SIX people were hauled away by police yesterday in the biggest ever insider trading sting seen in the UK.
Senior executives at Deutsche Bank and Exane BNP Paribas and a trader at hedge fund Moore Capital were arrested as the Serious Organised Crime Agency stormed offices across the City. A further three men arrested are not thought to be City workers.
Among those arrested were Julian Rifat, a London-based equity execution trader at Moore Capital and Clive Roberts, who is head of European sales trading at Exane, which is part owned by BNP Paribas. The Deutsche executive arrested was Martyn Dodgson, a managing director in the corporate broking department. Dodgson previously worked at Lehman Brothers.
Deutsche, Exane and Moore confirmed their employees were involved. It is believed that all those implicated were trading on personal accounts.
The operation is the result of three years’ investigation by 143 FSA enforcement officers, headed up by Margaret Cole. Documents and computers have been seized from the homes and offices of the men involved, including residential addresses in Oxfordshire.
The amount the insider trading ring raked in has not been revealed but is speculated it will total millions given the scale of the operation – described by the FSA as “sophisticated and long-running”.
The FSA alleges those arrested passed inside information to traders, either directly or via middleman, to make “significant profits”.
Rumours have been circling in the City for weeks about a possible insider trading swoop involving Moore. In a separate incident, an employee of the firm was fined £52,000 in 2008 for insider dealing.
A Moore spokesman said: “Representatives of the FSA were at our London office to serve a search warrant for documents relating to an employee of Moore Europe. The investigation concerns possible insider dealing and the investigation of the employee does not involve any of the funds managed by Moore Capital.
“The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.”
Moore is a leading light of the hedge fund world. It is run by its founder Louis Bacon and star trader Greg Coffey. Neither have been implicated in the ring.
The raids come just weeks after former Cazenove banker Malcolm Calvert was jailed for 21 months after an insider trading trial.