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Investment banker pleads guilty to insider dealing

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An investment banker has pleaded guilty to insider dealing in a prosecution brought by the FSA.

Former Mizuho International investment banker Thomas Ammann last week pleaded guilty to two counts of insider dealing and two counts of encouraging insider dealing.

Two others, Jessica Mang and Christina Weckwerth, were acquitted of one count of insider dealing each after a trial heard at Southwark Crown Court.

In late 2008 and 2009, Mizuho International advised Canon on its acquisition of Dutch company Océ. Ammann was one of a very small team at Mizuho International working on the acquisition and had access to inside price sensitive information. 

Ammann passed information to Weckwerth and Mang and encouraged them to trade in the shares of Océ prior to the acquisition being announced. Both considered Ammann to be their boyfriend and had no idea of the existence of the other.

After the acquisition was announced, Weckwerth and Mang sold their shares for a substantial profit. Weckwerth made €1m and Mang £29,000 and both shared half their profits with Ammann.  

FSA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott says: “Ammann knew he could not deal using the inside information he had without arousing suspicion but he thought by getting his girlfriends to trade instead they could avoid being caught.  He was wrong and he now faces the consequences.”

Ammann will be sentenced at a later date. The FSA brought the case with help from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Prosecutors Office in Frankfurt and the police and prosecution authority in Hessen, Germany.

Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton says: “Getting his girlfriends to do the insider dealing for him still counts as insider dealing. He should have known better.”

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