NEW YORK, Nov 10 (Reuters) - A partner at the McKinsey
consulting firm was criminally charged on Wednesday with insider
trading ahead of Goldman Sachs Group Inc's agreement to
buy fintech lender GreenSky Inc for $2.24 billion, U.S.
Puneet Dikshit, 40, of Manhattan, faces two securities fraud
counts after allegedly generating about $450,000 of profit from
2,500 GreenSky call options that he bought in the two days
before the merger was announced https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/goldman-sachs-buy-lender-greensky-224-billion-deal-2021-09-15
on Sept. 15.
Authorities said Dikshit led McKinsey's unsecured lending
practice in North America and had been a lead partner advising
Goldman. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed
related civil charges.
McKinsey said it has fired Dikshit for "a gross violation of
our policies and code of conduct. We have zero tolerance for the
appalling behavior described in the complaint and we will
continue cooperating with the authorities."
Dikshit was arrested on Wednesday morning, and bail was set
at $1 million at his initial appearance before a federal
magistrate judge in Manhattan. Lawyers for the defendant did not
respond to requests for comment.
GreenSky is a specialty lender that arranges consumer loans
for large one-time purchases such as home remodeling, cosmetic
surgery and dental implants.
Its share price rose 53% on the day the merger was
announced, and had been volatile on the three prior trading
days, when options trading was particularly busy https://www.reuters.com/article/greensky-m-a-goldman-sachs-options/well-timed-trades-in-greensky-options-ahead-of-goldman-deal-raise-eyebrows-idUSKBN2GD23S.
Prosecutors said Dikshit bought his call options, a bet the
stock price would rise, without receiving pre-clearance from
McKinsey, and sold them shortly after the merger was announced.
They also said that following media reports of suspicious
trading in the options, Dikshit sought permission to trade in
GreenSky, and was denied.
Goldman was not charged or accused of wrongdoing.
The charges were announced nine years after former McKinsey
chief and Goldman director Rajat Gupta was convicted of insider
trading for passing tips about the Wall Street bank, including a
pending investment from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
Prosecutors said Dikshit ran Google searches related to
Gupta's conviction about three weeks after Goldman agreed to buy
The cases are U.S. v. Dikshit, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 21-mj-10772; and SEC v. Dikshit in the
same court, No. 21-09289.
(Reporting by Jody Godoy and Jonathan Stempel in New York
Editing by Will Dunham and Matthew Lewis)