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Fired SocGen Trader Blames Risk Team

Fired SocGen Trader Blames Risk Team

by Starling Insights

Starling Insights Editorial Board

May 06, 2024


As reported by the Financial Times, a Société Générale trader based out of Hong Kong was fired last year for taking unauthorized risky bets. However, the trader has argued that he did nothing improper. He went on to claim that the "entire risk team and other bosses" knew or could have known about the trades and overreacted when they were eventually discovered.

In a recent LinkedIn post, the trader, Kavish Kataria, asserted that his trades were all properly recorded and reported. "Instead of taking the responsibility of the lapse in their risk system and not identifying the trades at the right time they fired me and terminated my contract," he wrote.

Kataria worked on a Société Générale's derivatives trading desk called Delta One. The bank confirmed earlier this week that two employees had left in 2023 after a "one-off trading incident." According to people familiar with the matter, Kataria had traded within his authorized limits but had dealt in Indian Indices that were outside of his mandate. The intraday trades did not lead to any losses, but had gone undetected and could have been very costly in a market downturn.

However, Kataria maintained that he had not hidden the trades, which were booked automatically in the bank's trading system. "If the risk management team and their risk system would have identified the trades on day one and would have informed me that the trades are not in your mandate I wouldn't have traded that strategy," he asserted. Kataria claimed that his trading activities had netted the bank $50 million for the bank, but his bonuses and salary had been withheld.

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