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Wealthy fund manager, 62, is forced to quit firm where he worked for 36 years

Wealthy fund manager, 62, is forced to quit firm where he worked for 36 years

A wealthy fund manager has been forced to resign from the firm where he worked for 36 years after he was ‘secretly collecting shares for his own benefit in the same companies as his investment funds.’ Evidence discovered by a BBC Panorama investigation suggests Mark Denning -who worked for Capital Group – was breaking rules by

A wealthy fund manager has been forced to resign from the firm where he worked for 36 years after he was ‘secretly collecting shares for his own benefit in the same companies as his investment funds.’

Evidence discovered by a BBC Panorama investigation suggests Mark Denning -who worked for Capital Group – was breaking rules by secretly buying shares for his own benefit through a secretive fund based in Liechtenstein, called Morebath Fund Global Opportunities.

The fund appears to be named after the village of Morebath in North Devon, where he owns a 9 bedroom house and 21 acres of parkland. 

Mr Denning had worked at Capital Group until just last month when the firm reported he had left the company on September 9, he had managed a variety of funds for European and US investors.

As well as the property in Devon, the fund manager, who is currently based out in Los Angeles, owns a super-yacht named Alexa of London, which he purchased in 2007, just before the global financial crisis of 2008.

Evidence discovered by a BBC Panorama investigation suggests Mark Denning, 62, was breaking rules by secretly buying shares for his own benefit through a secretive fund based in Liechtenstein, called Morebath Fund Global Opportunities

Evidence discovered by a BBC Panorama investigation suggests Mark Denning, 62, was breaking rules by secretly buying shares for his own benefit through a secretive fund based in Liechtenstein, called Morebath Fund Global Opportunities

His fund is thought to have been named after the property above, which is in Devon

His fund is thought to have been named after the property above, which is in Devon 

Mr Denning's social media accounts show he enjoys a lavish lifestyle with his family (pictured above)

Mr Denning’s social media accounts show he enjoys a lavish lifestyle with his family (pictured above) 

The yacht is valued at over $3million and in an interview in 2016, Mr Denning said he loved the boat and would be sticking with her for a considerable amount of time. 

The 62-year-old helped to manage more than $300bn (£229bn) of investors’ money at Capital Group, and denies any wrongdoing.

Social media posts from the fund manager hint at a lavish lifestyle which he shares with his family.

He frequently visits ski resorts and has also previously stated that he enjoys sailing around the Mediterranean on his super yacht.

The BBC claim leaked documents show the Morebath fund had invested in a medical research company called Mesoblast, an Indian film company called Eros International and a gold mining company called Hummingbird Resources.

The programme also investigates Neil Woodford, whose £10 billion investment fund – Woodford Equity Income Fund – is to be wound up, with savers set to lose a third of their cash after a series of his ventures went bad.

In the case of Denning, Capital Group funds invested in all three companies, and the investments in Mesoblast and Eros were made by funds that he helped to manage.

Mark Denning is pictured above in 2016 with three women who are believed to be the crew of his super-yacht

Mark Denning is pictured above in 2016 with three women who are believed to be the crew of his super-yacht

Mr Denning has previously said he loves his yacht (above) which he purchased in 2007

Mr Denning has previously said he loves his yacht (above) which he purchased in 2007

Fund managers are not supposed to invest in the same companies as their funds, because they could profit at the expense of investors.

In the case of Hummingbird Resources, Denning appears to have another conflict of interest as the company was set up and run by his son-in-law.

A spokesman for Capital Group – which manages almost $2 trillion of assets – said Mr Denning was no longer with the firm: ‘We have a Code of Ethics and personal investing disclosure requirements that hold our associates to the highest standards of conduct. When we learned of this matter, we took immediate action.’

The stakes in the three companies were ultimately held through an offshore entity called the Kinrara Trust which was set up and controlled by Mr Denning.

Mr Denning (pictured above) has denied any wrong doing. He is currently based out in Los Angeles

Mr Denning (pictured above) has denied any wrong doing. He is currently based out in Los Angeles 

The fund appears to be named after the village of Morebath in North Devon, where he owns a 9 bedroom house (pictured) and 21 acres of parkland

The fund appears to be named after the village of Morebath in North Devon, where he owns a 9 bedroom house (pictured) and 21 acres of parkland

Mr Denning, who had worked at Capital Group (pictured, their HQ in Belgravia, London) for 36 years, denies any wrongdoing

Mr Denning, who had worked at Capital Group (pictured, their HQ in Belgravia, London) for 36 years, denies any wrongdoing

An expert on the financial rules told Panorama that the private purchases by Mr Denning could represent a serious conflict of interest. 

Who is Mark Denning?

Mark Denning is a fund manager who worked at Capital Group.

He started managing money in January 2002.

Since then he has been running equity portfolios, these are funds which consist of companies to invest in, rather than bonds.

He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics and also holds an MBA in finance and international business from Columbia Business School.

During his career he also specialised in companies based in Southeast Asia.   

Michael Ruck, Investigations Partner at the law firm TLT, said: ‘The whole point behind the regime, in relation to declaring conflicts of interest, is to protect investors. 

‘If there was an intention by the fund manager to financially benefit themselves, then that does raise serious concerns in relation to their actions.’

Mr Denning, who had worked at Capital Group for 36 years and is currently based in Los-Angeles, denies any wrongdoing.

His lawyers deny that he owns the shares in the three companies because they say he is not a beneficiary of the Kinrara Trust: ‘Our client did not declare his interest in the Kinrara Trust to his former employers because he had been irrevocably excluded as a beneficiary. He believed that he had complied with all of his relevant duties.’ 

They also say his error was to rely on the advice of a former professional advisor and that the Morebath fund had an independent asset manager and fund administrator.

  • BBC Panorama: Can You Trust the Billion Pound Investors? Is on Monday, BBC One, 8.30pm

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