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UK regulator probes ex-JC Flowers Europe boss

Source: Reuters - Mon 12th Apr 2010

J.C. Flowers referred the former head of its European operations to Britain's financial regulator last year, the U.S. buyout firm said, after an internal investigation that prompted his sudden exit.

Ravi Sinha, who was managing director at J.C. Flowers in London and had been one of the firm's highest profile dealmakers after leading attempts to buy UK financial firms Northern Rock and Friends Provident, left in November.

"Mr Sinha left the company following its investigation into a breach in its rules. The company acted promptly once it became aware of concerns and informed its regulators at the earliest opportunity" a spokesman for J.C. Flowers said on Monday.

J.C. Flowers declined to provide further details.

Its UK regulator is the Financial Services Authority, which declined to comment.

Sinha did not immediately return calls for comment.

The issue relates to the alleged misappropriation of 1.3 million pounds from a Luxembourg company owned by J.C. Flowers, uncovered during an internal investigation, according to media reports.

J.C. Flowers named David Morgan, the former chief executive of Australian bank Westpac, as managing director for Europe and Asia Pacific and also appointed Callum McCarthy, the former head of the FSA, to the new post of European chairman.

The company, founded in 1998 by Christopher Flowers, focuses solely on the financial services sector and has invested about $11 billion in the sector. It has suffered heavy losses on German investments during the financial crisis.

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