Ex-UBS trader Adoboli hailed as trading star

Michael Bow
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KWEKU Adoboli, the former UBS trader accused of losing the Swiss bank $2.3bn (£1.4bn), was a “star” of the prop trading floor where he worked, a former colleague said yesterday.

Christophe Bertrand, one of four traders who made up the desk where Adoboli worked, also said the accused former trader could be “unfriendly, unpleasant, superior” in his dealings with him.

Adoboli was tasked with training Bertrand when he joined the team in June 2010.

“He was quite rough. One of the rules he had put in place was that I could not ask the same question twice,” Bertrand said.

“Quite often when I asked a question he gave me the silent treatment.”

Bertrand said the desk, which traded Exchange Traded Funds, had made $70m in profits in the first half of the year versus about $15m to $20m for the whole of the previous year

“It [the desk] was doing amazingly well,” he said. “Other senior traders would come to our desk to ask us for our advice. Everyone knew it was Kweku Adoboli and John Hughes doing the proprietary trading. They were the stars of the trading floor.”

Adoboli, 32, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court, accused of fraud and false accounting. He denies the charges.

The jury had previously heard excerpts from Adoboli’s performance appraisals, in which he was described as the “good cop” of the desk by a colleague.

Bertrand, who is French, testified that he was unaware of Adoboli’s trading losses until he came into work on 15 September, 2011, hours after Adoboli was arrested. The trial continues.