Top investment director flew on Greensill’s private plane, officials say

The Swiss asset manager and its employee were fined a total of £9.3 million in December

30 March 2022

A top investor at Swiss asset manager GIML and the company itself broke the rules when they dealt with the now defunct finance company Greensill, the City watchdog has said.

Three months since fining the company and investment director Timothy Haywood more than £9 million, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that he had travelled on Greensill’s private jet without properly recording it.

The FCA did not find any evidence that this would have influenced his decisions to invest money belonging to GAM Investment Management Limited (GIML) customers with Greensill.

But the potential conflicts of interest, which included other gifts and entertainment, were not properly managed, the watchdog said.

This “heightened the risk that he may have been incentivised to invest for personal interest,” the FCA said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The authority had said in December that it would fine GIML £9.1 million and was slapping a £230,000 fine on Mr Haywood.

Both the fines had been reduced by 30% from a higher amount as the pair agreed to resolve the cases at an early stage.

“A robust framework, properly implemented and followed by all staff, is required to manage any conflicts of interest,” the FCA’s Mark Steward said.

“GIML failed to do this. In an asset manager, this is vital in ensuring decisions are taken for the benefit of the investors. Mr Haywood’s disclosure failings are equally serious ones.

“The FCA expects asset managers and their staff to be scrupulous in identifying and managing conflicts and their risks. This case should send a clear warning to the market.”

The FCA’s documents revealed a lack of oversight at GIML.

The business had a committee that was meant to deal with potential conflicts of interest, but it did not meet once between November 2014 and October 2017.

The committee “was meant to, but did not, have a central role in the management and oversight of conflicts of interest,” the FCA said.

The authority said that it had found three transactions where GIML had failed to properly manage conflicts of interest.

Two of these were linked to Greensill, whose collapse last year sparked a lobbying scandal for its links to former prime minister David Cameron.

Asset managers are meant to act in the best interest of the people whose money they look after.

Greensill had offered GIML guaranteed fees for managing certain funds, and a first look arrangement which allowed GIML to have the chance to launch other Greensill funds.

“These potential incentives would have provided benefits to GIML or its parent company in return for investing customers’ monies,” the FCA said.

“These represented clear and serious conflict of interest issues but none of them were ultimately taken up.”

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