iCreate, a digital media company founded and headed by young Jamaican entrepreneur Tyrone Wilson, has been called into question and the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) is being beseeched to take a closer examination of so-called egregious practices that make the company unfit to be listed.
The grievances have been outlined in a letter by a group calling itself JSE Investors United. None of the authors of this letter have given their names to what can best be described as a vitriolic missive intent on causing harm and damage.
During the COVID pandemic, iCreate faced testing times and it was on the brink of going under. It managed to recalibrate and reposition, looking to new business lines with a new board and management team.
A capital injection has seen it live to fight another day and given Wilson an opportunity to turn around the fortunes of the beleagued company.
iCreate listed on the junior JSE market in 2018 and has been viewed as a poster child for that bourse’s success. Many companies and young entrepreneurs have taken this route including Kadeen Mair’s Dolla Financial, Gordon Swaby’s EduFocal, Gary Matalon’s KLE Group, Solomon Sharpe’s Main Event and Kamala Bennett’s The LAB.
Listing means being able to withstand probity and scrutiny. It also means complying with the JSE’s rules and regulation. The watchword here is corporate governance. Timely financial reporting is expected.
iCreate has diversified into other businesses,including real estate and outdoor advertising as it looks to bolster revenues and profits and keep shareholders happy.
It is clear that the band of disgruntled brothers who penned this barb are not happy with Tyrone Wilson and the way he is running the company.
The letter begins: “This is a formal complaint against iCreate Limited and its CEO, Tyrone Wilson for breaches of the Securities Act and the rules of the JSE. The company’s actions include but are not limited to the following infractions:
- Inaccurate and misleading financial reports
- Delay in financial reporting
- Reporting of false company news
- Stock price manipulation
- Mismanagement of receivables due from related parties
- Insider trading
The letter goes on to say, “We implore the FSC and the JSE to initiate decisive and robust measures to halt these fraudulent practices.”
These are serious allegations, ones that raises eyebrows.
Speaking with Tyrone Wilson, he strenuously denies them and condemned them as malicious, written to severely wound the company he built. He added that he has an inkling as to who orchestrated this.
Both the FSC and the JSE can not give much credence to this as the letter was signed by JSE Investors United, an organisation previously unheard of. Who forms this group? Who really has an axe to grind here?
Why don’t the members of JSE Investors United reveal themselves and come on the record instead of hiding behind anonymity.
It’s one thing to make accusations, another to back them up.
The letter takes issue with iCreate’s financial statements and delves into them deeply. Whoever came up with this letter is intent on sullying iCreate and its reporting practices.
“iCreate consistently releases quarterly unaudited reports and audited results with significant delays and without any warning or sanctions by either the FSC or JSE. The most striking aspect of the Company’s financial reporting is the substantial variance between its unaudited reports and the audited reports,” read in part this damning stiletto plunged into the heart.
The letter invokes the names of a new generation of Jamaican entrepreneurs making a name for themselves, Kadeen Mairs, Able-Don Foote and Kevin Frith — they form part of the connective tissue here.
It is imperative that new entrepreneurs are heralded and celebrated, that they provided the inspiration for others to follow suite. They must support each other, learn from their peers in order to create and maintain a vibrant business sector for Jamaica, one that shareholders can invest in.
Wilson claims this is an attempt to bring down a young entrepreneur who isn’t a ‘nepo baby’ and didn’t start with certain advantages. He sees himself as an example to all young Jamaicans who have aspirations to form their own businesses.
As to financial reporting and iCreate’s equity position,Wilson says faith has been placed in the company, so much so that additional capital has been invested. He insists that iCreate has and will always comply with JSE and FSC regulations and stipulations and that his company abides by corporate governance.
The level of malevolence displayed with this letter ought to be sanctioned he added.