Anders Elite fined for anti-competitive behaviour

CDI Corporation's UK staffing subsidiary Anders Elite has been found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour by UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT). They have been fined 7.6 Million Pounds (approximately $12.2 million US Dollars).

The OFT has concluded that this conduct forms overall infringement of the Competition Act 1998, which had as its object the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in the market for the supply by recruitment agencies of professional, managerial, trade and labour skills required by the construction industry in the UK.

The price fixing began in 2003 when a recruitment agency entered the market with a new and innovative business model. It intended to act as an intermediary between construction companies and different recruitment agencies for the supply of candidates, which put pressure on the margins of recruitment agencies.

Instead of competing with this scenario - and each other - on price and quality, Anders Elite with other companies formed a cartel, referred to as 'the Construction Recruitment Forum', which met five times between 2004 and 2006. In this forum, they agreed to boycott this company and also co-operated to fix the fee rates they would charge to intermediaries, and also certain construction companies.

Does this behaviour from Anders Elite, a subsidiary of CDI Corporation surprise you? I have to say it does not surprise me. I have had interaction with Roger H Ballou, CEO of CDI Corporation and their subsidiary Management Recruiters International for some time and am familiar with their ethics and standards and work practices.

In CDI Corporations own press release on this subject they say:

Since becoming aware of these alleged violations, CDI has increased its focus on its Compliance Program throughout all business units to ensure that ethical business practices remain at the core of all company conduct.

I find that statement somewhat ironic in view of there ethical issues highlighted in this web site that Roger H Ballou is fully aware of but consistently refuses to address. For example:

Franchise Misrepresentation. They have a track record of misrepresenting the truth over many years. Look at the way they represented someone a regular MRINetwork franchisee when his franchise agreement had long expired and had not been paying royalties for years.

Misleading CDI Corporation Shareholders. Roger H Ballou made false statements to shareholders on record at one of his quarterly phone-in sessions.

Joseph R Seiders Misstatements on oath. Read the voluntary statements Joseph R Seiders made to Ohio Courts in an affidavit in an attempt to avoid legal action. Read his statements and contrast them against the facts to see if you think he was telling the truth or not.

Sarbanes-Oxley irregularities. It is a fact that MRINetwork attempted to reclaim more than 170,000 UK Pounds from the franchisee that they misrepresented for years. That actual amount was quoted in a Statutory Demand they raised on 27th March 2003. Steve Mills of MRINetwork swore on oath that no money was recovered. This debt was subject to a write-off and should have been declared under SOX regulations. Roger Ballou continues to refuse to clarify how much was actually declared under SOX regulation or when any amount was actually declared. What is he hiding? Is he hiding CDI Corporation Sarbanes-Oxley irregularities.

MRINetwork Coercion. Read how Steve Mills of MRINetwork applied coercion to legitimate franchisee in an attempt to gain a get-out clause for their negligence.

Breaking of agreements. Read how Steve Mills of Management Recruiters International made then broke written agreement with MRINetwork Franchisee.

Summary of issues raised with Roger H Ballou, CEO of CDI Corporation.

Read the facts and form your own opinion on CDI Corporation and their subsidiaries ethics and business practices.