Archive for the ‘UK’ Category

Ex UBS compliance officer jailed for insider dealing / Martin

27/06/2019. | This post has no Comments

Reuters writes that London judge on Thursday sentenced both a former UBS compliance officer and her day-trader friend to three years in jail after they were convicted by a jury of insider dealing, saying she hoped to deter others from such market abuse.

Fabiana Abdel-Malek, 36, and Walid Anis Choucair, 40, were both found guilty after a two-month retrial at London’s Southwark Crown Court in a case prosecuted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulator said in a statement.

A previous jury had been unable to reach a verdict last year.

Abdel-Malek searched UBS’s compliance system and used disposable SIM cards and cheap and disposable “burner” cellphones to pass secrets to Choucair about five takeovers between June 2013 and June 2014. She was not accused of taking a cut of profits of around 1 million pounds ($1.27 million).

But Judge Joanna Korner called her a gamekeeper, who had used the knowledge she had gained from her employer to become “an efficient and accomplished poacher”. Choucair, the judge said, had been driven by greed.

“There is no question that both of your actions were deliberate, dishonest and committed over a period of a year,” she said.

The case marks a victory for the FCA, whose Chief Executive Andrew Bailey is widely tipped as the leading candidate to succeed Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

The watchdog started prosecuting market abuse cases around 2009 and has now secured 36 convictions. But the number of suspicious market trades, that could be a sign of market abuse, surged to a record 5,926 in 2018, according to FCA data.

The judge said Choucair had corrupted the UBS worker but that Abdel-Malek had committed a “gross breach of trust”.

Read more from Reuters >

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.


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.

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.

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