Bernard de la Joiech, whose name appeared in the Pandora papers this week, is stepping down from Solvay’s board of directors for “personal reasons”. This chemical giant declared itself. It is, as far as we know, the number one title in the global investigation into the diversion of funds into tax havens to escape tax authorities.
Resignation on September 24. Solvay does not comment more than for “personal reasons”. But it’s no secret that most of the study participants were already feeling in the mood. This includes Bernard de la Joiech, who was contacted on September 2 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who obtained a leak of 11.9 million documents about offshore structures. In response, he said he “managed in good faith” his assets. It is no coincidence that he ran away and resigned from his posts.
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De Laguiche was one of the Solvay families featured in the Pandora Papers, along with Aubertin and de Wangen de Geroldseck Aux Vosges. All grandchildren of the brothers Alfred and Ernst Solvay. Together, they are said to have housed hundreds of thousands of Solvay shares, worth tens of millions of euros, in a chain of mailbox companies in the British Virgin Islands. This way one avoids the tax on dividends.
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For more than a century – until 1967 – being part of the family was a prerequisite for being able to sit on the executive committee or on the board of directors. And even then, it wasn’t until 1998 that Solvay got a CEO who wasn’t part of the family. Not that the family has since given up on the reins: for example, Bernard de Laguise was the group’s chief financial officer from 2006 to 2013 and headed Solvac, which has more than 2,300 heirs from the Solvay dynasty and today more than 30 companies that own percent of the shares of the multinational company. He was born in Uccle but holds dual French-Brazilian citizenship. He lives in southern Brazil, where he also “self-employed” business. So now he is stepping down, leaving Solvay’s board of directors to only fourteen members. He also made his tenure at Solvac available.
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