LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - The Italian former head of defunct UK hedge fund Dynamic Decisions on Wednesday lost his appeal against a multi-million pound fine and a ban from holding any role in Britain’s financial sector.
A court in London said former chief executive and university lecturer Alberto Micalizzi had “deliberately misrepresented” to investors the position of the DD Growth Premium Master Fund, worth $437 million in 2008 before collapsing the same year.
The Upper Tribunal upheld the ban against Micalizzi imposed by Britain’s financial regulator in 2012. It trimmed the regulator’s 3.0 million pound ($5 million) fine to 2.7 million after the former corporate finance lecturer claimed financial hardship. The tribunal said it needed to penalise serious misconduct and to deter others.
Britain’s regulator alleged Micalizzi sought to conceal losses by deliberately misrepresenting the fund’s value and then struck deals with third parties to buy units with a face value of $700 million in a convertible bond, said to be backed by Russian diesel oil worth $10 billion.
The Upper Tribunal agreed that the bonds were “never genuine” as the fund was in liquidation, the bond had never been converted into collateral or cash and the fund received no payments.
”This is, we accept, a sorry state of affairs for a man who, in other walks of his life, has apparently impressed with his integrity and honesty ...
“But that cannot deflect from our clear findings that, at the time in question, and in connection with the fund and the bonds, Mr Micalizzi’s conduct was dishonest in many instances and overall lacked integrity,” the tribunal judgment said.
The ruling comes two months after Italian police arrested Micalizzi, who has been dubbed by Italian newspapers as the country’s equivalent to U.S. fraudster Bernie Madoff, in a parallel inquiry.
Micalizzi stopped teaching in 2011 and in 2013 was suspended by Milan’s respected Bocconi University from all academic duties.
$1 = 0.5915 British pound Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Erica Billingham