March 16, 2016 / 10:16 AM / 4 years ago

UK watchdog says ex-Schroders trader admits 9 insider dealing offences

LONDON (Reuters) - A former stock market trader at Schroders Investment Management, has pleaded guilty to nine counts of insider trading spanning nine years, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday.

Damian Clarke, 40, admitted to dealing in shares on the basis of inside information on company mergers and acquisitions obtained while he worked at Schroders.

“He used this information to place trades using accounts in his own name and that of close family members, in respect of which he had been provided with the account numbers and passwords,” the FCA said in a statement.

The total profits made from Clarke’s insider dealing amount to at least 155,161 pounds ($219,676), the FCA said.

The FCA said Clarke had pleaded guilty to seven counts of insider trading on 24 July last year, and pleaded guilty to the remaining two counts on Tuesday in London’s Southwark Crown Court.

Clarke, who was initially employed by Schroders as a fund manager’s assistant and later became an equities trader, will be sentenced on June 13.

“Insider dealing is a dishonest crime, not a means for city professionals to make money on the side,” said Mark Steward, the FCA’s director of enforcement.

“Mr Clarke abused the trust that came with a city career by cheating the system and, in doing so, he let down the expectations of the whole community,” Steward said.

A spokeswoman for Schroders, one of Britain’s largest investment managers, said the company had not been subject to any investigation and gave full co-operation to the FCA.

“Mr Clarke is no longer employed by Schroders, and these proceedings relate entirely to his personal actions. There is no indication of any detrimental impact on our clients or financial results,” the spokeswoman said.

He pleaded guilty to insider trading in Swan Hill Group, Marlborough Stirling, Eidos, Neutec Pharma, Retail Decisions, Raven Mount Group, BSS Group, Autonomy Corp, and Invensys.

The trading took place between Oct. 30, 2003 and Nov. 28, 2012.

($1 = 0.7063 pounds)

Reporting by Huw Jones and Sinead Cruise, editing by Carolyn Cohn and Susan Thomas

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