The AMF imposes a record fine of 32 million on Amundi

This is a historic decision made Thursday evening by the sanctions commission of the AMF (Autorité des marchés financiers). It imposed a fine of € 32 million on Amundi, the European leader in asset management. One of the biggest fines ever handed down by the stock market policeman. The broker Tullet Prebon will also have to pay 5 million euros to the public treasury.

Before this fine, the record was held by Natixis AM in 2017. The management company was fined in 2017, a fine of 35 million euros, since reduced to 20 million by the Council of State.

The 32 million euros in fines for the Crédit Agricole subsidiary are split between two group companies, Amundi Asset Management (25 million euros and one warning), and Amundi Intermédiation (7 million euros plus one warning) . The grievances of the financial policeman are numerous. Price manipulation on a derivative product – the future (futures contract) on Euro Stoxx 50, listed on Eurex -, damage to the interests of fund holders, and failures in the internal control of the management company.

2.8 billion euros of litigation

The case dates from 2014-2015. The disputed process was identified over twenty trading days, for a year and a half. It relates to a total of 79,000 lots traded, or 2.8 billion euros. An Amundi manager, Ludovic Delion, placed aggressive buy orders on the Euro Stoxx 50 futures contract, then passive sell orders (triggered automatically if a certain threshold was reached) at a higher price. . He started again, to increase prices, in order to generate added value.

When these “escalator orders” were unwound at a profit, they were allocated to the general public funds Amundi Patrimoine, one of the manager’s flagship products, which recorded a gain of 20 million euros. But, if this strategy resulted in losses, they were charged to GRD funds, managed on behalf of Crédit Agricole Assurances, which suffered a shortfall of 39 million euros. In September 2020, Amundi, on its own, compensated this fund in the amount of 48 million euros.

Most of the purchase orders passed through Grégory Saey, on the negotiation table (placing orders) of Amundi Intermédiation. They were then transmitted by telephone to Thomas Vignon, who performed them at Tullett Prebon. The two Amundi employees are prohibited from practicing for a period of ten years. As for Thomas Vignon, he will have to pay 20,000 euros.

The broker Tullet Prebon (known under the name of TP Icap since its merger with Icap in 2015) is sanctioned to the tune of 5 million euros. Amundi has indicated that it is contesting the price manipulation grievance and reserves the right to appeal.

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