Source: Associated News (AN)
Disciplinary Matters: GXG Markets, a Corporate Bully
Associated News (AN)
I have received at least a half dozen whistle blowing complaints about this Corporate Bully. So I expect that this will be just the first in a series of articles about GXG Markets, a “pseudo” UK stock exchange that is operated not by the British, as one would suppose, but by the Danish.
“Pseudo”? Pseudo because there doesn’t appear to be any actual trading that takes place on the GXG Markets UK Exchange. Take a look at the 70+ companies that are currently listed on the Exchange. Ten are suspended and only a few, on any given day, trade at all. More strikingly, click on the list of delisted companies and they are more numerous – 105 delisted companies – and those that contact me tell me tales of bullying, lies, high fees, failure to deliver what was promised participants, penalty extortion, and general unfairness.
So how do you discipline and stop someone who is a Corporate Bully?
Years ago, this journalist stopped Corporate Bully, The Los Angeles Times, who was publishing half-truths and victimizing a poor lady on Google search engines, by simply publishing the full truth that The Los Angeles Times had omitted.
And even further back, in 2009, our organization stopped another UK bully, Associated Newspapers Limited, who tried to steal our US based website, AssociatedNews.info. But even their millions of dollars and 60+ lawyers could not prevail over the truth. We are still here and we won by simply exposing the truth.
And today I am going to expose the truth about corporate bully, GXG Markets, based in Denmark and the UK, whose compliance officer, Martin Frey Olesen, uses their private platform to publish untrue, half-truths and unsubstantiated statements about anyone they so-call “regulate”. And they do this and abuse this power without anyone apparently overseeing their own actions, though they claim to be supervised by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
The first case of GXG Corporate Bullying that I shall describe was brought to my attention by a client company of a former GXG broker/corporate advisor who was recently bullied by the exchange. The client company has its own story of victimization by the GXG Markets, but the broker’s case was most interesting as a starting point in my investigation as it was easiest to quickly document as a clear case of corporate bullying.
The Quro Trust
Former GXG Broker and Corporate advisor The Quro Trust, did not have its membership terminated following trading patterns deemed as “price manipulation” as the GXG claims. My investigation of fact reveals this to be quite a vindictive lie manufactured by the GXG Compliance officer, Martin Frey Olesen, to cover up what really happened.
The truth is, The Quro Trust had already resigned before GXG “Corporate Bully” Martin Frey Olesen sought “revenge” for critical statements made by The Quro Trust in its private resignation letter. Martin took out his revenge on The Quro Trust in the form of a derogatory hurried-up unsubstantiated press release and “findings”.
I have investigated the document published on the GXG Website entitled “GXG Markets A/S: The Quro Trust Sanctioned by the GXG Regulatory Team“, and a private letter sent to The Quro Trust entitled “Termination of Market Membership”. In this article, I am going to show you exactly how this corporate bully works and expose the lies, misrepresentations, and omitted facts contained in these documents. All of the facts presented below, have been personally investigated and verified by this journalist.
On Dec 17, 2014 – The Quro Trust resigned in a letter to Peter Almberg, head of GXG Markets, which was very critical of the compliance officer, Martin Frey Olesen, who they cited had created a conflict of interest for The Quro Trust with their clients due to improper and illegal actions on the part of the compliance officer.
On Dec 18, 2014 – The compliance officer, who had actually not finished his investigation, published a hurried-up, so-called “final determination” document which was actually only designed to make The Quro Trust look bad. He verifiably had not finished his investigation as I traced down the two parties for whom The Quro Trust conducted the “so called” “price manipulative” trades and found out that GXG compliance had never even contacted them, much less talked to them, when he published his “final determination” even though GXG was given their full contact information weeks earlier.
Now let’s examine the published and private document containing the accusations that The Quro Trust engaged in “price manipulation”.
The only evidence that the GXG compliance officer ever presents in these documents publicly or privately is a quote written by The Quro Trust in which they describe their trading pattern which he then cites and uses as evidence of the “price manipulation” in his Dec 18 private letter to The Quro Trust. He also presents a chart of the trades in his public document, which indeed go up over many months, but which alone is certainly not evidence of price manipulation.
Other than that, the only information he presents are just statements which we are to “believe” because he is the compliance officer and he has conducted an “investigation”. Unfortunately people do believe “authority figures” without much evidence (remember Bush’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction”) and unfortunately Corporate Bullies know this and will attempt to bully and abuse their power in that way. The only problem is a compliance officer should be honest and fair and detail all the facts not just quote sentences out of context which misrepresent facts. When citing this quotation he omits to disclose the following facts:
1) The quote was a quote that was first written by The Quro Trust in June of 2013 (One and a half years earlier) in an email to Mr. Henrik Kaspersen, then compliance officer at GXG Markets, and
2) The explanation he says “cannot be recognized as appropriate” was indeed recognized as appropriate on four previous occasions with GXG compliance. The Quro Trust showed me correspondence, written between June and July of 2013, with the GXG compliance regarding this very same pattern of trading on four different companies. They also showed me a fifth time that the pattern was presented to Mr. Simon Kiero Watson, head of GXG Markets UK division, in March of 2014 regarding the very company in question.
3) In each of these other five cases (involving two other compliance officers), The Quro Trust was not sanctioned, fined, reprimanded in any way or found to be engaging in “price manipulation”. Yet this compliance officer, Martin Frey Olesen, cites the very pattern that had been given tacit approval on five former cases as his only evidence of “price manipulation”.
His sanctioning letter of 18 December 2014 continues to make accusations against The Quro Trust but fails to disclose these other relevant facts:
1) He states that the Quro Trust was suspended on November 20th, 2014, but he fails to disclose that The Quro Trust criticized him in its November 19th reply to a request for information. The same pattern as the Dec 17, Dec 18 retaliation. The Quro Trust criticizes the compliance officer and the very next day they are penalized.
2) He states, “In addition thereto the e-mail sent by the Company contained inappropriate language and accusations directed against GXG Markets.” But he failed to disclose that those accusations were not directed against the GXG Markets so much as they were specifically directed at himself. He failed to disclose that the accusations against himself were specifically for “vindictive, non communicative, unreasonable, unethical, unprofessional and most recently… illegal activities.”
3) He failed to recuse himself from The Quro Trust “so-called investigation” even though the facts and their accusations against this compliance officer would have warranted that an unbiased third party independent person be assigned to handle and finish the investigation. Instead, a day after The Quro Trust resigned and criticized him again, he published a hurried up incomplete report critical of The Quro Trust in order to make himself look better and The Quro Trust look bad.
4) He failed to disclose that he out-and-out lied in his published document by misrepresenting and falsifying facts to be other than they were: a) characterizing that The Quro Trust’s resignation to Peter Almberg (I have seen the email letter and it says unequivocally – “We hereby resign effective immediately”) was a “request to withdraw” its membership, and b) incorrectly representing in his public document that they had done this on 18 December 2014, the same day as his letter of “findings” when in fact they had done it the day before – 17 December 2014. He cites that he cannot accept the “request” due to an ongoing regulatory investigation but his explanation is suspect as he does not actually finish the investigation (see 5 below) – just comes up with a final determination without finishing the investigation. It is fairly obvious that one might conclude these lies and misrepresentations were meant to cover up his actual vindictive intentions.
5) He represents his “findings” as a final determination after an investigation even though his investigation was far from complete. I have contacted and talked to the two main persons for whom The Quro Trust conducted the trades in question and I have obtained sworn affidavits from each of them that:
a) they were never interviewed, questioned or even contacted by the GXG compliance officer or anyone else from the GXG Markets even though The Quro Trust (I have seen copies of the email correspondence) had given him both email and phone numbers on both clients weeks before;
b) they both consider The Quro Trust’s “trading pattern” proper as The Quro Trust did not use “inside knowledge” to its advantage and the pattern resulted in lower buying costs to them, and less profit for The Quro Trust;
c) the suggestions given by GXG compliance on how the trades should have been conducted in the “Termination of Market Membership” letter sent to The Quro Trust would have been improper as it fails to take into account that The Quro Trust was the main “seller” of the CLG securities at the time, and would have resulted in higher costs for both buyers and more profit for The Quro Trust; and
d) they both agree that GXG compliance must have had some basic misunderstanding of the transactions to make such “inherently wrong” statements, and that if they had been contacted they would have cleared up any misunderstandings on the part of GXG compliance.
So exactly how does one finalize and come to a final determination of “price manipulation” without talking to the main parties who placed the trades? The actions of GXG Compliance are extraordinarily transparent. Not only did GXG compliance not finish its investigation, if an investigation had been finished by a neutral party, The Quro Trust’s actions would most certainly have been deemed appropriate as it had been on five previous occasions with previous GXG compliance officers.
6) With regard to the sanction imposed by GXG on 15 December 2014, which is characterized as a “severe breach”, there is a failure to disclose that this was a contested point of law and policy, and even in his December 18th publications, the compliance officer uses the word “implies” in describing The Quro Trust’s supposed violation, as what he is claiming as an infraction is nowhere actually found in the rules. And frankly it is not even “implied” as he claims.
I am no lawyer, but I have personally read the GXG Market rules and this journalist would have to side with The Quro Trust as I can find nothing in the GXG Market Rules which gives the GXG authority to tell a broker they cannot do an off-market trade nor authority to impose such a fine under GXG Market Rules. (You can read the rules yourself on the GXG website). Furthermore, The Quro Trust made an objection that even if there were such a rule it would be “illegal” under UK common law. Again, it is all too apparent that Mr. Martin Frey Olesen’s intention was to make The Quro Trust look bad and penalize them any way he could for their prior criticism of him. This included stretching rules and law to find “implications” that he could accuse them of and for which he could penalize them.
“Failure to disclose” is a serious offense on any public market. This is just as true for the Exchange and its compliance officers, as it is for its participants. But “failure to disclose” is one way that Corporate Bullies lie and GXG Markets is guilty to the extreme. We can blame the vindictive compliance officer, but more importantly why did Mr. Peter Almberg, head of GXG Markets allow the compliance officer to publish such a document racked with lies, failures to disclose and misrepresentations? Did he allow this knowingly or was he, too, perhaps duped by a wayward compliance officer? Why doesn’t the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority see the unusually high delisting rate and non-liquidity of the exchange and realize something must be wrong there.
Perhaps there will be more articles describing the “corporate bullying” tactics of the GXG Markets to come. Sometimes complaints when investigated turn out to be baseless. Most of the complaints so far have to do with the same wayward compliance officer, Martin Frey Olesen, of whom it should be said that perhaps he is not such a bad guy, at heart. Considering all the fraud that has been reported around several of the GXG Markets listed companies, perhaps he is actually trying to clean things up to the best of his ability. But that is still no excuse for bullying and petty vengeance. And his actions in The Quro Trust case are quite purely and simply the pattern of a Corporate Bully abusing his position and power in a corporation to take out his vengeance on someone who criticized his actions. (Rather ironic actually, as other GXG employees have told me that The Quro Trust was one of the few broker / corporate advisors that only submitted and listed real operating companies to the exchange.) If he is expectantly a true-to-form corporate bully, then of course, rather than take this criticism like a man, he will now attempt to take out his vengeance on me, who has criticized him.
Corporate Bullies use the Internet to publish lies and half-truths to wreck the reputations and good names of others. Whether they do it purposely, as it appears was the motive in this case, to cover up their own insecurities, or do it cold-heartedly and uncaringly, as in the case of the Los Angeles Times I investigated before, they use their positions of authority and power to publish things that people will believe without question and care little for the truth of it all.
It is time they got their just rewards!
Do you know of a Corporate Bully? If you do and want some help, or an injustice exposed, then send me your story and whatever evidence you may have. I might just take it up. Contact us here.
January 13th, 2015
Comment by The Quro Trust – Associated News did a series of articles on the GXG after this one. For those who are interested you can read more here: http://associatednews.info/content/?s=gxg