Shane Finemore Rewrites ASX History

Presumably their boys are training to become F1 drivers.

Funny enough, fallen UK fund manager Neil Woodford also built an equestrian center, on his adjacent Cotswolds estate Princess Anne‘s and Zara Tindalli‘s. Do we sense a theme here?

But back to Finemore, whose self-image has recovered sufficiently from the shame of… refund customer money in March 2020 – close to greatest chance of risk in 30 years – because he was “nervous about the state of the world”.

Finemore is so unstoppable, his reputation so important to him, that he simply refuses to see the marks on his track record as they are.

From his resignation in 2013 as director of the Australian Securities Exchange, he claimed in the Financial Overview profile: “If the exchange hadn’t been very sensitive, I wouldn’t have resigned in hindsight.”

Like so many rich and powerful people, the freebooters of high finance are known for their self-deception, but it is nonetheless amazing when they put it into words.

Finemore resigned from the board of the ASX after his hedge fund was caught illegally short-selling by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Manikay Partners – Finemore’s investment company and fellow ASX director Russell Aboud – short sold two million Citigroup shares on the same day in 2009 that Citigroup announced the price for its capital increase, with Manikay being allocated 30 million shares.

It is prohibited to short US securities within five days of an equity offering and then participate in that offering. The regulation aims to prevent shortsellers from distorting the pricing of capital increases.

Manikay paid a $2.6 million ($2.75 million) fine, including forfeiture of $1.7 million in improper trading profits, while admitting he was not at fault.

To make herself more comfortable with polite company, Finemore now wants this illegal short-selling to be remembered as a parking ticket. That he resigned, but didn’t really need – really shouldn’t have.

This falls apart on the most cursory inspection.

Why shouldn’t the ASX be sensitive? It enforces the listing rules and corporate governance standards of approximately 2,000 companies whose shares are traded on its market. By what authority could the ASX have reasonably continued to do so when two sitting members of its own board had broken the rules of the US market?

As for having two hedge fund colleagues on the board of the national exchange in the first place, ASX chairman Rick Holliday-Smith admitted that “everyone is a little bruised… by the experience.” They wouldn’t dare talk about Shane like that at Zegna.

Aboud, Finemore’s partner, told the media that they resigned from the board of ASX because it was “the right thing to do”. Whether or not Holliday-Smith gave them a choice is another question.

Finemore’s own father, Wagga Wagga trucking baron Ron Finemore, told the press: “I felt with Shane, but he and Russell Aboud did the right thing by being outspoken and resigning from the ASX. That’s the kind of thing you have to deal with.” When a truck driver tells you that the best course of corrective action is a frontal action, you know it’s serious.

So Finemore acted on principle, but the consequences are clearly still great. His reputation is very, very important to him, so he would like to see the serious flaw he owned in 2013 fade away by 2022.

The irony is that Finemore’s reputation would have been restored had he never strayed from accepting the negative consequences of his actions—all for the amusement of this paper’s readers. That was the stupid trade.

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