Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

FCA fines Kenneth Carver 35,000 GBP for part in Logica insider trading scheme / Mait

31/03/2015. | This post has no Comments

Former accountant Ken­neth Carver was yesterday fined £35,212 by the Finan­cial Conduct Authority (FCA) for his part in the Logica insider trading scheme.

Carver is a family friend of recently imprisoned Ryan Willmott who pleaded guilty to three counts of insider trading during his time as a financial planning and group reporting manager for IT management firm Logica.

Willmott dealt on information he obtained regarding the takeover of Logica by CGI Group in May 2012 and has been jailed for 10 months. Carver bought 62,000 shares in Logica during the scheme and made a profit of £24,206.70 from selling the shares after they saw a 59.8 per cent rise from the takeover announcement.

FCA acting director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philip­pou said: “Carver… used his own funds to place a trade on Willmott’s behalf and knew that Willmott had a financial incentive to persuade him to trade. Market abuse is a ser­ious offence and today’s fine reflects the fact that we will not hesitate in taking action against individuals who act on inside information.”

However, since Carver co-oper­ated with the FCA and settled at an early stage of the probe, his fine was reduced from the £122,212 it would otherwise have been.

Source: City A.M.

Regulator fines Aviva Investors £18m for control failures / Mait

24/02/2015. | This post has no Comments

The Financial Conduct Authority has hit Aviva Investors with its second largest fine on record for a UK asset manager after finding the group’s traders manipulated deals to boost their fees at the expense of customers.

The watchdog on Tuesday issued the fund management arm of Aviva, the FTSE 100 insurance and investment group, with an £18m penalty for failing to prevent an “abusive practice” known as cherry-picking for as long as eight years.

The punishment comes as the UK’s £5tn asset management industry attracts increasing scrutiny from regulators. Just last week, the FCA warned the sector was not doing enough to guard against potential insider trading and market abuse.

It forms part of a campaign by the authority to ensure financial services professionals put the interests of their clients first. In issuing the penalty on Aviva, the FCA said that ensuring asset managers manage potential conflicts of interest effectively would “continue to be an area of focus” for the regulator.

The watchdog said the failings arose as the same trading desks at Aviva Investors, which manages almost £240bn worth of assets, handled multiple funds that charged varying levels of fees.

Traders were presiding over assets for external hedge funds — which Aviva charged fees of up to 20 per cent — as well as the company’s own life insurance policyholders, according to people familiar with the matter.

Instead of booking bond trades immediately to a particular fund, they would wait to see how the positions performed — and then allocate them to the funds depending on their performance fees.

For instance, the FCA said, a trader could buy a security in the morning intending to allocate it to a hedge fund, but six hours later, after seeing it fall in value, allocate it instead to another fund that charged low or no fees.

The practices would allow the traders involved to benefit financially, as they would receive a cut of the charges.

Full story >

Implementing Measures under the Market Abuse Regulation – Publication of Responses / Martin

29/01/2014. | This post has no Comments

ESMA has today published responses to its Discussion Paper on possible implementing measures under the Market Abuse Regulation.

Stakeholders where invited to comment by 27.01.2014 ESMA’s orientations on possible implementing measures that will be of fundamental importance for the new Market Abuse framework (see earlier post).

In total 44 responses were provided by wide variety of stakeholders and associations. Contributions from compliance industry and professionals were provided by CSA Partners and Working Group of Hungarian Compliance Professionals.

ESMA will consider the feedback to the consultation within Q1 2014. ESMA will prepare consultation papers upon input of both its draft technical standards and technical advice to the Commission.

ESMA expects to further publicly consult on the draft technical advice on delegated acts in spring 2014 before submitting it to the Commission within the requested deadline.

In addition, ESMA will conduct an open public consultation before submitting its technical standards to the Commission. The date of publication of such consultation and commenting period will depend on the date of publication of the level 1 text (Market Abuse Regulation and Directive on Criminal Sanctions for Market Abuse) on the OJ.

Deadline for ESMA’s Discussion Paper on Possible Implementing Measures Under the Market Abuse Regulation / Martin

27/01/2014. Tags: , , , , , | This post has no Comments

Today was the closing date for comments to the the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) Discussion Paper (dated 14.11.2013) on Possible Implementing Measures Under the Market Abuse Regulation. Topics of the Discussion Paper included among others the following key elements of the Market Abuse regime that is pending for renewal under the Market Abuse Regulation:

> Buyback programmes and stabilisation
> Specification of the indicators of market manipulation
> Public disclosure of inside information and delays
> Insider list
> Managers’ transactions

By using valuable views from our customers we were able to contribute to the consultation on various items considered by ESMA on insider lists and related topics of compliance management.

Download: MarketAbuseRegulations_ESMA_comments_CSA_27.01.2014 (PDF).

All contributions received by ESMA will be published shortly.

Four Charged for in U.K. FSA Insider-Trading Probe / Martin

02/12/2012. | This post has no Comments

Former Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) managing director Martyn Dodgson was among four people charged with insider trading by U.K. authorities after an investigation spanning two-and-a-half years.

Dodgson, who was employed by Deutsche Bank at the time of his arrest in March 2010, as well as Andrew Hind, Benjamin Anderson and Iraj Parvizi were charged with “conspiracy to insider deal” between Nov. 1, 2006, and March 23, 2010, the Financial Services Authority said today in an e-mailed statement. The agency alleges the men made more than 3 million pounds ($4.8 million) on improper trades.

The charges stem from an investigation into the front- running of block trades, known as Operation Tabernula, Latin for little tavern. The FSA arrested seven people and raided 16 addresses in London and southeast England in March 2010 as part of the crackdown. Two more arrests came later.

The men were all released on bail and must appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Oct. 19.


FSA fines two more over Greenlight insider trading after David Einhorn / Siim

03/02/2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , | This post has no Comments

The Telegraph writes that two more individuals connected to US hedge fund Greenlight Capital have been fined over a multi-million pound insider-dealing case.

The City regulator fined Alexander Ten-Holter, Greenlight’s compliance officer, £130,000 and JP Morgan trader Caspar Agnew £65,000.

Both individuals were censured for failing to either identify or ask questions about Greenlight’s trading in Punch Taverns. The hedge fund sold significant tranches of Punch shares knowing the company was about to raise money, a move almost certain to drive Punch’s shares down.

Despite being told by a Greenlight analyst that the hedge fund had just spoken to Punch management and knew “secret bad things”, Mr Ten-Holter “took no steps to satisfy himself that the order was not based on inside information,” according to the FSA.

The regulator said Mr Agnew also became aware that Greenlight may have been trading on inside information but failed to act. Mr Agnew said he thought Greenlight was just “fortunate” in its timing.

Greenlight founder David Einhorn was fined £7.2m together with his fund for insider dealing. The fine’s size and action against the compliance officer shows a ramping up of FSA enforcement.

Read whole story …

Proposals to Reshape the Market Abuse Framework in the EU / Ahto

21/10/2011. | This post has no Comments

The European Commission has published its legislative proposals which revise the Market Abuse Directive. The proposed new framework consisting of a Regulation (directly applicable rules) and a Directive aims at:

  • adaptation of the EU rules to the new market reality, in particular by extending their scope to financial instruments only traded on new platforms and over-the-counter, as well as adapting rules to new technology
  • clarifying that market abuse occurring across both commodity and related derivative markets is prohibited
  • reinforcing cooperation between financial and commodity regulators
  • introducing tougher and greater harmonisation of sanctions (including criminal sanctions), and
  • reducing administrative burdens on small and medium sized issuers.

As for insider lists the Commission has concluded that differences in national laws implementing the MAD have imposed unnecessary administrative burdens on issuers. The Regulation aims to eliminate these by providing that the precise data to be included in such lists should be defined in delegated acts and implementing technical standards adopted by the Commission.

Applying the new market abuse framework of the Regulation in an undifferentiated manner to all SME growth markets may deter issuers on those markets from raising capital on the capital markets. Without prejudice to the objectives of preserving the integrity and transparency of financial markets and of protecting investors, the proposal therefore adapts the market abuse framework to the characteristics and needs of issuers whose financial instruments are admitted to trading on SME growth markets.

The scope and size of the business of those issuers is more restricted and the events giving rise to the need to disclose inside information are typically more limited than those of larger issuers. The Regulation therefore requires those issuers to disclose inside information in a modified and simplified market-specific way. Such inside information may be published by those SME growth markets, on behalf of those issuers, in accordance with a standardised content and format defined in implementing technical standards adopted by the Commission. Those issuers are also exempt, under certain conditions, from the obligation to keep and constantly update insiders’ lists.

The Regulation further clarifies the scope of the reporting obligations in relation to managers’ transactions. These reports serve important purposes by deterring managers from insider trading and providing useful information to the market about the manager’s view on the price movements of the shares of the issuers. The Regulation clarifies that any transaction made by a person exercising discretion on behalf of a manager of an issuer or whereby the manager pledges or lends his shares must also be reported to the competent authorities and be made accessible to the public. Moreover, it introduces a threshold of €20 000, uniform in all Member States, which triggers the obligation to report such manager’s transactions. This higher threshold will contribute also to reducing the administrative burden on SMEs.

The proposal now passes to the European Parliament and the Council for negotiation and adoption. Once adopted the regulation would apply from 24 months after its entry into force.

Relevant links & valuable resources:

  • Copy of the press release

  • Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse)

  • Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market maniuplation

  • Commission’s Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Proposal for a Regulation on insider dealing market manipulation (market abuse)

  • Official FAQ

  • Note from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on the review of the Market Abuse Directive

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