PROTESTS AT LONG TERM CARE COMPANY ANNUAL MEETING
That is what I like to see… don’t like the way seniors are being cared for? You could sue. You could lobby congress to change the laws… or you could show up and protest their annual meeting!
Protesters question Lazard Ltd. bosses about senior care homes
By Ruth O’Kelly-Lynch
“Protesters questioned multi-billion dollar Wall Street investment bank directors about senior care facilities outside a shareholders meeting at the Elbow Beach Resort yesterday, as the company announced a 71-percent plummet in its profits.
Lazard Ltd., the investment bank currently advising Bear Stearns in its sale to JP Morgan, said its first-quarter profit was hit by a $28.5 million write-down in its holdings of corporate debt and losses in its corporate equity portfolio.
Security was tight in the Elbow Beach Hotel as protesters had made it clear they were planning on attending the shareholders meeting yesterday.
The protesters claim executives of Lazard Ltd., which is incorporated in Bermuda, have failed to improve the quality of care at one of the largest elderly care home companies in the US, Atria Senior Living Centers. During the meeting some of the issues were raised by the protesters.
They have also questioned why workers earn as little as $300 a week while Mr. Wasserstein earned $41 million, or $19,711 an hour, in 2007. He is reported to be worth $2 billion.
Robin Berson was one of the protesters who flew in for the meeting because she is worried about the treatment her mother receives in an Atria facility in Brooklyn.
“In my situation I have had such a hard time getting Atria to do what my 88-year-old mother needs,” she claimed. “The facility management is unresponsive and too often it seems they are interested in only making money. The facilities are too short-staffed. Many of these residents suffer from disorientation and dementia.”
Ms Berson asked Lazard directors to “honour a commitment to community, to decency and to ethics” and added: “You have the power to act decently and humanely and improve the lives of thousands of elderly in the last years of their lives and workers who are just asking for a living wage and the right to unionise.”
But she was told Lazard Ltd. did not control Atria and Scott Hoffman, general counsel for Lazard, offered to facilitate communication with the people who do own Atria. Atria is actually owned by Lazard Alternative Investments (LAI) which has operated separately from its publicly traded namesake since 2005. However the protesters allege that ultimately Mr. Wasserstein and Lazard directors still have large stakes in LAI and could influence decisions there, if they chose to. “
WAY TO GO MS. BENSON! I am proud you went down there… Maybe some personal embarrassment will lead to corporate accountability.