Biwott kin linked to Sh458m KenolKobil insider trading
The son-in-law of the late powerful minister Nicholas Biwott has been identified as the missing link in the insider trading case at oil marketing firm KenolKobil.
The suspect deals gifted the conspirators almost Sh458 million on stock tips.
Charles Field-Marsham, a husband to one of the late powerful minister’s daughters, is one of the three individuals being investigated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) following accusations of insider trading.
Mr. Field-Marsham is the chairman and founder of Kestrel Capital. Kestrel Capital Executive Director Andre DeSimone and their stockbroking agent, Aly-Khan Satchu, are also on the regulator’s radar and have been issued with notices to show cause.
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“Upon review of the investigation findings and recommendations, the CMA board has resolved to initiate enforcement proceedings against the Kestrel Capital Executive Director, Mr. Andre DeSimone, Kestrel Capital Chairman & Founder, Mr. Charles Field-Marsham, and their stockbroking agent, Mr. Aly Khan Satchu, through issuing Notices to Show Cause,” said CMA in a statement yesterday.
The regulator, however, exonerated Mr. David Ohana, KenolKobil’s chief executive, from any wrongdoing, saying the investigation findings did not establish evidence of potential misconduct with regard to him.
“No enforcement proceedings will, therefore, be initiated against him,” said CMA. The regulator said it had secured illegal gains worth Sh458 million that might have been transacted in the context of the ongoing investigations into insider trading on KenolKobil shares.
“The funds surrendered to date relate to 90 percent of the quantum of suspicious trades identified through a total of 14 accounts that were frozen in October 2018 to facilitate investigations,” read the CMA statement in part. The regulator said the recovered cash will be paid into the Investor Compensation Fund.
Rubis Energie acquired a 24.99 percent stake from some of KenolKobil’s major shareholders in October last year after which it made a bid to acquire the remaining 75.01 percent of the listed oil marketer.
Sources had earlier indicated that Field-Marsham had sent Desimone a text message asking to talk to Aly Khan at Capital Club in October where the plot is believed to have been hatched.
The Standard has learned that Field-Marsham leaked crucial pricing information to Mr. Satchu who used it to advise his clients to buy KenolKobil shares before the announcement of the impending takeover.
Proving insider trading is not an easy task as one would have to link the data leak directly to the trades.
It is no wonder that CMA went straight for Mr. Satchu’s mobile phone and laptop to pin his trades to leaked information about the impending takeover bid of KenolKobil by Rubis. Mr. Satchu has challenged CMA’s warrants, including whether it made full disclosures to the court that granted the search.