Good afternoon to you all. I am pleased to announce that we have reached a settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission on the basis of acting “contrary to the public interest”.
It is an understatement to say that we are all happy to have fairly settled this matter. We have worked very hard and take great pride in the fact that AGORACOM has become the leading online platform for small-cap companies and investors, so we are more motivated than ever to get back to the business of delivering an industry leading platform for years to come.
Our organization has learned some hard yet very important lessons through this matter. Specifically, the need for strict written policies is absolute in order to avoid potential problems and conflicts. I assure you that we are well into that process on multiple facets of our operations and that we will continue to operate within a different policy culture.
More than just lip service, for example, AGORACOM has implemented a public facing IP address check that displays any multiple aliases posting from the same IP address on our website. Furthermore, as part of our settlement with the OSC to avoid any potential future conflicts of interest, we have agreed not to serve as officers or directors of any of our clients.
It’s also an expensive lesson. We have agreed to pay $150,000 in costs and monetary payment over the next 18 months. That’s fair given the resources expended by OSC staff, whom I would also like to thank for working with us towards this fair settlement.
With respect to recent revelations concerning our private messaging system, I want to assure our members that stricter controls and policies have been implemented to protect your privacy. Specifically, even in the case of a violation being reported within the messaging system, no private message of a member can be viewed without your prior written consent, with the exception of a court order.
An official press release with more complete details will be issued within 24 hours of the settlement.
ONWARD AND UPWARD
With this matter firmly behind us, we are anxious to move forward with upgrades to AGORACOM that we have been holding back on. For example, over the next few days we will be:
- Launching our iPhone App
- Announcing our Facebook integration
- Launching a front-page blog for the best AGORACOM members.
Our upgrades won’t end there, so keep a look out for news pertaining to another online conference, CEO Skype interviews and further cutting edge developments that you have come to know us for.
THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT
AGORACOM would like to thank the following for their unwavering support over the last 7 months:
- Harry Barr, Spiros Cacos and the entire International Metals Group including, Fire River Gold, Pacific Northwest Capital, El Nino Ventures and Next Gen Metals
- Viraf Kapadia and his team at Star Navigation Systems Group
- Jim Voisin and the entire team at UC Resources
- David Patterson and his team at Donner Metals
- Rick Mark and his team at VMS Ventures
- Craig Engelsman and his team at Harmony Gold Corp.
- Rod Husband and his team at Global Hunter Corp.
- Frank Drohan, Charles P. Kuczynski and their team at Omagine, Inc.
- Bruce Carruthers, Eric Gavin and their team at Q-Gold Resources
- Consolidated Spire Ventures, Northern Tiger Resources, and Razor Resources
- The numerous CEO’s and industry participants that took the time to call, e-mail, Skype or pull us aside at industry conferences to show their support
- Our amazing members for their unconditional support and great words of encouragement
- Our great employees for believing in our vision and vowing to make it even stronger
- Our friends and family for never losing faith and reminding us of who we are
- Jim Douglas, Tyler Hodgson and their team at Borden Ladner Gervais for their outstanding work and support during the settlement phase.
- Dominic Bortolussi and his team at The Working Group for their great web and iPhone development/ideas these past few months.
I want to personally thank everyone above for their great support over the last 7 months. We asked for the benefit of the doubt in our April 1 Public Response when more severe allegations were announced – and you provided it. I am eternally grateful for your courage and faith.
The fact that this experience was at times a difficult one does not overshadow the fact that it was also a great one. You have truly served to reaffirm both the value and purpose of AGORACOM as a place that amalgamates great people and great ideas, leading to great decisions. I look forward to delivering this ideal to the small-cap industry for years to come.
To this end, I want to apologize to everyone in this group for everything that has taken place over the last 8 months. Things happened on my watch, so I take full responsibility for them. They will not happen again. I will personally see to it that AGORACOM is worthy of the contributions you have made to our success by emerging as a stronger and better organization for years to come.
George Tsiolis, LL.B