On Monday reports surfaced that Toto Wolff and Lawrence Stroll had been investigated for insider trading. Both men don’t seem to have to fear a penalty, as it seems that there is not enough evidence. For Wolff and Stroll Sr. it’s all good.
Wolff invested 30 million in Aston Martin shares and by coincidence, Tobias Meurs, then CEO of Mercedes-AMG, suddenly became the most senior man at Aston Martin. Another six months later, Mercedes also invested around 200 million. Aston Martin’s share price skyrocketed and one share is now worth 60 percent more than it was before Wolff stepped in.
The Financial Times writes: “Financial regulators have looked into suspicions of insider trading in shares of Daimler and Aston Martin, including the purchase of a stake in the British luxury car maker by Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ Formula One boss.”
There has indeed been an investigation, because of course it is a coincidence, but the British International Business Journal states that reports of asymmetric information have proved unfounded. “BaFin, the German market regulator, said it had investigated trading at Daimler and had also passed information to its colleagues at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about trading in Aston Martin shares. BaFin said it had found no evidence to proceed with an investigation. A person familiar with the matter said the FCA had not launched an investigation.”
Wolff not only has a stake of just over one percent in Aston Martin. The Austrian is also a major shareholder in Mercedes’ Formula One team. He holds 33 percent of the shares, alongside Daimler and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.