How real is this? Wiggia sends this from Rowans’s Blog.
Rowan describes himself thus:
Having spent my career dealing with financial crime, both as a Met detective and as a legal consultant, I now spend my time working with financial institutions advising them on the best way to provide compliance with the plethora of conflicting regulations and laws designed to prevent and forestall money laundering – whatever that might be!
Here’s the excerpt which made me think most:
One man I investigated (an incredibly intelligent guy) ran a retail futures brokerage. His company was a by-word in the City for sharp practice, and he attracted a very wide bad press.
His clients were always complaining that they had been ripped off by his slick cold-calling sales-team, and yet, when I investigated his actions, I discovered that he was punctilious about informing his clients, right from the start, his business methods and his tactics.
He told them when he would invest their capital, when he would close their positions, how much commission he would charge them, when he would reposition them into another contract, etc.
All was explained before the money changed hands, and all clients signed a full disclosure statement indicating that they understood the tactics, and the methods, and that they were willing to go ahead and allow his traders to do business on their behalf.
He was completely open about what he intended to do, and he did not deviate from his disclosed methods subsequently.
Some of his clients ( a few) made a great deal of money. Most of them lost everything. He became a multi-millionaire.
He was never charged with any criminal offences, because there was no evidence that what he was doing was criminal. Sharp practice, certainly, but fully pre-disclosed.
When I interviewed him, he was quite open about his techniques. He told me how he had started in the City working for a sugar broker as a trainee after leaving Oxford. One day, early in his career, one of the traders on his desk made a small killing ripping off another trader in another house.
He told me; “…I was aghast, I was convinced we would all get the sack when the boss found out. You see, I genuinely accepted all that crap about ‘Utmost good faith’ and ‘My word is my bond’ and all that other City bullshit, so I believed I would lose my job and the entire trading desk would be sacked…”
“…As it was, the boss came down and was roaring with laughter and clapping the trader on the back and sending out for Champagne…”
“…The following week, the trader in the other house ripped our desk trader off, in another deal. The boss came down again, roaring with laughter, and sent out for more champagne, except this time he made our desk trader pay for it…”