The judicial war between Azvalor and the ex-chief of its analysts intensifies. The manager has filed a criminal complaint against Víctor Moragas after he, in a document to which ForexNews.online has had access, mentions alleged irregular practices of his former entity related to the insider market information.
The manager led by Álvaro Guzmán de Lázaro, Fernando Bernad, Beltrán Parages and Sergio Fernández-Pacheco maintains a Judicial dispute with Moragas since last October, regarding his dismissal. The analyst, who worked for the fund boutique for two and a half years, filed a social claim for dismissal and violation of fundamental rights and public liberties, “as a reaction to the formulation of ideas about working methods used and the request of compliance with advertised labor conditions ”. Azvalor considers that his dismissal was disciplinary and objectively motivated for three reasons, while Moragas defends that it was inadmissible.
At the beginning of February, the trial was attempted to be held in the 34th Madrid Social Court. Both parties previously negotiated the possibility of reaching an agreement, which ultimately did not take place, and the trial had to be postponed to March for lack of forms, as the Prosecutor's Office was not summoned. With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the General Council of the Judiciary suspended all scheduled judicial proceedings and the war was in "stand-by". Until a few weeks ago, when everything has finally exploded.
On May 14, Azvalor filed a criminal complaint against his former head of analysis before the Investigating Court number 46 in Madrid for slander, insult, extortion, coercion and threats, after the demonstrations and actions carried out by Moragas in recent months. The manager fears the effects of negative publicity that the case may have on its funds and its business, with a significant "Reputational damage" and the possibility that "there are people who can withdraw their money out of fear" to alleged malpractice.
In an explanatory extension to their labor lawsuit after the attempted trial in February, Moragas' attorneys sent the court a series of clarifications. Among them, the former analyst of Azvalor requested that no assumptions be made in the day-to-day of the signing such as the use of methods in which non-public information was obtained by the manager.
One of the examples he cites is the non-involvement of ex-executive personnel of listed companies hired by Azvalor who are in charge of covering their previous companies, such as Técnicas Reunidas and Jorge Cruz, or Codere and Javier Orduna, and the subsequent investment in those companies, in the case of the Azvalor Iberia fund.
He also quotes those related to the Rhône Group venture capital fund, whose partner in Spain is José Manuel Vargas since 2017, the former Chairman and CEO of AENA and also CEO of Vocento. This fund used Azvalor's facilities for a year and a half for its operations in Spain, before its business volume increased and it moved to other locations. The location of offices and positions in the portfolio of the Azvalor International of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) after the investment of Rhône is mentioned in the document by Moragas' lawyers. Likewise, mention is made of the negotiation that this fund had to buy Editorial Santillana from Grupo Prisa and the appearance two quarters after a position of Prisa in Azvalor Iberia.
THE POSSIBILITY OF AGREEMENT IS COMPLETELY BROKEN
"This type of thing does not happen in the depths of New York or London, where there are very strict Chinese walls," they argue from the Moragas environment, pointing to practices, "At the very least, not very moral and very doubtful."
However, internal sources of Azvalor defend themselves alleging that “It is a habitual and legal practice in the world of management that listed professionals change to the other side to analyze them because, after all, Who knows a sector better than someone who has worked in it? ” In any case, these sources add, "shares such as Técnicas Reunidas, Codere or Prisa have been or are in the portfolio for a long time, even carrying losses", so they ask themselves "what type of privileged information will you have if you lose money with it? " Regarding the venture capital fund led by Vargas, they argue that in his office, when he used Azvalor's facilities, there were no analysts or managers and one entered through a different door with its own security code, which would demonstrate the existence of the famous chinese walls.
When Moragas was fired from Azvalor, the manager offered him a compensation of 400,000 euros, "above the market", although their former head of analysts still demands 1.5 million euros, sources familiar with the judicial process confirm. Now, however, the pact between the parties seems impossible, more after Azvalor's criminal complaint to Moragas for the previous insinuations. An official spokesperson for the manager confirms to Bolsamanía that "The possibility of reaching an agreement is completely broken."
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