InterCapital fund manager banned

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The Independent Online
Imro, the investment watchdog, yesterday banned a fund manager for "knowingly and deliberately" overvaluing warrants held by a fund managed by InterCapital Asset Management.

Geoffrey de Siebert, a former chief executive of InterCapital, was found by Imro not to have exercised "the integrity of a registered individual" when he inflated the value of the warrants between April 1994 and March 1995. His ban is one of only a handful ever meted out by Imro and is seen as a sign of the regulator's increasingly hard-line policy towards code violations.

Imro said the effect of Mr de Siebert's actions was to overvalue one of InterCapital's funds by up to pounds 9.7m, or 25 per cent of the fund's correct valuation. Investors were disadvantaged because the fund's performance appeared better than it was.

Imro also found that Mr de Siebert had undertaken foreign contract positions between July 1994 and December 1994 for speculative purposes on behalf of the fund, breaching its articles of association. At the end of 1994, the fund held forward foreign exchange contracts worth pounds 53.2m, again in breach of InterCapital's articles.

"Imro does not consider Mr de Siebert to be fit and proper to act as a registered individual," the regulator concluded. Mr de Siebert was ordered pay Imro's costs of pounds 5,000.

Separately, Imro fined Newton Investment Management pounds 85,000 for breaches of rules relating to overdrafts on client money accounts.