“We dodged a bullet,” declared Moel Kaspi, an Executive Vice President.
Tel Aviv, July 5 – Personnel at Clal Insurance held an emergency session today following an incident in which an investor came close to comprehending the Byzantine, Labyrinthian terms and conditions governing his retirement fund.
Clal executives and mid-level investment advisers, who formulate the procedures by which clients are supposed to be kept in the dark about their financial picture toward retirement, gathered at company headquarters this morning after an interaction between a customer service agent and a man from Ramat Gan resulted in the man reaching a point that company representatives called “perilously close” to understanding what Clal is doing with his money.
“We dodged a bullet,” declared Moel Kaspi, an Executive Vice President who addressed the meeting. “At approximately 10:30 a.m. yesterday, during a phone conversation between a representative and a man who invested with us through his employer, it became clear to the representative that her interlocutor had begun to grasp the terminology, calculations, and implications for his own solvency that those factors indicated. She immediately alerted a manager, who placed an emergency hold on the conversation. We believe the man hung up, but as a precaution we have instructed our communications technology people to disable that line.”
Kaspi informed the assembled executives that the source of the man’s knowledge has yet to be determined. “While panic serves no one, we must not ignore the disaster this portends if the worst-case scenario is at hand,” he warned. “It is certainly possible that the man simply read through the reams and reams of material necessary to understand how we’re bilking him right and left in exchange for the ‘favor’ of holding on to his money for a few years. But it’s just as likely, and I would argue more likely, that someone in this organization slipped and leaked some important information. We need to get to the bottom of this.”
Industry analysts recalled other incidents that threw investment companies into panic over similar developments. “Back in 2003 I remember talking to a group of workers about the pension investment plan their company had selected for them,” recalled Shelkha Sheli, his voice shaking. “There was this one woman who sat in front and kept asking questions that, if I answered them fully, would have opened the eyes of the other dozen people in the room as to what we were actually going to do with their money. I handled that as best I could, then informed my supervisor that we couldn’t work with that company anymore. We ended up canceling the whole arrangement.”
In the end, noted Sheli, the government stepped in in 2007 and mandated certain minimum levels of obscurity across the industry.
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