The Financial Times is reporting that Goldman Sachs has given the boot to Alexandre Harfouche, the firm’s head of European Block trading. Citing people familiar with the matter, the FT says Harfouche was let go for “failing to make proper disclosures to the bank’s compliance department.”
Goldman didn’t provide a specific explanation to the FT for the firing, but sources told the FT that Harfouche hadn’t broken securities laws and hadn’t done anything to harm Goldman. The FT also reports that the U.K. Financial Services Authority lists him as inactive, “suggesting he has not joined another regulated firm.”
Harfouche had been with the firm for nearly a decade, and had handled some very high-profile deals, like running French automaker Renault’s purchase of $4.2 billion in shares of Volvo earlier this year.
For what it’s worth, Zero Hedge is speculating that the firing might have had to do with “frontrunning,” the illegal practice of trading one’s own account on insider knowledge that a client will follow with a major buy or sell order. Business Insider, meanwhile, offers the following from a Goldman source:
This isn’t first compliance issue to surface. There have been plenty of high profile employees being fired or disciplined lately.
Goldman’s had a relatively rough regulatory go of it this year, what with that record-setting $550 million Abacus settlement, a $27 million fine paid to the Financial Services Authority, and most recently a $650,000 fine levied by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor