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On 11 July, just one day before a resolution to liquidate Everledger, Leanne Kemp began advertising herself as a speaker at the ‘Founder and CEO Summit’ hosted by Women’s Business Club. Even though organisers have since cancelled her appearance Kemp’s Twitter account still promotes her attendance.
On 11 July, just one day before a resolution to liquidate Everledger, Leanne Kemp began advertising herself as a speaker at the ‘Founder and CEO Summit’ hosted by Women’s Business Club. Even though organisers have since cancelled her appearance Kemp’s Twitter account still promotes her attendance.

Pulled: Everledger’s Kemp ‘cancelled’ as Summit speaker

Following the $AU19 million collapse and liquidation of diamond tracing company Everledger Australia, the bad news has continued for founder Leanne Kemp.

On 11 July, Kemp – who previously served as Queensland’s government-appointed Chief Entrepreneur – began promoting herself as a speaker at the ‘Founder and CEO Summit’ hosted by the UK-based Women’s Business Club.

The event is scheduled to take place in London in November. The timing of her announcement was curious, as just 24 hours later a resolution was passed for her Brisbane-based company to be wound up.

Angela De Souza, CEO of Women
Angela De Souza, CEO of Women
“Ms Kemp has been pulled from the lineup and won’t be speaking.”
Angela De Souza, Women's Business Club

Kemp has taken to social media to promote the event, saying in a Twitter post that she would be “sharing [her] journey and insights to inspire women in business worldwide.”

Intriguingly, Kemp did not appear on the website’s speakers page even though she had announced that she would be presenting at the ‘empowering’ event.

Jeweller contacted Women’s Business Club CEO Angela De Souza after observing an oddity on the event’s website - a missing photograph.

The guest speakers were displayed in three rows of four; however, the top row featured just three speakers and a blank space where an image had previously been published. 

An advanced search of the website reveals that a description of ‘Leanne Kemp – CEO of Everledger’ remains cached by Google, suggesting that her profile had been recently removed.

When contacted, De Souza was forthright with her response: “Ms Kemp has been pulled from the lineup and won't be speaking”.

As at 14 July, the Women
As at 14 July, the Women's Business Club website featured a space with an indication that an image had been deleted. There was no mention of Everledger CEO Leanne Kemp speaking about “sharing my journey and insights to inspire women in business worldwide”.

De Souza opted not to expand on the reasons behind Kemp being dumped, nor did she detail the circumstances for her initial appointment as a speaker.

Curiously, the Club’s website displays an image stating, ‘speakers apply here’.

While Jeweller was unable to confirm the nature of Kemp’s selection as a speaker, the website and an accompanying ‘Speaker Application Form’ suggest that she may have applied to speak at the event herself, rather than being invited by organisers.

The Speaker Application Form asks potential presenters to detail areas of expertise, examples of previous talks and videos, and a 300-word biography.

While all the positives in a speaker’s application will undoubtedly be highlighted, the Club cannot vet or indeed know of any negative factors unless they undertake a thorough investigation of the applicant’s claims and credibility themselves.

This may explain how Kemp was initially approved to speak at the event before being dumped.

Kemp's track record

Questions have previously been raised about Kemp’s business history, both in terms of practices and the accuracy of what’s publicly available.

These issues include:

Following these recent reports on the companies with which Kemp has been associated - as director and/or shareholder - various industry sources have come forward with further information.

Jeweller has been provided with documents which include screenshots of Kemp’s Linkedin account which reveal that she had previously detailed her experience at Phenix Jewellery as part of her extensive profile – information which at the time of publication, is now absent. 

Phenix Jewellery specialises in insurance claims and is based in Queensland with operations in WA, NSW, and Victoria. ASIC records show that Blue Nile, the US online jewellery retailer which has annual revenue in excess of $US400 million, is a shareholder of Phenix Jewellery.

The first document is from July 2010. Kemp’s profile states: “Phenix (formed in 2002) brought together a group of very talented jewellers and designers to provide jewellery to the Insurance Industry.”

The second document is from July 2016 and seems to conduce with the launch of Everledger. Kemp’s description of her role at Phenix Jewellery had been updated – focusing more on her personal attributes than the business itself – however, remains very much present.

 

Kemp
Kemp's ownership or, and senior management position at Phenix Jewellery originally appeared on Linkedin; however, her current - and highly detailed - profile omits any mention of the company.

Everledger was launched in 2016 and while the company’s scope had since expanded beyond diamond tracing, the jewellery industry has remained a focus of her work and resume throughout.

It would therefore seem curious that the information about nine-year ownership of Phenix Jewellery – which is highly relevant to the jewellery industry – would be removed.

Kemp’s apparent decision to omit this lengthy industry-relevant experience in her exhaustive Linkedin profile is particularly glaring given the very nature of Everledger’s services – traceability, trust, and transparency.

This recent news about the liquidation of Everledger Australia on 12 July and its UK parent, Foreverhold Limited in May could have played a part in the decision by De Souza and the Women’s Business Club to suddenly ‘pull’ Kemp from the speakers list and delete her photograph and biography from the website.

Notwithstanding this, Kemp’s Twitter account continues to promote her speaking engagement at the London event for, and about, successful women; while the Club has now added seven more speakers since cancelling Kemp.

While she remains vocal on social media, addressing a range of industry issues in recent weeks, including matters of trust, and transparency in the jewellery industry - Kemp is still yet to publicly record the $AU$19 million collapse of her two companies, despite having the backing of the Tencent, $US400 billion Chinese tech giant and owner of WeChat.

She has also been unresponsive about the details of two other companies that were placed under administration and eventually deregistered.

Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding Everledger, Kemp is also scheduled to be a guest speaker at an upcoming Jewellery Industry Network ‘summit’ in Sydney (26-28 August).
 

BIZARRE TWIST - UPDATE 1 AUGUST

In what can only be described as a peculiar update, Leanne Kemp has been renamed as a speaker at the ‘Founder and CEO Summit’ following what appears to effectively be an attempt to ‘censor’ the media by event organiser Angela De Souza.

Jeweller first contacted De Souza on 15 July.

On 21 July - the day after the story was published - De Souza emailed Jeweller attempting to get the article “removed” stating that she had “a good mind to add Leanne back to the lineup now …”

In response to her email saying, “Can you please remove this article asap, we haven’t even announced this event or released the website and this is not how we want to launch it”, Jeweller replied to De Souza seeking the details of any errors in the story and/or for her to explain why it was inaccurate.

De Souza’s email also said “I haven’t even concluded our investigation”; however, as our article outlines, Kemp had already been removed from the website and the speaker’s list before Jeweller first made contact with De Souza on 15 July - five days earlier.

De Souza had previously replied promptly (on the same day as the initial email) and her 12-word response was emphatic: “Ms Kemp has been pulled from the lineup and won’t be speaking.”

De Souza’s first advice (15 July) stating that Kemp had been pulled from the Summit and would not be speaking. Kemp’s removal had been done before Jeweller had even contacted De Souza.
De Souza’s first advice (15 July) stating that Kemp had been pulled from the Summit and would not be speaking. Kemp’s removal had been done before Jeweller had even contacted De Souza.

Not only did De Souza not mention an ‘investigation’ in her first response advising she had “pulled" Kemp, she also did not mention any investigation following Jeweller’s additional ‘fact checking’ email on 16 July, and which raised further issues.

This publication subsequently replied to De Souza asking what it was that she was “still investigating” about Kemp given she had already deleted her from the website.

De Souza’s reply to this 24 July email was bewildering: “You never asked us to go on record and said you were reporting on this. Your piece is completely incorrect and does not contain the facts and needs to be removed.”

This claim was particularly startling because Jeweller’s July 16 email - four days before the story was published - was quite clear: “Unless you advise that our information and understanding is factually incorrect, we will note this in any further reporting.” [Emphasis added]

De Souza did not respond to this email.

More intriguing are De Souza’s two emails of 21 July and 22 July - both after the story was published - which made no mention of factual errors. The only time this is claimed is after De Souza begins to understand the article would not be removed.

It’s important to emphasise that De Souza’s decision to remove Kemp from the event was made sometime before Jeweller first made contact with her on 15 July.

Further, assuming an “investigation” was undertaken, this would mean De Souza deleted and pulled Kemp before the conclusion of this supposed investigation.

It appears that having failed to have Jeweller’s news story removed from the public domain, De Souza carried through on her unsual proposition: “I’ve a good mind to add Leanne back to the lineup now …”

De Souza’s 21 July email wanting the news story removed from the public domain because it does not suit the launch of her show. She adds: “I
De Souza’s 21 July email wanting the news story removed from the public domain because it does not suit the launch of her show. She adds: “I've a good mind to add Leanne back to the lineup now …”


 

More reading
That’s all folks: Everledger's $19 million liquidation
Skeletons in the closet: Everledger CEO’s bad faith practices under the microscope
Inconsistencies and oddities in Everledger CEO’s background
Lust for trust: Everledger in hot water for misuse of third-party logos
Everledger collapse places Queensland Government in firing line, CEO faced bankruptcy in 2004
Everledger collapse: Questions raised around business model, management
Second collapse in Everledger saga; CEO denies ‘cash-burning’
Australian diamond tracing tech company collapses

 











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