Goldman, London, London Goldman, Goldman London, banker in London
Goldman Sachs bankers going down a London street.
Returner / Luke MacGregor


This story has everything.

A lawsuit has raved Wall Street and the City of London for mentioning a “whistleblower”, a nameless “notorious European businessman” and a handful of Goldman Sachs bankers, one of which is a member of the new CEO’s circle and others, which some in the company called the Aussie mafia.

Christopher Rollins, a managing director and 16-year veteran of the bank, sued the company for damages of $ 50 million for unfair dismissal of his role in a series of transactions with a financier he had not named under the lawsuit.

The lawsuit cites Jim Esposito, who is co-head of Goldman’s securities department this week, as defendants and reports on the involvement of Goldman bankers Michael Daffey and John Storey among others.

The lawsuit speaks of several transactions that Goldman has conducted on behalf of the financier, who has had legal problems in the past, the complaint states.

Several people who are familiar with the matter believe that the financier in question is the German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst, even though Mike Sitrick, a Windhorst spokesman, said in an e-mail statement, “We firmly deny that in the Lars’ nameless CEO mentioned in the lawsuit does not support this assumption. ”

Windhorst, the chairman of a company called Sapinda Group, should have been protégé of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. He has filed for bankruptcy in the past and has been involved in numerous legal disputes. In 2012, he was affirmatively referred to as Germany’s “Medici of the Modern Age” in an article in Financial News.

The lawsuit says the whole affair started when Daffey and Storey met with the financier in 2015 to investigate how the company could win him over as a client.

The two are among the oldest members of Goldman’s stock business. The Financial Times reported that Storey had visited the infamous President’s Club Dinner in London earlier this year, where, according to the newspaper, women’s servers were groped and suggested. Daffey was also on the presidential club’s invitation list, though the company said he was not present.

The two, who come from Australia, are referred to internally by some as the Aussie mafia, some people who know them. Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally declined to comment on the characterization, and neither manager returned phone calls seeking a comment.

The lawsuit alleges that the financier told the bankers he had invested $ 1 billion. Rollins claims that although he met the financier socially, he never tried to do business with him.

Here’s what we can tell from the timeline of the alleged events from the complaint:

  • August 2015: Daffey and Storey travel to Windhorst’s 200-foot yacht in the Mediterranean to pitch for their business. Part of the agreement would work with what the complaint called an “obscure” mediation with ties to the financier.
  • September 2015 to August 2016: Daffey, Storey and former Vice Chairman Michael Sherwood “used their influence within the company” to control a series of transactions around the company’s compliance controls.
  • The complaint alleges that Goldman
    • Bond issue of $ 1.2 billion – $ 700 million in September 2015, then $ 500 million in June 2016 – structured by an unnamed broker linked to the financier.
      • The Financial Times has already reported transactions related to the sale of two bonds totaling $ 1.2 billion to multiple special purpose entities. The funds went into loans to airlines around the world, including Etihad, Air Berlin and Alitalia. Anoa Capital, a broker in which the Sapinda Group acquired a stake in 2013, helped to arrange these deals, according to September’s article.
    • Opened an account in New York for the financier.
    • Opens a second account in London to execute more than $ 400 million worth of trade in July 2016, bringing in $ 7 million in fees. While an internal committee initially refused to trade, it was approved after Daffey had appealed to Richard Gnodde, a deputy chairman of Goldman.
      • Reuters reported in July 2016 that the Sapinda Group had used Goldman Sachs to sell a 19% stake in the Austrian real estate firm Buwog for approximately $ 400 million. Annex 1 to the complaint mentions a Buwog transaction.
    • Goldman also conducted a series of securities transactions in a second European company, which were sold to some of the bank’s other clients.
  • August 2016: One of Goldman’s customers, who had agreed to buy a stake in the second European company, could not raise the money and let the bank hang for $ 85 million.
  • September 2016: Goldman Compliance Managers interviewed Rollins and told him he should not have had contact with the financier.
    • Rollins further claims that the company “has begun a Kafkaesque disciplinary process and has pressured Rollins to confess to violating the financier’s compliance constraints – though the company could never find actual restrictions.”

Rollins claims that Dotey, the co-chief operating officer for the equities department, and Storey, a head of stock sales for the region, told him they “arranged” Esposito as the maker and he was a “friendly referee,” it said the complaint. Rollins claims that Daffey told him that if he “did not fight the charges and was ‘contrite,’ he would not get more than a slap on the wrist.” Rollins claims in the complaint that he did not do anything wrong.

DuVally said that “the lawsuit is without merit and we intend to vigorously challenge it.”

He added, “As stated in a company filing in March 2017, Mr. Rollins has completed certain trades with a previously restricted party without proper authorization, as a result of which his employment has been terminated.”

This deposit is part of Rollins’ employment record, known as U5, which is led by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Rollins & # 39; protocol also contains its refutation: “In March, Goldman Sach & Co submitted information about my U-5 that I believe to be inaccurate.

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