Cantor Salesman Says He Was Fired for Blowing Whistle on Traders

  • Dray Simpson sues Cantor in London for unfair dismissal
  • Simpson says boss told him to make money and ‘ignore’ traders

A former Cantor Fitzgerald LP debt salesman told a London court that he was dismissed for telling superiors that two traders misled clients and for refusing to go along with a corporate culture where unlawful activity appeared to be “second nature.”

Dray Simpson, who was a managing director, said that Cantor let him go because of “irreconcilable differences” with colleagues in 2015 after he raised his concerns about activity including front-running and market abuse. He is suing the New York-based brokerage for unfair dismissal and for retaliation against whistle-blowing.

“I viewed their behavior as dishonest, fraudulent and potentially illegal,” Simpson said in a witness statement prepared for the Wednesday hearing. “If I didn’t do whatever I could to get the trade done, including lying, as far as they were concerned I wasn’t doing my job properly and I didn’t have enough ‘desire to succeed.”’

Bankers and financial professionals frequently turn to London’s employment courts to claw back lost earnings and resurrect reputations following firings and corporate scandals. Winnings at tribunals are capped at about 80,000 pounds ($100,000) unless claimants can prove they were victims of discrimination or were punished for disclosing corporate misconduct.

Karen Laureano-Rikardsen, a spokeswoman for Cantor Fitzgerald, declined to comment.

‘Make Money’

Simpson raised his concerns about the traders’ conduct at meeting in July 2015, he said. His boss in New York told him to “make money and ignore the way in which the traders tried to do trades,” he said.

Simpson said the traders became “confrontational” and “aggressive” and began to deliberately underpay his commission on trades.

Lawyers for Cantor said Simpson initially only raised general concerns by sending the traders newspaper articles about malpractice. He should never have warned the traders about his concerns and gone straight to compliance in line with internal procedures, they said.

“I do accept that there were issues between me and the traders and my line managers,” Simpson said in his statement. “But only because I wasn’t prepared to turn a blind eye to the unlawful activity that appeared to be second nature to people in the office.”

Simpson, who had previously worked for Deutsche Bank AG and ING Groep NV, joined Cantor Fitzgerald in March 2015 as the firm bolstered its emerging-market credit operations, according to records from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

His experience working at Cantor "took a toll on his health," Simpson said.

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