New Zealand Law Society - Mark Stephen Talbot admits to insider trading conduct

Mark Stephen Talbot admits to insider trading conduct

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The Financial Markets Authority says Mark Stephen Talbot has admitted to insider trading conduct and entered a guilty plea on a representative charge for a breach of disclosure obligations at Auckland High Court in March.

It says Mr Talbot, a former virtual chief financial officer of VMob (now Plexure) will pay $150,000 in lieu of a penalty, and is barred from acting as a director or manager of a listed business for five years.

"Mr Talbot was virtual CFO of VMob from 2011 until 2014. Following a referral from the NZX in September 2014, the Financial Markets Authority began investigating potential insider trading." it says.

"The investigation related to the purchase of VMob shares shortly before an announcement that VMob had been awarded a contract with McDonald’s Japan, projected to yield significant revenue to the company."

The FMA says Mr Talbot has entered a guilty plea to one representative charge of failing to disclose a relevant interest, admitted a breach of the Securities Markets Act 1988 (SMA) and given an enforceable undertaking which has been accepted by the FMA in accordance with sections 46 and 46A of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011 (FMA Act).

"Mark Talbot was one of the people responsible for ensuring VMob employees knew about the company’s trading policy. Despite this, he bought shares while in possession of material information he gained through his job as virtual CFO.

"While the charges of insider trading have been withdrawn, Mr Talbot has accepted it is no defence to state that the shares he purchased through his company, Blumau, on 24 July 2014 were held for the benefit of his father."

The FMA says Vmob/Plexure was not part of the FMA’s investigation and has not been charged with any offence. The company cooperated fully with the FMA during its investigation into Mr Talbot.