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FCA fines investment consultant over Vanguard conflict

The Financial Conduct Authority has banned investment consultant Angela Burns from acting as a non-executive director and fined her £20,000 for 'failing to act with integrity with two mutual societies.'

FCA fines investment consultant over Vanguard conflict

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned investment consultant Angela Burns from acting as a non-executive director and fined her £20,000 for 'failing to act with integrity with two mutual societies'.

Between January 2009 and May 2011, Burns was a non-executive director at two mutual societies and served as the chair of their investment committees. 

She participated in discussions about US asset management giant Vanguard , which at the time had recently opened offices in the UK. 

However, she simultaneously solicited work from Vanguard by referring to her positions at the mutual companies. She told neither company that she was seeking consultancy work with the asset manager. 

The regulator has issued Burns with a ban for breaching 'Principle One,' which requires individuals to act with integrity in discharging their duties. 

Executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward said that Burns' behaviour had been 'inappropriate.'

'Directors have a duty to disclose or avoid conflicts of interest so they can be addressed by the board,' he said.

'In this case, Ms Burns placed herself in a position where her duty as a non-executive director may have conflicted with concurrent opportunities she was pursuing.'

'This was neither disclosed nor, as a consequence, could it be addressed by the board.  This was inappropriate and inconsistent with the standards of integrity expected from senior managers.'

We have contacted Vanguard for comment. 

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