Fake Hedge Fund Client Hid Rogue SocGen Trader’s Moves

Jun 17 2010 | 12:09pm ET

A phony hedge fund client helped rouge trader Jerome Kerviel bring Société Générale to the brink of collapse two years ago, he told a Paris court this week.

When Moussa Bakir at SocGen brokerage Fimat asked Kerviel about his trades, Kerviel said a hedge fund manager named “Matt” was pushing him to do so.

“I told him a fib,” Kerviel testified, explaining that Bakir “wanted to know what my underlying strategy was.” He told the broker that “Matt” was determined to make a €1 billion profit, adding color to his invention by noting that he was a big rugby fan.

Kerviel’s other falsifications seem to have lacked that finesse. He admitted today to creating bogus transactions and e-mails, as well as entering false information into SocGen’s computer system. Even Kerviel was shocked that these ham-handed efforts fooled his superiors.

“The explanation was not credible,” he said.

Kerviel faces up to five years in prison if convicted of breach of trust, computer abuse and forgery. His trades, designed to earn “Matt” €1 billion, actually cost SocGen €4.9 billion.


In Depth

Royalties: The Alternative Assets of the Music Industry

Jul 8 2016 | 7:01pm ET

Recent market volatility has investors seeking greater insight into alternative...

Lifestyle

Moore Capital PM Fired After Raucous Hamptons Party

Jul 7 2016 | 10:47pm ET

A portfolio manager for Louis Bacon’s $15 billion hedge fund Moore Capital Management...

Guest Contributor

MPI: Like Stellar Returns? Better Understand the Risks First

Jul 22 2016 | 8:44pm ET

When the press reports extraordinarily strong relative or risk-adjusted returns...