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Disciplinary hearing for ex-London investment adviser facing pyramid scheme allegations – The London Free Press



Disciplinary hearing for ex-London investment adviser facing pyramid scheme allegations – The London Free Press

A former London investment adviser could face professional discipline over his alleged involvement in a pyramid scheme.

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A former London investment adviser could face professional discipline over his alleged involvement in a pyramid scheme.

Sean Nother, who had worked for CIBC World Markets Inc. since 2001, was dismissed in January for his alleged involvement in the so-called gifting club between May and August 2018, according to documents filed with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

An unnamed organizer introduced Nother to the gifting club in May 2018. The club had multiple groups, known as clouds, each consisting of various levels. The top level, the birthday position, was occupied by one person, while the levels beneath had two, three and four members, says a notice of hearing posted on the regulator’s website.

The four bottom members were required to give $5,000 each to the birthday position holder, and had to bring in two new members to move up the ladder, the documents allege.

Disciplinary hearing for ex-London investment adviser facing pyramid scheme allegations – The London Free Press

London investmet advisor Sean Nother, a former employee with CIBC Wood Gundy, faces professional discipline for his alleged involvement in a pyramid scheme.

The organizer offered to sponsor Nother to join the club, the documents allege, noting the Ontario Securities Commission previously had banned the organizer from selling investments for past misconduct involving clients.

Nother brought his lawyer to a meeting with the organizer in May 2018, and the lawyer said the club was legal from a tax perspective, the documents allege.

According to documents filed by the regulator, Nother was barred by his employer from outside business activity and asked his wife to join the club. She was elevated to the next level in summer 2018, despite not bringing in any new members, the documents allege.

Nother discussed the gifting club with seven clients, five of whom joined, and other non-clients, four of whom signed up, the documents allege.

According to documents filed by the regulator, Nother didn’t disclose his involvement in the gifting club to his employer and said new members were required to meet with the organizer and pay $5,000. But one of Nother’s clients and another non-client reported paying him the fee directly, with the understanding that he’d then pay the organizer, the documents allege.

According to the regulator, Nother says his wife quit the club in summer 2018 after the couple became uncomfortable with it. He also reported trying unsuccessfully to contact the organizer and get the money back for his clients and two non-clients, the documents allege.

According to documents filed by the regulator, Nother says he tried to reach the organizer again in November 2018, after reading a news report of London police charging two people for their alleged involvement in a gifting club. Nother had met one of the accused, Bernard Baratta, at a social event with the organizer in May 2018, the documents allege.

Baratta, 73, and Shakila Bayat, 52, were charged jointly with conducting or managing a pyramid scheme. They were sentenced Nov. 5 to 12 months’ probation under a conditional discharge, an outcome in which an admission of guilt is made but no conviction is registered.

Nother, who was not charged, maintained his club was separate from the one involving Baratta, the documents allege.

The organizer put an end to the club in December 2018, leaving the members brought in by Nother out $45,000, the documents allege, noting Nother reimbursed one person.

Nother is to appear before a hearing panel Jan 14 in Toronto. If the panel concludes the regulator’s allegations are true, it may impose penalties ranging from being reprimanded or fined to losing his licence or being barred from working in the finance industry.

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More China coal investments overseas cancelled than commissioned since 2017



EU, U.S. agree to talk on carbon border tariff

More China-invested overseas coal-fired power capacity was cancelled than commissioned since 2017, research showed on Wednesday, highlighting the obstacles facing the industry as countries work to reduce carbon emissions.

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) said that the amount of capacity shelved or cancelled since 2017 was 4.5 times higher than the amount that went into construction over the period.

Coal-fired power is one of the biggest sources of climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions, and the wave of cancellations also reflects rising concerns about the sector’s long-term economic competitiveness.

Since 2016, the top 10 banks involved in global coal financing were all Chinese, and around 12% of all coal plants operating outside of China can be linked to Chinese banks, utilities, equipment manufacturers and construction firms, CREA said.

But although 80 gigawatts of China-backed capacity is still in the pipeline, many of the projects could face further setbacks as public opposition rises and financing becomes more difficult, it added.

China is currently drawing up policies that it says will allow it to bring greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by 2030 and to become carbon-neutral by 2060.

But it was responsible for more than half the world’s coal-fired power generation last year, and it will not start to cut coal consumption until 2026, President Xi Jinping said in April.

Environmental groups have called on China to stop financing coal-fired power entirely and to use the funds to invest in cleaner forms of energy, and there are already signs that it is cutting back on coal investments both at home and abroad.

Following rule changes implemented by the central bank earlier this year, “clean coal” is no longer eligible for green financing.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by assets and a major source of global coal financing, is also drawing up a “road map” to pull out of the sector, its chief economist Zhou Yueqiu said at the end of May.


(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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Bank of Montreal CEO sees growth in U.S. share of earnings



Bank of Montreal earnings beat estimates, adds mortgage safeguards

Bank of Montreal expects its earnings contribution from the U.S. to keep growing, even without any mergers and acquisitions, driven by a much smaller market share than at home and nearly C$1 trillion ($823.38 billion) of assets, Chief Executive Officer Darryl White said on Monday.

“We do think we have plenty of scale,” and the ability to compete with both banks of similar as well as smaller size, White said at a Morgan Stanley conference, adding that the bank’s U.S. market share is between 1% and 5% based on the business line, versus 10% to 35% in Canada. “And we do it off the scale of our global balance sheet of C$950 billion.”

($1 = 1.2145 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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GameStop falls 27% on potential share sale



Disciplinary hearing for ex-London investment adviser facing pyramid scheme allegations – The London Free Press

Shares of GameStop Corp lost more than a quarter of their value on Thursday and other so-called meme stocks also declined in a sell-off that hit a broad range of names favored by retail investors.

The video game retailer’s shares closed down 27.16% at $220.39, their biggest one-day percentage loss in 11 weeks. The drop came a day after GameStop said in a quarterly report that it may sell up to 5 million new shares, sparking concerns of potential dilution for existing shareholders.

“The threat of dilution from the five million-share sale is the dagger in the hearts of GameStop shareholders,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management. “The meme trade is not working today, so logic for at least one day has returned.”

Soaring rallies in the shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings over the past month have helped reinvigorate the meme stock frenzy that began earlier this year and fueled big moves in a fresh crop of names popular with investors on forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets.

Many of those names traded lower on Thursday, with shares of Clover Health Investments Corp down 15.2%, burger chain Wendy’s falling 3.1% and prison operator Geo Group Inc, one of the more recently minted meme stocks, down nearly 20% after surging more than 38% on Wednesday. AMC shares were off more than 13%.

Worries that other companies could leverage recent stock price gains by announcing share sales may be rippling out to the broader meme stock universe, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.

AMC last week took advantage of a 400% surge in its share price since mid-May to announce a pair of stock offerings.

“It appears that other companies, like GameStop, are hoping to follow AMC’s lead by issuing shares and otherwise profit from the meme stocks run-up,” Ablin said. “Investors are taking a dim view of that strategy.”

Wedbush Securities on Thursday raised its price target on GameStop to $50, from $39. GameStop will likely sell all 5 million new shares but that amount only represents a “modest” dilution of 7%, Wedbush analysts wrote.

GameStop on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected earnings, and named the former head of Inc’s Australian business as its chief executive officer.

GameStop’s shares rallied more than 1,600% in January when a surge of buying forced bearish investors to unwind their bets in a phenomenon known as a short squeeze.

The company on Wednesday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had requested documents and information related to an investigation into that trading.

In the past two weeks, the so-called “meme stocks” have received $1.27 billion of retail inflows, Vanda Research said on Wednesday, matching their January peak.


(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta, Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)

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