THE City regulator has stepped up its war on directors by banning a top broker after he was savaged in a High Court poaching trial.
Tony Verrier, a senior executive at BGC Partners, faces a lifetime ban from working in the City after the Financial Services Authority said he “was not a fit and proper person due to concerns over his “honesty, integrity and reputation”,
The ruling follows a high profile trial which found Verrier, dubbed the “pied piper”, poached 10 staff from rival and former employer Tullett Prebon and then evaded the truth “with equanimity and adroitness” in his evidence.
Verrier, 48, contests the FSA’s decision and will appeal at independent judicial body the Upper Tribunal.
The origins of the case go back to August 2008 when Verrier, a protégé of Tullett boss Terry Smith, told the firm he was leaving to go to work for BGC. Days later he told Tullett that he considered he had been constructively dismissed, and Tullett took him to court.
In 2010, however, the High Court ruled that BGC, its president Shaun Lynn and Verrier, had conspired to induce 10 Tullett brokers to defect.
“Verrier stuck to the truth where he was able to, but departed from it with equanimity and adroitness where the truth was inconvenient,” said Mr Justice Jack at the time.
Verrier was also found to have “lost or disposed of eight blackberries” to cover his tracks in the twelve months he was trying to poach Tullett brokers.
BGC failed in an appeal early last year. It settled with Tullett in a separate hearing last April.
Tracey McDermott, FSA acting director of enforcement and financial crime, said yesterday: “In light of the High Court’s findings about Verrier’s conduct, we have concluded that he is not fit and proper to be in the UK financial services industry.”
The FSA register shows Verrier was de-listed in the UK in September. Sources said he was now working for BGC overseas.
The firm did not return calls and Tullett declined to comment.