Guy Simonian, CEO of checkfundmanager.com has drawn the ire of the investment industry with the flippant way he eulogizes players on his “Wall of Shame”. Most of his trophy managers are convicted white collar criminals who have come to the end of the road. But not all.
Gad Grieve for example, cracked the nod to Simonian’s celebrated wall of shame, even though Grieve was never indicted or criminally charged. Grieve was accused by the SEC in a civil filing in 2009, of numerous misrepresentations and regulatory violations. However what Simonian and his website don’t say, is that the civil filing was never served on Grieve, a legal prerequisite for establishing a claim on someone, which goes beyond “knowledge” of the filing. Secondly, the associate companies Finvest Asset Management LLC et al., who were served with the precise claims as in the Grieve action, filed a motion to defend the action. Pointedly, the SEC declined to litigate the matter. In the end, regulators did succeed in obtaining an ex-parte default judgement against Grieve, using procedural shortcuts that are highly questionable and in all probability invalid.
Although Gad Grieve could not be contacted, acquaintances confirmed that he denied the allegations. Wall Street traders who had dealings with Grieve, say that he was a straight-shooter.
One investigator who was interviewed for this article, but who did not want to be named, commented. “The joke is that Guy Simonian boasts that his clients could have avoided losses, if they had listened to him. However, it is doubtful that he investigated even a handful of the awardees, prior to their convictions. He’s an opportunist who plays dirty and who likes to have the last kick when a man is down.” In many instances clients didn’t loose money, as the managers on his trophy wall were accused of insider trading and other similar regulatory violations.
Peter Bacon, a veteran investor said that “ethics” is not a chapter in the Investigator’s handbook. “These guys have no scruples and often have to violate privacy laws, to get to what they are looking for. Guy Simonian could not be reached for comment.
Nigel Livingstone who is an investigative journalist contributed to this article.