Ex-Deutsche Bank Trader Receives $6 million Over Disputed Trades

Colin Fan, who initially sought $13 million, claims the German asset manager unfairly withheld his bonus

A court ruled this Tuesday that the former Head of Global Markets at Deutsche Bank AG (DB AG) will receive $6 million from the firm. Colin Fan claimed the German asset manager had unfairly withheld a bonus of unvested shares from him when he departed from the firm in 2015.

Fan, who now works for Japanese asset manager SoftBank Advisors, initially demanded $13 million in compensation for the undelivered bonus. This was disputed by DB AG who claimed that they withheld the bonus as Fan’s personal trades violated the company’s conflict-of-interest rules.

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The court-battle stemmed from trades carried out in 2009 by Fan when he was DB AG’s global head of credit trading. DB AG was set to invest approximately $750 million on behalf of an insurance company. Fan and members of his team helped arrange a series of trades with the money.

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Raking in the cash

The investment carried with it price fluctuations that DB AG did not want on its books. Fan and other members of his team made a series of investments that neutralized the risk those price fluctuations would have posed to DB AG.

Those investments may have made Fan $9 million from an initial $1 million investment. While DB AG signed off on the deal, an internal compliance review in 2009 suggested that Fan was receiving too much in profits and fees related to the deal. It also argued that had Fan properly disclosed his actions, the amount he was receiving would have been lower.

In 2015, Fan was let go by DB AG’s then newly appointed chief executive, John Cryan, who did not approve of the trades. An investigation into the trades by UK regulators in 2016, however, found no wrong-doing on Fan’s behalf.

Fan, who initially sought $13 million in compensation from DB AB, claimed that he did nothing wrong. He argued that he followed all compliance procedures and had been completely transparent with his former employer about the disputed trades.

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