Hong Kong Regulator Rebukes and Fines Schroders

Schroders

Schroders

London headquartered global asset manager Schroders, has fallen foul of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, and in the process, received a hefty fine and serious censure.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded and fined Schroder Investment Management in Hong Kong $1.8 million for failing to disclose all notifiable interests in Hong Kong listed shares.

In deciding the penalty, the SFC took into account the duration and extent of Schroder’s disclosure failings, Schroder’s self-report to the SFC upon discovery of its disclosure failings, Schroder’s co-operation with the SFC’s investigation and disciplinary process and that it has taken steps to improve its global system for monitoring and disclosing shares in Hong Kong listed companies and its clean disciplinary record.

Failed to Follow Legal Advice

An SFC investigation found that from August 2005 to January 2013, Schroder failed to disclose to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) and the relevant listed companies all notifiable interests in Hong Kong listed shares held in client portfolios and managed by Schroders plc and certain of its subsidiaries (Schroder Entities) where they did not have or were unable to exercise proxy voting rights.

Schroder is responsible for preparing and filing the notices disclosing all notifiable interests in Hong Kong listed shares for the Schroder Entities to SEHK and the relevant listed companies.

Although legal advice obtained by Schroder advised that an “interest” in shares was broadly defined and was not confined to the exercise of a voting right, Schroder failed to properly follow the advice.

 

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