Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

SEBI Bans Former Infosys, Wipro Employees Over Insider Trading

The order cited the two entities had unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) pertaining to the company's partnership with Vanguard

(Story updated with company response)

Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India barred Wipro Senior vice-president Keyur Maniar and ex-Infosys employee Ramit Chaudhuri from trading in stock exchanges following charges of insider trading in Infosys' shares. 

The order cited the two entities had unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) pertaining to the company's partnership with Vanguard. The order mentions the period of utilisation of the UPSI  between June 14, 2020 to July 14, 2020. The partnership was announced by Infosys on July 14.

The regulator had earlier fined two Infosys employees and six individuals for engaging in insider trading prior to the company's announcement of the financial results for the June-end quarter. 

How the insider trading took place

The order states Keyur had traded in Infosys shares in the F&O segment before the announcement of the Vanguard deal. Following the announcement, he offloaded the shares such that his net positions were zero. 

SEBI in its order stated that both Chaudhari and Maniar were connected people and were in possession of the UPSI. They worked together in the Wipro BPS between March 2012 to December 2014. 

Keyur Maniar is presently the Senior Vice President at Wipro. Ramit Chaudhuri left Infosys in April this year to join WNS. He was the Solutions Design Head of Infosys when the Vanguard partnership was announced. 

The two communicated frequently on the telephone and exchanged information, the order stated. 

As per SEBI,  Keyur Maniar managed to generate proceeds of Rs 261.30 lakhs with this trading. 

"Such trading behaviour of Keyur was not his normal trading behaviour because his trading concentration during the look back period i.e. May 20, 2020, to July 01, 2020, and look forward period i.e. July 29, 2020, to September 09, 2020, was almost 0%," the order stated.

Infosys and Wipro's response

Infosys in an email response to Outlook Business said the company was aware of the SEBI order. It said, "The Company is not a party in this matter. Infosys and our group companies have a well-defined Code of Conduct covering all its employees and an Insider Trading Policy that governs dealing with unpublished price sensitive information". Further, it stated that the company would extend full cooperation as required to SEBI on the matter. 

Wipro's spokesperson in an email communication told Outlook Business that Keyur Maniar is no more an employee at the company. It said,  "We are in receipt of the interim ex parte order issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India in the matter of insider trading relating to shares of Infosys Ltd. Effective September 28, 2021, Keyur Maniar is not an employee of Wipro Ltd.”