The London Stock Exchange and corporate accountability
As part of its work advocating for corporate accountability, RAID has published a report which systematically examines the extent to which corporate conduct in zones of conflict is taken into account by UK stock market regulations. The Central African Mining and Exploration Company plc (CAMEC) was allowed to trade and flourish on London's junior Alternative Investment Market (AIM) despite its close links to Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party (Zimbabwe), the dubious provenance of its Congolese mining assets and the unsavoury reputation of key business associates.
The full report identifies problems at the heart of the London Stock Exchange (which regulates AIM) and asks whether the Exchange has become a haven for laundered assets.
RAID's report investigates in detail the conduct of CAMEC and its adviser, the investment bank and stockbroker Seymour Pierce. In March 2011, Seymour Pierce won 'Best Advisor' at the UK Stock Market awards. The criteria for the award state: 'Every firm on AIM has a Nominated Advisor (Nomad) to supervise and advise on their. relationship with shareholders and the market. The Best Advisor should therefore be able to bask in the glory that reflects upon them from the performance of their clients' shares, as this is a verdict given by the market on their performance [as an advisor]'.
In December 2011, Seymour Pierce was publicly censured by the Exchange and fined a record £400,000 for failing to advise an existing AIM company properly, and for not assessing with due skill and care the appropriateness of a new AIM applicant. However, these penalties do not relate to Seymour Pierce's role as CAMEC's adviser. As our report shows, serious questions remain about the compliance of both CAMEC and Seymour Pierce with Stock Exchange rules – questions which so far the Exchange has not answered.
19 Jul 2012
"The London Stock Exchange – A haven for laundered conflict assets?"