People who have read my blog may be somewhat confused with all of the people and companies that I have mentioned.
They can be broken down into distinct groups
- Those that did not recognise my hard work and sacrifice
- Those who destroyed my career at such a young age
- Those who then bought me off, on the cheap
- Those who let me down and reneged on their responsibilities
- Those who coerced and manipulated my daughter to make those false abuse claims
- Those that took advantage of my father’s anger towards me
- Those who were complicit with my father to significantly favour my brother and to destroy me
Some people may suggest that I am not taking responsibilities for my own actions or failures but am merely blaming others. Fair point but they are very wrong.
Those who did not recognise my hard work and sacrifice
These were in two camps; the person whom I reported to in my company and my family
- Leon Stoffberg – Chairman of Premium Credit
- My first wife – Samantha Hender, now Parkinson
- My father, William Hender
- My brother, Martin Hender
Leon was a highly intelligent man and I was very loyal to him; he was my boss after all. It really did not matter what he asked of me; I would do it. Even when it came to him choosing a new company car, he didn’t like the seats and I convinced the garage to agree to do a special order for some special seats for him; not exactly part of my remit as Finance Director.
To be fair to him, he was kind but hard, He even invited me out to his boat for a week in Portugal and when I arrived after a very long trip, he offered to carry my bag; regardless of the fact that we were on holiday, he was still my boss. That was a lovely gesture; he could see that I was tired and needed a hand.
Back at work though, I made a few mistakes, who does not, we are human after all and he ensured that my bonus was suppressed. Compare that to the knowledge that his brother-in-law committed fraud and absolutely nothing happened to him.
Leon wrongly assumed that I would significantly benefit when the company was sold and suppressed my bonuses and salary accordingly.
He treated my father and I as one. I was my own person and regardless of what my family may or have may not got in the future, I should have been rewarded for my own achievements, not what from the wealth that my family may have achieved in the future.
My first wife, Samantha Hender, now Parkinson
I truly loved my wife and, like any honourable man, wanted to provide for my family and to ensure that my daughter had everything that she possibly needed. That is what any parent will do.
So, given the nature of my job, I worked many long hours. I was paid very well, although not enough and spent many hours away from my family but my goal was to provide for them both. Samantha’s job was to look after Verity when I was not there but when I was, I would take over, even cooking the evening meals and doing all of Verity’s night feeds and changes.
We did have a lovely house; I had mortgaged myself up to the hilt to get it and had to borrow money from my father on top. I wanted my family to be comfortable and happy; that is what every bread earner wants to do; right?
But, Samantha got bored, bored with looking after her daughter and bored with me coming home late. Yes, I am sure that having no company was not easy but I had to provide for them both. You didn’t provide for your family in the way that I did by just having a 9 to 5 job.
Sadly, Samantha wanted it all. She basically wanted her cake and eating it. She wanted the life that I provided but she also wanted her man at her behest.
That led to adultery with my best friend and raping me financially, making me homeless simultaneously. I was stitched up. We divorced; she admitted adultery and I, way back then, lost my daughter because she refused joint custody. If I had gone to the courts and spent thousands of pounds that I did not have, I would have lost anyway because it is deemed that the best place for a child, any child, is with their mother.
I did everything that I could possibly do for my family and I sacrificed so much to achieve that. According to Samantha, that meant nothing; she wanted it all and got all, although through her greed, she lost everything, well everything that she disclosed to the courts anyway.
She didn’t care a damn about Verity, certainly not me but all she cared about was herself
THE PROOF IS THERE FOR ALL TO SEE
This is where I finished off before. I could not write anymore because it took too much out of me.
Those who destroyed my career at such a young age
Leon Stoffberg had left by then and so, although he is responsible for a great deal, he is not responsible for this; I want to make that point very clear.
Those who were responsible for destroying my career were:
- Graham Puttergill (Chairman of Premium Credit)
- Ken Garrod (not sure what his title was; armchair director perhaps)
Those who worked on me in the operating theatre cannot be held responsible for this; after all, they saved my life.
It did leave me with a weakness but with medication, I was fine and could work efficiently, provided that I was given the tools for the job.
Yes, it was my stress weakness that broke me in the end but everyone has their own level and, even if perfectly healthy, will break if they are pushed too far.
Why someone was put between me and the new chairman, I will never know. Maybe that was the way that Puttergill worked. Maybe it was because of my weakness but I never ever had any issues of that sort during my tenure under Graham Puttergill.
But a barrier was put in place to block me from directly reporting to the Chairman and that decision acted as the catalyst to destroy my career. “Destroy” is a strong word to use but, in this case, it is very appropriate.
I did not like Garrod from the start although I tried my best to work with him. To understand a business, you have to be hands on and that was what I and my colleagues did but not Garrod.
He would just sit at his desk, after arriving in his Aston Martin and bark orders, only to leave to go and see Puttergill, the banks or the investors. He would delegate absolutely everything, acting as a glorified filing clerk at the end of the day.
After Independent Insurance company went bust, it nearly took us down too. Whilst Garrod was on the phone appeasing the banks, it was left to Clyde Whittaker (the computer systems guru) and I to sort out the mess.
Many hours did Clyde spend with me, working late into the night on many occasion. Once we worked out what to do, it was all handed on a platter to Garrod, who took all of the credit.
I would like to add here that Clyde and I were probably the two least appreciated directors, receiving remuneration, bonuses and finally shares to reflect that. Just because we didnt glide around the office, taking clients out for lunches and using our sexuality to pursuade anyone we talked to, we still did a great job. We kept our heads down and between the two of us, probably saved the company on more than one occasion, with our sterling staff to support us.
But we were always considered to be cost centres and did not generate any income. So what. With our skills, Clyde and I saved hundreds of thousands of pounds in costs and speaking for myself, the way that I managed the revolving credit facility, was a work of art.
On many occasions, I would get a knock at my office door only to be greeted with a smile. It was generally a sales director who had taken a client out to lunch and had promised things that had never been planned. I kept the revolving credit facility very tight, to save as much interest costs as I could. But these friendly faces asked if they could have £5 or 10 million paid to a client by tomorrow.
I never said no. I just said give me about an hour. So, when they had gone, I called in Kate, my right hand lady and we worked through it together to find a solution. I would then just call that director and said “Done”. “You are a magician”, “You are wonderful” always came back down the line.
But the powers at be never saw this; they just looked at the top line, not knowing that I had magiced money out of the hat with no notice. They would have known if the sales directors had told their bosses what I had been able to do but they never did or the powers at be just ignored it.
These very senior people were intelligent and never asked “where did you get the money for the deal that you have just struck?”. Did they think that I kept a £20 million slush fund, for emergencies?
Of course, they took all of the credit and were remunerated as such, whilst Clyde, Kate and myself were just left to get on with it. Such is the way of the unfair world.
With all of these new deals, the company started to get really big. Both me and my team were starting to struggle. I took on the extra load but could take no more.
I didnt just go to Garrod and ask him for extra staff, like they did in the sales forces (and get what they wanted). Oh no, I wrote a report, talking about the increase in throughput in my department, what I needed, what the best sort of person for the job would be and what the likely costs would be and not just given a blank cheque.
I presented my detailed report to Garrod and waited. Nothing happened. I asked; he was still considering it; get the picture? Finally, I cornered him and said I needed an answer and he just said “no, write me another report”.
This happened THREE more and at the end, he just said “No”. What could I do? I gave up.
But rather than just throwing in the towel and walking out of the office, leaving my resignation letter on my desk, I plowed on. I could not just walk out on my team, dump them in it and dump the company in it too.
No, I soldiered on whilst Garrod swanned around getting significantly more remuneration (and finally shares) than I did.
He was fine. He could waltz into Puttergill’s office and bleat that he had kept the costs down and taking all of the credit, meaning even higher bonuses.
I kept on going working longer and longer hours until my body and mind could take no more. I snapped. One day, I walked out of the office, never to return as the Finance Director.
My job, my dream, my career, my professional life; ALL OVER
I was in the Priory, effectively a mental hospital for people with addictions and suffering from breakdowns. I was on day release but I was a mess; completely washed out, very angry as to how I had been treated and worst still, felt betrayed, by all of those people who I had shown great loyalty to.
Towards the end of the year, I started getting calls from Puttergill, asking when I was coming back, not Garrod who was my direct boss. Garrod did not phone me because he knew that he had fucked up and so Puttergill had to do his dirty work. The answer was always the same “I DON’T KNOW“.
At the end of the year at the Priory, a meeting was called by my psychiatrist. Mum, me and my father were to attend.
He explained to my parents that I had experienced a nervous breakdown but I had been “lucky”. He then said that I could never work again for anyone because when, not if, it happened again, I would have been a blithering mess. He insisted that I leave Premium Credit for my own safety.
That was it. My dreams, aspirations and everything that I had worked so hard for were over. All of the sacrifices that I made were for nothing. Loyalty had meant nothing.
I was only 38
Am I still angry? You bet. Do I feel let down? Absolutely
But there was worse still to come.
My career was over and I had nothing. My career and my daughter were everything to me. I had worked for my career, from the age of 13 when I worked for my Dad, doing accounts work. Okay, it was not rocket science but at 13 ?
I had fought through my brain cancer, the stresses of growing up, my “O” and “A” levels and my professional exams. I had even worked for a crap firm in Woking but when I got the job at Premium Credit, I thought to myself “I am on my way, all of that was worth it”
But it was for nought and I decided that the company must pay.
So, I had a long talk with my father, who agreed to undertake the negotiations for me. To cut a long story short, I was offered a compensation package.
Remembering that before I left, I was on a salary of over £100,000, with company car, pension and whatever bonus they deemed should be paid to me. Given that I was 39, I had the potential of working another 20 years, if I so chose.
To put it bluntly, the package that I should have received should have been between 2 and 3 times what I actually received.
But Puttergill wanted to keep the cost down and factored in the fact that when the company was sold, I would significantly benefit.
He was so wrong.
Not only should I have received far more, he should have treated my case in isolation and not bank on what or rather what I would not get in the future.
I do not deny that I had been well paid. But I had studied and worked damn hard to get where I had got and it had been taken away from me.
But I deserved far far more than I received in compensation with a gagging agreement on top. BUT I AM BREAKING MY SILENCE
I have to break here; the recounting of this is emotionally exhausting