Kweku Adoboli

  • 04 Jun 2014 at 10:37 AM

Kweku Adoboli Still Not Feeling That Guilty Verdict

Kweku Adoboli, the former UBS trader who caused a $2.3 billion loss through unauthorized trading, is trying again to get permission to overturn his conviction and seven-year sentence. Lawyers for Adoboli are scheduled to ask an appeals court in London today to grant him the chance to argue that the conviction should be thrown out. His initial claim was already rejected by a judge in July 2013, without a hearing taking place. Adoboli was convicted in November 2012 of two counts of fraud for causing the loss at the bank’s London unit. He argued at trial that managers at Zurich-based UBS pushed him to take too many risks and that rule-breaking at the bank was rampant. While he admitted causing the loss, he said it wasn’t done dishonestly. [Bloomberg]

Not everyone would have the balls, but Adobli did and for that he deserved props. Read more »

If you’re looking for a cheerleader, go bark up another tree.

“Say you want to be out ahead of it and give a lot of speeches and talk about all the good we’re doing,” Gorman said today at an industry conference in New York. “And then some trader does some stupid thing like this guy at UBS did and he’s in jail and all bets are off,” Gorman said. He was referring to Kweku Adoboli, the UBS AG trader convicted of fraud this month in the largest unauthorized trading loss in British history…Traders at New York-based Morgan Stanley had too much latitude in the past, “what I call having an outsized sandbox,” Gorman, 54, said at the conference, which was sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. “Until we can be really confident we’ve got discipline around the sandboxes, I think you have to be really careful not to be holier than thou,” Gorman said. “We’re going to be in the doghouse for a while.”

Incidentally, this would a good time to mention that Gorman’s bonus policy instituted last January– STFU or GTFO– still stands. Read more »

In terms of speaking gigs, do you want to hear from the guy who cost UBS a couple billion or the fugitive who brought it to its knees? Read more »

John Hughes, the former senior trader on the ETF desk, said Adoboli told him in January last year about an internal account he called his umbrella. Prosecutors allege Adoboli created the account to pool profit from trades he hadn’t booked to use to cover up future losses. Hughes testified that he thought the umbrella referred to a profit pool that hadn’t been booked. “You live in blue sky scenarios,” Hughes wrote in an instant-message exchange with Adoboli in January 2011. “It often rains,” Adoboli responded. “I learned that last year. So I built an umbrella.” [BusinessWeek, Related: I take responsibility for my actions and the shit storm that will now ensue.”]

In Southwark Crown Court in London, the boyish-looking Mr. DiBacco was cross-examined for more than three hours by Mr. Adoboli’s lawyer, Paul Garlick, whose questions appeared to be aimed at showing the Swiss bank was fully aware of his client’s activities and that his trading was in line with the risk-taking culture in London. Mr. DiBacco was the former global head of synthetic equity trading at UBS and Mr. Adoboli’s boss before he was terminated in January 2012 for failure to supervise. Mr. DiBacco said he disagreed with UBS’s assessment of his performance. Earlier on Friday, a prosecutor, Sasha Wass, focused on the risk limits Mr. DiBacco placed on the London trading desk when he took it over in April 2011. Mr. DiBacco, dressed in a blue pin-striped suit, pale blue shirt and red silk tie, testified that in late July 2011 he telephoned Mr. Adoboli while on vacation in Colorado and ordered him to cut the risk in his trading book. Mr. DiBacco said he remembered the conversation with the trader “very clearly’’ because he was speaking on the telephone in front of his girlfriend who was “not particularly pleased’’ that he was talking about markets and risk while on vacation. “Shut everything down,’’ Mr. DiBacco said he told Mr. Adoboli. “I want no risk.’’ [Dealbook]

Adoboli lawyer Charles Sherrard said the bank became “more aggressive in terms of its desire to make profits” in 2011, while cross-examining one of Adoboli’s former bosses at a fraud trial in London today. “The culture, practice at the bank you were working for, didn’t matter as long as you were making money,” Sherrard said to Ron Greenidge, who oversaw UBS’s exchange-traded-funds desk until April of last year…Greenidge, who worked at UBS for 19 years, said today he was dismissed for gross misconduct because of Adoboli’s trades. He said he felt the bank was making him a scapegoat…Sherrard read out Adoboli’s performance reviews from 2009 written by Greenidge, which said the trader needed a better balance between work and other activities. Greenidge said Adoboli was a “great ambassador for the ETF product” and had outstanding performance that year…The culture at UBS changed with the arrival from Deutsche Bank of Yassine Bouhara in 2010 as the co-head of equities, Sherrard said. Bouhara is no longer at the bank. “The very nature of the bank became more aggressive in terms of its desire to make profit,” Sherrard said to Greenidge. “The mantra was coming from above was revenue, revenue, revenue.” [Bloomberg]

UBS, the Swiss bank, was aware of problems with Kweku Adoboli’s trading five weeks before he was arrested, a court was told on Tuesday. The bank’s back office questioned €3.6bn (£2.9bn) of incorrectly booked trades as early as August 4, Southwark Crown Court heard in the trial of the former trader accused of losing his bank $2.3bn in rogue trades. The trades, normally booked on the same day, remained unregistered weeks after Mr Adoboli made them. Yesterday, the court heard how he himself had lost £123,000 spread-betting through a personal account with IG index. His trading with IG Index prompted two official warnings from his bank bosses after he failed to disclose the account and then failed to disclose individual trades. The court heard on Monday how Mr Adoboli owed thousands of pounds on current accounts and credit cards despite earning £360,000 and was overdrawn and relying on pay-day loan companies when he was arrested. Despite seeing £233,000 pass through his NatWest Bank account in the 12 months prior to his arrest Mr Adoboli’s account was overdrawn by £3,594 when he was arrested on September 15 last year, the court was told. Across his four banks accounts and two credit cards the 32-year-old trader owed £4,181. His primary current account showed payments to eight pay-day loan companies including Wageday Advance, Wonga.com, Payday UK and Pounds to Pocket. [Telegraph]