Who are the six top bankers facing criminal cartel charges?
One of the more extraordinary details out of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s pursuit of criminal charges over ANZ’s problematic $2.5 billion capital raising is the seniority of the bankers involved.
While the regulatory and legal spotlight is being increasingly shone into corners of banking not seen by the public, it has been largely mid-ranking executives caught in the glare.
The ACCC’s determination to charge some of the most senior members of the Australian investment banking community in recent years looks set to change that.
Deals done by investment banks to raise capital for their clients are generally done by small teams of just a couple of members who first organise the deal, then execute it.
The deals are generally put together by senior bankers, but not necessarily the top brass, holding titles such as vice-presidents or associate directors.
So who is in the ACCC’s sights?
Stephen Roberts: The highest profile of all the bankers charged. The former country head for Citi in Australia ran the show for 12 years before retiring in 2015.
He started at Citi in 1984 as an investment banking associate in the old Salomon Brothers business in New York.
He also worked in capital markets in Europe and fixed income operations in Hong Kong.
As country head, Mr Roberts’ responsibilities would have included keep a big contact book and ensuring Citi was involved in any big deals being done.
John McLean: Head of capital markets origination and managing director at Citi. Running the Equity Capital Markets division involves liaising with all the parties involved with the deals.
Itay Tuchman: Was head of Citi’s local markets and securities service. He was promoted to be Citi’s global head of foreign exchange operations in London.
Citi said it “steadfastly denies the allegations made against it, and certain employees.”
“Citi and its employees acted with integrity and without any bad intent in fulfilling the obligations of this underwriting agreement,” the bank said in a statement to the media.
Michael Ormaechea: Now retired, was the local head for the German giant Deutsche Bank.
He covered everything from capital raisings to run-of-mill jobs such as interviewing potential employees.
At the time of the ANZ raising, Mr Ormaechea was co-head of investment banking in the Asia-Pacific region.
Michael Richardson: Deutsche Bank’s former head of equity capital markets has extensive experience in investment banking, having worked on some of the biggest deals in recent years such as the Medibank private privatisation and the privatisation of New Zealand’s electricity sector.
He left Deutsche Bank last year to take up another senior position in the Sydney office of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
In a statement, Deutsche Bank said both Mr Ormaechea and Mr Richardson are “highly regarded and have our full support”.
Rick Moscati: ANZ’s group treasurer. He would have been involved in negotiating the price and number of shares ANZ planned to sell, with the investment banks underwriting the deal. The $2.5 billion deal in 2015 aimed to sell 80.8 million shares at $30.95 per share.
However the deal didn’t go quite as planned, with the underwriters — Citi, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan — left holding around 25.5 million unsold shares valued at around $790 million.
Mr Moscati also has the full support of ANZ.
Under the Competition and Consumer Act, individuals found guilty face up to 10 years in jail and/or fines of up to $420,000 per criminal cartel offence.
Institutions face fines of up to $10 million per offence.