One of the city’s best-known figures, Sir Christopher Gent, was handed an embarrassing fine from financial regulators for sharing insider information
- Sir Christopher, former Vodafone boss, has been fined £80,000 by the FCA
- He unlawfully disclosed inside information while he was chairman of ConvaTec
- The information regarding an announcement regarding financial guidance
- Ghent shared with two shareholders before it was published on the stock exchange
Shock: Sir Christopher Gent had a long and distinguished career
One of the city’s best-known figures has been slapped with an embarrassing fine by financial regulators for sharing insider information.
Sir Christopher Gent, the former Vodafone boss, has been fined £80,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for unlawfully disclosing inside information while chairman of FTSE 250 medical device company ConvaTec.
The information related to an announcement regarding his financial outlook and his CEO’s retirement plans, which Ghent shared with two of its largest shareholders before it was published on the stock exchange in October 2018.
Mark Steward, FCA’s Executive Director for Enforcement and Market Surveillance, said Ghent “didn’t apply its spirit well.”
Inside information is not a private article for those who have privileged access to it. The law requires that inside information be disclosed properly and not to major shareholders or others prior to announcements, as in this case,” Steward added.
While the watchdog said there was no evidence that Ghent acted on the information or sought personal gain, it “acted negligently in disclosing the information” and committed market abuse.
“Given his education and experience, Sir Christopher should have realized that the information he disclosed was, or may be, inside information and that it was not within the normal course of his employment to disclose it,” it added. .
ConvaTec makes plasters, bandages, medical catheters and stoma bags, among other things.
Gent, 74, said he was “very disappointed”, but the ruling confirmed there was “no impact on the markets and I personally have not made a profit from it and have no intention of doing so”.
“Since then I have withdrawn from business and now I want to draw a line under the business,” he added.
Ghent left ConvaTec in 2019 after a restructuring.
He rose to fame in the 1990s as Vodafone boss, turned a small subsidiary of British electronics group Racal into one of the world’s largest telecom companies, and in 2000 led a takeover of Germany’s Mannesmann, one of the largest corporate takeovers in history, with a price tag of £110 billion.
He was knighted in 2001 and chairman of GlaxoSmithKline between 2004 and 2015.