Board of Directors

Bertrand des Pallieres

Executive Chairman of the Board & Director

Mr. des Pallieres is the Executive Chairman of Versatile. Mr. des Pallieres is presently the CEO of SPQR Capital LLP. Previously Mr. des Pallieres was the Global Head of Principal Finance and member of the Global Market Leadership Group of Deutsche Bank from 2005 to 2007. From 1992 to 2005 he held various positions at JP Morgan including Global Head of Structured Credit, European Head of Derivatives Structuring and Marketing and Co-head of sales for Europe Middle East and Africa.

John Hardy


Mr. Hardy served as the Chairman from December 1996 to October 2012 and was appointed President in 1997 and served as Chief Executive Officer from February 1997 to December 2013.

Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Hardy founded the law firm of Hardy & Company in September 1996. Previously, Mr. Hardy was a partner with a leading Vancouver law firm. Mr. Hardy has acted for numerous insurance companies, multi-national corporations and financial institutions and has experience in the litigation and resolution of multi-jurisdictional disputes. Mr. Hardy was also an Adjunct Law Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia from 1984 to 2000.

Mr Hardy has an LL.B. degree from the University of Ottawa, a B.A. from Carleton University and was admitted to the Bar in British Columbia in 1978.

Kais Laouiti

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Laouiti has experience in both traditional and private banking and asset management. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Merchant Group LLP (GMG), an investment banking operation covering the Middle East. Prior to joining GMG, he worked with Hottinger Group in London, developing the Middle East business and resulting in the partnership with Gulf Merchant Group and Hottinger & Co. Ltd. in the private banking activities in the MENA region.

In 1999 Mr. Laouiti set up a global opportunistic Hedge Fund with the Hannibal Fund as its flagship at KAMO Investments Ltd, London. Prior to that, he was Chief Investment Officer at Compass Capital Advisors Ltd, an asset management company in London. The wealth of his experience was gained over 13 years at BAII Asset Management, part of the BNP Group (Banque Nationale de Paris) where he was a Director in charge of institutional fund management specializing in Global Convertible Arbitrage strategies.

In 1984 Mr. Laouiti obtained an MA degree (Ph.D. program) from the Graduate School of Economics at the University of Minnesota, U.S.A. (Empirical Study of Money Supply) and in 1981 he received a Master’s degree in Economics with honors from the University of Tunis, Tunisia.

Alessandro Benedetti

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Benedetti is currently the CEO of SAE Capital Ltd. based in London, UK, which he founded in January 2007. Prior to that, he was the CEO of SAE Capital SPA, based in Rome, Italy. Over the last 20 years Mr. Benedetti has been involved in the structuring and financing of complex transactions, acting on behalf of companies and governments in North America, India, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Africa, France and Italy. In 2005, he was instrumental in negotiating the acquisition of Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA, based in Italy, which presently has 16 million wireless subscribers, 1.6 million fixed line customers and 28 million registered internet users. At that time the transaction was the largest leveraged buyout in European history, in a deal valued at over 12 billion Euros.