What You Need to Know
- The firm will forfeit $463 million and pay $3.2 billion in restitution to investors in its Structured Alpha Funds, as well as a $2.3 billion penalty.
- In addition, AGI will pay a civil penalty under an anticipated settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
- The total payout for the Structured Alpha Funds scandal includes a $1 billion fine to the SEC.
A unit of Allianz SE agreed to plead guilty to fraud and pay $5.8 billion in fines and restitution after a relatively low-risk group of investment funds collapsed in the wake of pandemic market gyrations.
Allianz Global Investors US, a New York investment adviser wholly owned by the German insurance giant, will plead guilty to a single count of securities fraud and will pay, along with its parent company, more than $5 billion to victims.
The total payout, including a $1 billion fine to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is covered by provisions the company has already taken, it said.
Gregoire Tournant, a former executive with the firm, was taken into custody Tuesday and charged separately for his role in the alleged scheme to defraud investors, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
Tournant, the former chief investment officer and co-lead portfolio manager of the Structured Alpha Funds, and others overstated the level of independent oversight that AGI was providing, misrepresented hedging and other risk mitigation strategies and altered documents to hide the riskiness of the funds, according to prosecutors.
“As a result of this scheme to defraud, investors’ funds were exposed to higher risk than promised, and investors were deprived of information about the true risks to which their investments were exposed,” according to the Tournant’s indictment.
The agreement, under which AGI will plead guilty to a single count of securities fraud, calls for the firm to forfeit $463 million and pay $3.2 billion in restitution to victims of the fraud as well as a $2.3 billion penalty. It will get a credit for $1.9 billion that has already been paid to victims.
Allianz had set aside 5.6 billion euros ($5.9 billion) to resolve the lawsuits and government probes tied to the funds. The charges are a “fair estimate” of the exposure, the company said earlier this month. All charges announced Tuesday are covered by the provisions, an Allianz spokesman said.
AGI is due to make the forfeiture payment on Wednesday and will make the restitution payments within a week into an escrow account that will be distributed to victims.
“No one at AGI US or Allianz was verifying that Tournant and his colleagues were actually adhering to the investment strategies promised to investors,” according to Tournant’s indictment.