UK regulator fines hedge fund managers 2.1 mln stg

LONDON - Britain's Financial Services Authority has fined a hedge fund manager 2 million pounds ($3.3 million), its biggest ever fine on an individual, for making fake trades to cover up losses in a fund that collapsed in the credit crisis.
The FSA said Michiel Weiger Visser, the Dutch CEO of London-based Mercurius Capital Management, "deliberately misled investors" and manipulated his fund's net asset value "to disguise the performance ... and to secure continued and increased investment".
The fine, which was upheld by an independent tribunal, is the largest ever imposed on an individual by the FSA if disgorgement of profits is not taken into account, and the biggest handed to a hedge fund manager.
Visser did not appear at the tribunal, which described his conduct as "the worst it had seen", and has moved back to the Netherlands, which could make it harder for the FSA to collect the fine.
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