3. Kenneth Ziman
Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; attorney for MF Global
Kenneth Ziman is not the only MF Global representative to give controversial testimony related to the firm’s demise, but his statements may well have affected the structure of the bankruptcy proceedings. At one of the initial hearings following the collapse, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn asked Ziman about the impact of a reported shortfall in customer funds at the broker-dealer unit, to which Ziman responded: “I think, to the best knowledge of management, there are no shortfalls, Your Honor. All funds are accounted for, and I’m talking about the broker-dealer. That’s to the best knowledge. All funds can be accounted for.”
This assertion may have contributed to Glenn allowing the firm to be split into two units overseen by two different trustees, a decision that some claim weakened customer protection rules enshrined in the Commodity Exchange Act and Bankruptcy Code.