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Compliance insights from a massive trading loss

Tom Fox | March 26, 2017

When a disgraced trader, who went to prison for his sins, talks, one should probably listen, particularly if one is in the compliance profession. The Man From FCPA was therefore very interested in a recent Op-Ed piece in the Financial Times by Kweku Adoboli, the UBS trader who took massive trading positions that led the firm to sustain a $2.3 billion dollar loss. As he noted, “for which I took responsibility in September 2011—and to my eventual imprisonment.”

While some might view Adoboli’s mea culpa in the pages of the FT as not worth the ink it was printed on, there were some insights that every compliance practitioner should consider and evaluate for their compliance program. A series of global and industry financial losses had led UBS to not only greater demand for every penny of profit, but also had stripped many trading functions of the company of seasoned...

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