Former KPMG auditor Senn sentenced for insider trading

Senn bought shares in Safra Sarasin bank while lead auditor for Julius Baer bank which had designs on acquiring Sarasin. Keystone

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has sentenced the former KPMG auditor Daniel Senn to a 160-day conditional fine of CHF430 ($433) and a fine of CHF5,000 for buying shares using insider information. 

This content was published on August 9, 2018 - 15:07

The court heard that in September 2011 Senn used his privileged knowledge to buy shares in Safra Sarasin private bank. 

Senn was the lead auditor at Julius Baer bank during his partnership with KPMG from 2007 to 2013. In this function, he is said to have known since July 2011 that Julius Baer had plans to acquire Sarasin. 

Ultimately Sarasin was not taken over by Julius Baer, but intense speculation increased the bank’s share value and helped Senn make a book profit of CHF30,000. However, he will have to pay the federal government compensation against the profit he made on the transaction. 

In addition, Senn made false statements to the Swiss Federal Audit Oversight Authority regarding the share purchases. In August 2013, the authority requested documents and information from Senn because insider trading was suspected. 

Ironically, Senn is best known for his probe of former head of the Swiss National Bank Philipp Hildebrand for alleged insider trading. The investigation proved this allegation to be baseless as Hildebrand’s then wife had conducted the trades. But the row heaped so much pressure on Hildebrand’s head that he was forced to step down in January 2012, just two years into the job.


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