June 23, 2017 / 6:47 AM / 7 months ago

Swiss watchdog says insider trader must surrender 1.4 million francs

ZURICH, June 23 (Reuters) - Swiss financial watchdog FINMA said on Friday a former board member at multiple companies must pay to the agency 1.4 million Swiss francs ($1.44 million) from the illegal profits he is accused of making by “repeated and systematic” insider trading.

FINMA did not release the name of the person in a statement, but Swiss media identified him as Hans Ziegler, who held board roles at Swiss companies Schmolz & Bickenbach and OC Oerlikon and German robot maker Kuka. He was placed under investigation by FINMA and the Swiss attorney general’s office last year.

FINMA said the case marks the first time it has moved against a person who was not an employee at one of the Swiss financial institutions that it oversees directly. Since 2013, the agency has been tasked with investigating all market manipulation and insider trading in Switzerland.

“The FINMA investigation also revealed numerous indications that the individual also illegally used insider information received from his professional network to make substantial investments and related profits in the context of stocks of other companies in which he was not active,” the agency said in its statement.

FINMA said it became aware when its employees noticed “conspicuous trading volumes and price developments” during the course of its market supervision.

Ziegler resigned from Kuka, Schmolz & Bickenbach and Oerlikon after the investigation began.

The Swiss attorney general’s office, with which FINMA has been coordinating the case against Ziegler, told Reuters earlier this week that its investigation was ongoing.

Ziegler could not be reached for comment on Friday. ($1 = 0.9707 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller, editing by Larry King)

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