker replied.
Pretorius said the business was well-established.
“This business was not something done on the spur of the moment. It had directors, it had management meetings,” the lawyer said.
Goodwin agreed, adding he was aware of its specific executive processes.
The court heard that Fidentia Holdings was listed as one of the top 300 companies sometime between 2003 and 2006, alongside Sanlam and Old Mutual. “I was aware of that. I used that as part of my marketing strategy,” Goodwin said.
Pretorius asked if he was aware if Fidentia complied with King 2 corporate governance procedures.
Goodwin said he could not dispute that if it was true.
The lawyer asked if he was aware that Fidentia had a credit committee that had to approve every investment.
Goodwin said he was aware of this and had had feedback from this committee, through Brown, on previous occasions.
It was also revealed that Fidentia Alternative Investments was listed in the 2005 yearbook of the SA Venture Capital Associations.
According to that year's entry the company had four executives and was responsible for managing R250 million in investment funds.
Pretorius said Fidentia was based in Johannesburg, Cape Town, New York in the United States, and Dublin in Ireland, at the time.