Belfast Telegraph

Ex-investment banker fined £37,198 after 'boasting' about deals on WhatsApp

A former investment banker has been slapped with a near £40,000 fine after boasting about deals from private clients to friends on WhatsApp.

The Financial Conduct Authority has charged Christopher Niehaus £37,198 after finding the former Jefferies International employee shared confidential information with an acquaintance and a friend, who at the time was a client of the firm.

The financial watchdog said no trades were made based on the information, and Mr Niehaus passed on the details just to "impress" the people he shared it with.

"The details of the information he shared included the identity of the client, the details relating to the client mandate and the fee Jefferies would charge for their involvement in the transaction.

"Mr Niehaus also boasted about how he may be able to pay off his mortgage if one of the deals was successful," the FCA said.

Messages were sent "on a number of occasions" between January and May last year while Mr Niehaus served as managing director of Jefferies International's investment banking division.

One message he sent to his friend read: "Wish I could go exercise but waiting for (Client One) - story of my life...size will increase significantly if I pull off my deal".

He told others he had received a "massive mandate" from a different client who needed to raise funds and reduce debt, and later disclosed the amount.

Mr Niehaus claimed he "didn't know" why he shared the information "other than he wanted to impress them", the FCA said.

The former managing director was initially suspended by Jefferies International, but resigned before the disciplinary process came to a close.

The FCA reduced his original £53,140 penalty after he fully admitted to his actions and agreed to settle early on in its investigation.

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