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Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. Iraj Parvizi, aka Fatty or the Mad Punter, a Bentley-driving, racehorse-owning Iranian, whose life had been one endlessly escalating wager, walked to the witness box with uncharacteristic anxiety. His hands shook, and he was dressed carelessly, in jeans, sneakers, and an untucked shirt.
Parvizi was on trial in London for participating in bentley trading room calendar prosecutors described as the biggest insider-trading ring in U. It was Week 13 of the proceedings, a Wednesday in April, and Bentley trading room calendar faced years in prison if convicted. The Mad Punter smiled and took control of the courtroom. Resting one foot on a nearby chair, Parvizi described his anarchic life in the markets. How had he traded up a fortune when ordinary investors struggle to get single-digit returns?
He described a world where rumors circulate on phone screens, fabricated stories are fed to a gullible press, and returns correlate with whom bentley trading room calendar know. The only difference between stocks and any other form of gambling, he said, as if talking to a roomful of children, is that the stakes are higher. His co-defendants nodded in agreement. Some of them had devoted eight years bentley trading room calendar the case.
Operation Bentley trading room calendar, as it was known, was a landmark for the Financial Conduct Authority, a rebuttal to critics who said the regulator was too soft.
The FCA had compiled 46 binders of evidence and hours of surveillance audio. The men in the Tabernula dock liked their odds with a jury.
The competence of British financial regulation was on trial, too. Throughout the proceedings, the five defendants sat in a neat diagram of their alleged scam.
In the front corner sat Martyn Dodgson, 44, a red-haired banker, dressed in chinos and boat shoes. Both had worked at investment banks, in positions that let them know in advance when companies were going to make deals. In the row behind them sat a second pair—these two, major-league day traders. The other was Benjamin Anderson, a septuagenarian with a grandfatherly smile.
Finally, sitting apart from the others, was Andrew Hind, 56, a weasel-thin oddball with a degree in bentley trading room calendar theory, a background in accounting, and a pair of reading glasses on top of his head.
The government said Hind was bentley trading room calendar connection between the guys with the information and the guys with the money—a linchpin who ran operational security and distributed the profits. Parvizi and the others acknowledged joining up to trade.
They acknowledged disguising their activities with encrypted devices and burner phones. The trial ran for four months, and at times Courtroom 3 became a circus. Anderson suffered a heart scare after two days on the stand, repeatedly delaying the proceedings.
A reality-TV star sat in the audience. Parvizi maintained his cool, even when his character was being savaged. During cross-examination, the lead prosecutor observed that lying appeared to come easily bentley trading room calendar him.
Dodgson breezed through childhood in Lancaster, a pretty river town in the north of England, with a cricket bat under one arm. Morgan Cazenove and then at UBS as a corporate broker—a kind of professional glad-hander who smooths relations between companies and shareholders. Dodgson specialized in financial firms. Dodgson had to know finance and economics, but really his job was about relationships.
Despite its multitrillion-dollar size, the London equity market was a cozy place. The same institutional investors dealt with all the biggest firms, and Dodgson knew everybody.
Bentley trading room calendar and gregarious, he started an annual pub quiz night for investors and executives. Hind was 41 and somewhat socially awkward, but he impressed Dodgson with his intelligence, connections, bentley trading room calendar wealth. The men lived near each other and began to meet for pints. The conversation always came back to the markets, and sometime around they struck an alliance. Hind had access to capital, prosecutors would later establish, and his young friend had a head full of potentially market-moving information.
Hind would front the cash and arrange the trades; Dodgson would take half the gains or losses. For a crime to be committed, a person leaking inside information, or a person trading on it, must be aware that the material is privileged. To stay well clear of the line, banks have further rules about what an employee can and cannot do. Dodgson kept his arrangement with Hind quiet, knowing it would never pass muster with his employer. Their trades made money, and Dodgson started to keep a bentley trading room calendar of everything he was owed.
Rather than transfer the winnings between bank accounts, which might have set off alarms, Hind often paid his partner in kind: Both men ploughed their profits back into small businesses.
Hind dabbled in black vodka, high-end watches, and real estate. Inafter an introduction from a mutual associate, he flew to Dubai to meet a potential investor. InParvizi, the son of an Iranian diplomat, was sent to England for an education. When the revolution struck inhis family lost everything.
At 22 or 23, living in a seaside town in Kent, he went to a local poker game and saw a new face: The new guy cleaned the Bentley trading room calendar lads out. Parvizi began mingling with Nigerian chiefs and Saudi princes and soon branched out on his own. He drove Bentleys and Ferraris; opened a combination spa-boutique-restaurant; and invested widely, in diamonds, property, and horses. In the s he started betting on equities.
Inat a stockbroker charity dinner, Parvizi met Anderson, then 56 and a legend in day-trader circles. A self-described parsimonious Scot, he shunned the bentley trading room calendar of wealth and reinvested his profits in areas from biotechnology to oil. Like Dodgson and Hind, Parvizi and Anderson made a pact to trade together, despite their obvious differences.
With no formal training, Parvizi had little understanding of the minutiae of finance. Parvizi moved to Dubai in Other types of deals soon followed.
After that meeting, Hind and Dodgson, the fixer and the banker, now had access to the vast trading power of Parvizi and, through him, Anderson. At trial a decade later, prosecutors alleged that Dodgson would sniff out opportunities and pass them on to Hind, who handed them to the moneymen, Parvizi and Anderson, to execute the trades.
Parvizi and Anderson acknowledged making the transactions but said that they dealt with only Hind and never knew if the information came from an insider. Dodgson, from his end of the operation, said he never knew who placed the bets.
Hind tried to keep the arrangement secret. He bought untraceable pay-as-you-go phones and made payments in cash and via Swiss bank accounts. In painstaking but opaque records, he referred to each member of the group by a nickname: Outside of business, Hind was equally fastidious.
He was fanatical about bentley trading room calendar, writing detailed notes on quinoa and the dangers of olive oil. When the financial crisis hit, he stocked up bentley trading room calendar canned goods and built an armory of spears, hockey sticks, and baseball bats. Dodgson had moved to Lehman Brothers, and his colleagues were advising Carlsberg on its bid with Heineken to acquire the U.
Dodgson called or texted Hind six times that day. Rumors of a takeover hit the wider market on Oct. One minute later, Parvizi and Anderson started closing out their positions. It was a sensational start, bentley trading room calendar there were only so many big-ticket mergers-and-acquisitions deals to trade on. Expanding into small- and mid-cap companies would offer more opportunities. A few weeks after the beer deal, Dodgson set up a lunch with Harrison, a tall, suave former colleague from UBS who now worked at the stockbroker Panmure Gordon.
The New Zealander agreed to join the group. A few months after the lunch, shares in the company had fallen. Harrison was one of a limited number of people who knew the company had received two takeover offers, and prosecutors would later allege he passed that information to Hind.
Bentley trading room calendar July 10, when NCipher notified the market it was in late-stage takeover talks, the share price jumped 73 percent.
Prosecutors said that from tothe group made investments in 59 companies, at least six of which they alleged crossed the line into insider trading. But that was a tiny fraction of the scores of transactions Parvizi and Anderson made each week.
The pair had traded prolifically for years, using dozens of brokerage accounts. In the meantime, Parvizi kept living as only he could. Parvizi would bet on anything. Funded not by taxpayers but by the industry it was meant to guard, the FSA had a mandate to foster market stability, protect consumers, and reduce financial crime. At the last, it was struggling. The FSA had just been forced to reduce a fine on an insurance company after admitting a string of errors, and a formal review of its enforcement abilities was under way.
One day that spring, in a seventh-floor boardroom, three executives were interviewing candidates for the job of head of enforcement. Cole had an answer ready: It was a surprisingly radical suggestion. The FSA had never prosecuted anyone for insider trading. But Cole had come from the private sector, where success was measured in results. Cole got the job. A few weeks later, she attended an internal briefing on a suspected insider-trading ring.