TORONTO (Reuters) - Ian Telfer, chairman of miner Goldcorp Inc, was reprimanded by Canada’s top securities regulator on Friday as part of a settlement linked to an insider trading probe.
Telfer was not accused of insider trading, but of assisting someone who regulators allege did engage in insider trading in a small shell company, 222 Pizza Express Corp, that later became Gold Wheaton and was taken over by Franco-Nevada Corp in a C$830 million ($813 million) deal in 2011.
“Mr. Telfer at the time believed his conduct was proper, but he has acknowledged that in hindsight it fell below the standards,” Telfer’s lawyer, Kevin Richard, said at a hearing at which the settlement was approved.
Reached by email, Telfer declined to comment.
Telfer is a high-profile mining entrepreneur who has served as chairman of Goldcorp, the world’s biggest gold miner by market capitalization, since 2006. He is non-executive chairman of Uranium One Inc.
He is also chairman of the World Gold Council, an industry group. In an emailed statement, the World Gold Council called the case “a private matter” not related to Telfer’s duties at that organization, and declined to comment further.
Goldcorp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) said Telfer advised Eda Marie Agueci, a GMP Securities executive assistant, that she should not purchase shares of the shell company in her own name.
He also encouraged her to communicate with “very close friends” using BlackBerry PIN messages, telling her that the messages would not go to GMP’s servers. The settlement said Telfer now understands that Agueci later used this technique to communicate with others about trading securities.
“Telfer’s conduct as outlined fell below the standard expected from someone in Telfer’s position, particularly given his extensive experience in the capital markets industry,” the settlement agreement with the OSC said.
The regulator ordered Telfer to pay C$200,000 in costs, and he agreed not to “trade, or arrange for trading by others, in securities of issuers of which he is a promoter” for one year.
The settlement said this does not stop Telfer from “acquiring securities of issuers of which he is a promoter,” and notes that he is not now a promoter of any reporting issuer in Canada.
GMP Capital said it continues to “cooperate fully” with regulators on the case.
With additional reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson, Peter Galloway and John Wallace