Meet the Five Men Involved in the Largest U.K. Insider-Trading Case
Two financial professionals accused of making 7.4 million pounds ($10.7 million) with three others on confidential information about six stocks have been found guilty by a London court, with the other men acquitted. Here’s what you need to know about them.
Former Deutsche Bank managing director
Well-spoken and polite, Dodgson grew up and went to university in Lancaster, graduating with a first-class degree in economics. After qualifying as an accountant he moved into investment banking, working at a number of prestigious firms including: Cazenove, UBS Group AG, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG. A chance meeting with accountant Andrew Hind at his brother’s bachelor party in 2001 -- Hind was his brother’s boss -- led to a friendship and a trading arrangement.
According to the prosecution, while he was at Lehman, Dodgson fed tips on the takeovers of Scottish & Newcastle Ltd. and mortgage provider Paragon Group of Companies Plc to Hind, who passed them to Parvizi and Anderson to trade on. He did the same in relation to other companies while working at Deutsche Bank. Dodgson and Hind claimed they only discussed public information, drawing on Dodgson’s market knowledge to help Hind’s trading. They said any covert methods used were only out of concern for Dodgson’s job because he hadn’t told his employers about the arrangement. Dodgson never met Anderson or Parvizi.
“The combination of being out late and drinking combined with the shock and fear of what my wife and family were going through, I suspect, made me act with the maximum amount of defensiveness” —Dodgson said on the witness stand while talking about why he lied in his interview after arrest.
Andrew (Grant) Harrison
Former Panmure Gordon corporate broker
A New Zealand native, Harrison started his career as a lawyer in Auckland before moving into banking. He emigrated to London in his 20s and worked at UBS, Panmure Gordon & Co., Lloyds Banking Group Plc, and Altium Capital Ltd. He was the last of the group to be charged in the case. He was barely present at the trial after Judge Jeffrey Pegden told the defendants’ they could come and go as they wanted.
Harrison was only linked to one of the six trades in which prosecutors said the group illegally shared information -- Internet security company nCipher Plc. He was introduced to Hind by Dodgson, whom he worked with at UBS. After a lunch meeting, Harrison entered into the same kind of investment arrangement with Hind as Dodgson. The prosecution said Harrison tipped off Hind to the nCipher takeover in 2008, which Panmure was advising on. Harrison said he only provided publicly available information on small cap companies to Hind.
“There is only 21 minutes of the prosecution’s closing that focused on Grant Harrison” —in a speech that took a day and a half, Harrison’s lawyer, Neil Hawes, said in his own closing arguments. Harrison didn’t testify.
Nickname: Nob or Nobu
A small man from Rochdale, England, Hind graduated with a first-class degree in math and decision theory from Manchester University before becoming an accountant at what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers. He went on to work as a financial analyst at Diageo Plc and Burton Group Plc, where he became a financial director. Hind was described throughout the trial as "odd." The jury was told he hoarded food at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis in case of civil unrest, building an "armory" of spears, hockey sticks and baseball bats to protect the supplies.
According to the prosecution, Hind was the middleman passing information from Dodgson and Harrison to Parvizi and Anderson. He was behind a number of covert devices employed by the group: encrypted memory sticks, nicknames and pay as you go phones. The prosecution said the devices were used to cover up insider dealing. He claimed they were symptomatic of his personality and only used to protect Dodgson’s employment. He was the only defendant that knew all of the men before they were arrested.
“Mr. Hind wasn’t very far away in 2008 from a picture of patrolling the streets on Muswell Hill like a Zulu” —Hind’s lawyer, William Boyce, said during closing arguments. Hind didn’t testify.
Nicknames: Fatty or The Mad Punter
Parvizi, a professional gambler, enjoys the high-life. He moved to England at the age of 11 or 12 from the Middle East, where his father was a diplomat before the Iranian revolution. After working in a kebab shop in his early 20s, he landed a job arranging mortgages for wealthy people. He parlayed that into a career trading on the stock market, becoming the “king of the penny shares.” He bought racehorses and played in high-stakes poker games. He moves between residences in Dubai, Los Angeles and Spain.
Parvizi met Ben Anderson in 2000 and the two started a partnership. The pair would trade for a lot of people, rarely disclosing their contact’s identities, referring to them simply as "my man." Parvizi met Hind in 2006 through a mutual friend and Hind was added to his list of trading contacts. The FCA said Parvizi knew Hind’s "man" worked at a bank and was passing confidential information based on a taped conversation the regulator got from a bug planted in Anderson’s office. Parvizi said he was lying on the tape.
“Without giving it large, I think I was very well known” —Parvizi said while answering questions about his reputation in the market.
Anderson grew up in Glasgow and studied economics at the University of Dundee before becoming a stock broker. He started a venture capital business in the 1990s investing in, creating and taking companies public. Today he said he is worth about $100 million. A self-described "parsimonious Scot," he once asked Parvizi to return a Bentley he’d bought him because it used too much gasoline.
Anderson, like Parvizi, had a network of contacts he traded on behalf of and multiple accounts in family and friends’ names. He didn’t meet Hind until 2008, instead communicating with him through Parvizi. Prosecutors claim Anderson knew that Hind was giving them inside information, supported by the taped conversation with Parvizi. Anderson said he thought Parvizi was exaggerating and never had inside information.
“I don’t want to sound like a granddad here, although I am, but I’ve spent the last 40 years reading” —Anderson said to describe his knowledge of the market.