I find the story of Dragon Systems hilarious and horrifying so I’m never going to miss an opportunity to tell you about it and one occurred today. The story, quickly, is (1) Dragon Systems, a closely held speech-recognition company, hired Goldman to advise it on a merger with Lernout & Hauspie, (2) Goldman assigned Dragon […]
This Dragon Systems lawsuit that’s bopping along in a Boston court gives me the absolute heebie-jeebies; it is the investment banking version of the dream where you show up to school and there’s a test that you forgot to study for. One day the youngish team of Goldman bankers is patting themselves on the back […]
Jessica Mang, who traded material non-public information based on tips obtained by her Mizuho investment banker boyfriend, Thomas Ammann, because he promised to take her on vacation afterward and also because she thought his entrusting her with such a high level task was a sign he wanted to get serious, was cleared by a jury today, as was Christina Weckwerth, Thomas Ammann’s other girlfriend/execution trader.
In the summer of 2009, Jessica Mang, far left, met an investment banker named Thomas Ammann at a nightclub in London. Both liked what they saw and started seeing each other “at least once a week,” on days he wasn’t with his other girlfriend, Christina Weckwerth. Things were going well, but by November, Mang wanted more. So when Ammann said he was going to take her on a romantic getaway to Seychelles, and all she had to do first was use her own money to trade on material non-public information he’d obtained from his job at Mizuho International about Canon’s purchase of OCE NV, she jumped at the chance. Not only did he want to go away with her (huge!) but he was entrusting her with such an important project (huger!); Mang had read all the dating books and knew that when a guy asks you to violate securities laws, it meant things were getting serious.
“He basically said that I show him that I trust him — I invest the money, he still hadn’t specified how — once that’s done, we’ll go on holiday in the Seychelles,” Mang said today at a London criminal court. “I thought that was a massive leap in commitment.” She said Ammann told her if she didn’t do it, “he didn’t want to be with me anymore.” “I thought, you know, this is a relationship that’s going to go somewhere, I definitely thought we were exclusive as well,” Mang said. “It wasn’t just sleeping together, in my mind we were definitely boyfriend-girlfriend from the start.” Ammann suggested that she should invest so they could build a future together, which she said she thought was a “very sweet and considerate thing he was doing.”
Things that are unanswered at time but presumably be cleared up by the time the trial concludes:
1) When Ammann asked Weckworth to insider trade on his behalf (in April 2009), did he dangle a vacation in her face, too? Did she agree to the deal because she also thought it was indication wedding bells weren’t far off, or was she just in it for the financial gain?
2) UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES* COULD THIS MISUNDERSTANDING POSSIBLY OCCUR:
Mang said she didn’t know what due diligence was and “thought it was just a cute nickname he had for me.”
If you have any ideas, we’re all ears.
Ex-Banker’s Girlfriend Says Trades on Tips Showed Trust [Bloomberg]
Earlier: Girlfriend Insider Trading On Two-Timing Boyfriend’s Behalf Found Roommate’s Judgment A Little Uncalled For
Related (re: breaking the law for your boyfriend because he promises to take you on vacation): What To Do (Or Not Do) Upon Waking Up In A Car “Driving Through A House,” Part II
*Did overhear a phone conversation in which he told someone “I’m spending 80 hours a week doing due diligence,” and she assumed he meant her? Because otherwise we’ve got nothing.
If anyone out there is considering starting a hedge fund, there’s a few things you should know. Don’t want to scare anyone but…okay we’re just going to come out and say it- according to reports, “gone are the days when a trader could leave some Wall Street firm with a few of his buddies, snap […]
As you may recall, a couple months back, a managing director at UBS was pulled over in Connecticut and charged with a DUI (he also had an unlicensed firearm on him, for good measure). At the time, the man for some reason felt compelled to tell the cops that a) he worked in the financial […]
Reason number one that Steven Mandala not only helped himself to $780,000 from the firm, but lied to get the job in the first place: he’d obviously tasked himself with testing MER’s due diligence and background checks on prospective employees, which he rightly assumed were not up to snuff: Mandala, who earned about $100,000 annually […]