The whistle-blower who has filed a lawsuit against Invesco Asset Management (India) has claimed compensation of over Rs 56 crore from the asset manager. This includes compensation for loss of income and livelihood, prolonged mental agony and suffering, harm in reputation and legal costs.
The case filed in the Bombay High Court pertains to the whistle-blower’s wrongful termination for “gross misconduct” by the asset manager. The whistle-blower effectively cannot apply for a job as a fund manager or a securities dealer because of the termination. The suit says the sacking was the result of the complaint filed against the asset manager with the Securities Exchange Commission and other regulators, and not for any misconduct. It wants the asset manager to withdraw the termination letter and furnish a clean relieving letter.
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The whistle-blower worked as a fund manager with the fund house and was sacked a few days after his complaint pertaining to irregularities in the management of fixed income schemes.
The Bombay High Court in December had directed Invesco Asset Management (India) and the whistle-blower to settle the matter amicably out of the court. Two rounds of talks have this far not yielded any decisive results, said a person in the know.
Invesco said it had no comment on the matter. An email sent to Invesco Asset Management (India) did not get a response.
The next court hearing in the matter is expected in June.
Globally, Invesco has put in place a whistle-blower policy that encourages complaints regarding violation of its code of conduct, violations of laws, questionable accounting matters, internal accounting controls, auditing matters, breaches of fiduciary duty, or rules at Invesco to be reported via a toll free number or a separate whistle-blower hotline website.
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“Invesco holds itself and its employees to the highest standards of honest and ethical conduct, and strives to ensure that all activity conducted by, or on behalf of, the firm and its subsidiaries is in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. Employees of Invesco and its subsidiaries are affirmatively required to report possible violations of the Invesco Code of Conduct,” the asset manager’s whistle-blower website states.