Archive for the ‘UK’ 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 >

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.

(more…)

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 …

Investment banker, his wife and family friend plead guilty to insider dealing / Ahto

11/01/2011. | This post has 1 Comment

Christian Littlewood, a senior investment banker and former Financial Services Authority (FSA) Approved Person, his wife Angie Littlewood (also known as Siew Yoon Lew and Angie Lew) and a family friend Helmy Omar Sa’aid have pleaded guilty to 8 counts of insider dealing contrary to section 52 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993. They are alleged to have made approximately £590,000 profit from the trades.

The offences relate to trading in a number of different London Stock Exchange and AIM listed shares between 2000 and 2008 and were only brought to an end when the City of London Police working with FSA staff arrested the Littlewoods in March 2009.

The third defendant Helmy Omar Sa’aid was returned to the UK in March 2010 following the execution of a European Arrest Warrant in Mayotte, one of the Comoros Islands.

The case was bought by the FSA and heard at Southwark Crown Court. It is the sixth successful prosecution for insider dealing bought by the FSA and is part of its ongoing drive to tackle market abuse and promote efficient, orderly and fair markets.

Margaret Cole, managing director of enforcement and financial crime, said:

“It seems that the penny is beginning to drop. These guilty pleas show that our strategy of a tough approach to insider dealing – and, in particular, demonstrating that we are prepared to fight difficult criminal prosecutions to trial – is paying off. Dedicated hard work, bold and innovative use of the tools at our disposal and close seamless co-operation between our markets, enforcement and intelligence functions underpin our successful track record in this complex area.”

The full sentencing and confiscation hearing will take place in the week commencing 31 January.

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Library/Communication/PR/2011/002.shtml

FSA/PN/002/2011
10 January 2011

FSA Market Watch, Issue No 37 / Ahto

24/09/2010. | This post has no Comments

The UKA FSA has published the September 2010 edition (Issue No. 37) of its Market Watch newsletter. The newsletter deals with leaks of inside information.

During the past two years, the FSA conducted various intensive enquiries into disclosures of inside information to the media prior to certain announcements.

The aim of these enquiries was to identify suspicious contact between insiders to a corporate transaction and the media and included discussions with regulated firms as to their policies governing such contacts. In addition, the FSA continued its thematic work assessing regulated firms’ systems and controls on handling leaks.

The newsletter introduces the background and sets out the main findings on both work streams. It also contains a list of best practice recommendations in connection with contact with the media where the FSA believes improvement is necessary.

The FSA will continue to monitor for leaks of inside information. If no improvement is noticed in the level of leakage within the markets, the FSA is prepared to consider rule changes. However, it will also take action where it considers that unacceptable practices have occurred or existing systems and controls requirements applying to regulated firms and issuers have been breached.

Market Watch is available:

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/newsletters/mw_newsletter37.pdf

Square Mile rocked by “insider” swoops and arrests / Martin

30/03/2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | This post has no Comments

Times Online writes that The Serious Organised Crime Agency raids on some of banking’s big names have sent shock waves through the City of London.

/…/

The men are suspected of being part of what the watchdog has described as a “sophisticated and long-running insider dealing ring”. The FSA believes the ring made “significant profits” by trading on secret information.

This was the fifth set of arrests since it launched a crackdown two years ago, though this is markedly different from the others. Previous efforts have homed in on fringe players — interns at investment banks, retired stockbrokers, silver surfers with online trading accounts, and occasional rogues at second-tier firms.

Last week’s arrests struck at the heart of the City. Dodgson, 38, is known by the bosses of almost all Britain’s big banks and insurers. He has been a trusted adviser on deals for the likes of HBOS and Legal & General. He even played a bit-part in advising the Treasury on the banking bailout. His CV reads like a roll-call of the City’s biggest investment banks: Cazenove, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Deutsche.

The same is true of the other suspects. Clive Roberts, who was also questioned on Tuesday morning, is head of equities at Exane BNP Paribas. His clients include some of London’s biggest traders, such as Roger Guy, star fund manager at Gartmore.

Julian Rifat, 41, whose Oxfordshire home was raided at 4.45am on Tuesday, is a trader with Moore Capital. Every device in his home that could store information was removed by investigators — including his children’s iPods.

Other suspects include well-known brokers and traders in the AIM market, regularly spotted out and about in City wine bars.

If the FSA can prove its case, it will shake the City to its core.

“I’m absolutely disgusted,” said one senior City banker. “The idea that someone in our line of work could do anything with inside information appals me. We get inside information all the time — it’s part of the job. You assume that everyone respects that. It’s what we do. You simply could not function if you were to spend all your time thinking that members of your team may be trading on that information.”

In the City’s biggest banks, it is assumed that insider dealing is something that happens somewhere else. There are armies of compliance staff monitoring every trade.

Read the whole story >>

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