The FSA has fined the head of European credit sales at Credit Suisse £210,000 for improper market conduct and disclosing confidential client information.
The fine relates to a takeover of UnityMedia GmbH by Liberty Global, Inc. in November 2009, which was part-financed by a €2.5bn (£2bn) bond issue.
Nicholas Kyprios was given confidential information by Credit Suisse, told that it was inside information and instructed in writing not to disclose it to third parties.
On 11 November 2009 Kyprios called a fund manager to invite him to the bond issue road show. When the fund manager asked about the bond issue, Kyprios engaged in a guessing game, including advising when the fund manager was "getting warmer", the FSA said.
"Kyprios was an active participant in the guessing game and could have extracted himself before straying into dangerous territory but he did not do so," the judgement continued.
Kyprios signalled that Unitymedia was potentially about to bring a big bond issue to market; that the issue was intended to be announced the next day; that the potential rating of the issue; and that the issue was M&A related.
Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "While the FSA accepts that he did not set out to disclose the information, Kyprios' conduct in trying to push to the limit what he could say resulted in him crossing the line.
"His behaviour was well below the standards we expect of senior market professionals who we should be able to rely on to uphold the system rather than seek to get round it. The high penalty reflects the seriousness of Kyprios' breach.
Kyprios agreed to settle at an early stage and in doing so qualified for a 30% discount on the financial penalty. Without the reduction the FSA would have fined Kyprios £300,000.
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