BGC Partners slapped on wrist over GFI Group share buy rule breach

 
Tim Wallace
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BGC’s Shaun Lynn sent an offer to GFI shareholders
Brokerage BGC Partners yesterday promised to make sure it told regulators in future when it bought shares in rivals.

It had bought a 10 per cent stake in GFI Group without first telling the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or getting its permission.

But despite that breach of the rules, BGC will be allowed to carry on in its efforts to take control of GFI – the purchase of the shares was a part of that plan.

The FCA was “disappointed” by the interdealer broker’s failure to inform the watchdog, BGC acknowledged.

But the regulator is not taking any further action against the broker.

“BGC acknowledges the breach and is working with the FCA to ensure that changes are made to its systems and controls to ensure that such a breach does not occur again,” the firm said in a statement yesterday.

“In light of this, and the particular circumstances of this breach, the FCA has taken the view that it is not appropriate in this specific case for it to take any formal action.”

But BGC was also given permission by the watchdog to take control of the rival.

Its tender offer for the remainder of GFI’s shares was due to expire at midnight New York time – the early hours of this morning, London time.

In late October, BGC’s Shaun Lynn wrote to GFI’s shareholders, offering $5.25 for their shares. GFI is currently priced at $4.94, giving it a market valuation of $632m.

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