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Rogue portfolio manager pleads guilty

A former Vanguard Investments Australia portfolio manager has appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria pleading guilty to making improper use of his position.

According to a statement by ASIC, Mark Hildebrandt was employed by Vanguard, which acts as responsible entity for a number of registered schemes, to manage a number of these schemes focused on international equities.

During 2010, Mr Hildebrandt placed a number of orders for Canadian S&P/TSX 60 Index Standard Futures contracts traded on the Bourse de Montréal on behalf of Vanguard, while also placing substantially matching orders for the same financial product on his personal trading account, said ASIC.

The matching orders were placed such that Mr Hildebrandt’s personal orders would trade against the Vanguard orders at favourable prices enabling Mr Hildebrandt obtain a substantial personal profit, said the regulator.

The matter has been set down for a sentencing hearing in the Supreme Court of Victoria on 7 and 8 May 2014.
ASIC’s investigation into the conduct of Mr Hildebrandt arose from a referral from the Bourse de Montréal.

ASIC's investigation has involved making enquiries and obtaining evidence from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan, said ASIC.