By Paul McBeth
An unnamed adviser at a registered NZX firm will pay a $10,000 settlement with the market watchdog after getting found out on a backroom deal to get Trade Me shares when the online auction site was floated last year.
The adviser used a client to get their hands on 1,500 Trade Me shares in the initial public offering, when the stock was sold at $2.70 apiece.
The partial float's structure was unusual because the bookbuild was run before the offer document was registered.
Under NZX rules, employees in a trading participant need sign-off from their boss to buy or sell any listed securities, and aren't allowed to take part in a public offer.
The NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal agreed to settle with the adviser, provided they paid $10,000 into the discipline fund, and cover costs incurred by the regulator.
The adviser transferred cash to a client who then bought 1,500 shares in the float worth $4,050, which was then handed back to the adviser in an off-market transfer.
The watchdog said the mitigating circumstances for the adviser were that no clients suffered, the breach was a one-off offence, and the adviser owned up early and had already been disciplined by the firm.