France Financial Regulator Fines London’s H2O €93 Million for Fund Misrepresentations

Gunnar Larson g at
Sat Jan 14 04:48:07 PST 2023

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UK-based H2O Asset Management is under regulatory investigation by the
French financial crime enforcement auditors. H2O is accused of breaching
financial instrument ownership laws.

Pensions and Investments reports that Bruno Crastes (H2O Group CEO)
received a €15M penalty, with Vincent Challiey (H2O Group CIO) panelized
€3M. Furthermore, regulators assigned €75M in fines for H2O AM totalling
€93M or $99MUSD.

French assessors claim H2O’s mismanagement yielded significant investor
losses. As of June 30, 2022, H2O maintained €12.3B in assets under
management. In November, 2020, Natixis Investment Managers elected to
cancel a 10 year agreement with H2O, liquidating 50.01% stake ownership in
two tranches, immediately capitalizing 26.61%. Natixis plans a six year
horizon for complete divestiture.

H2O has claimed innocence of wrongdoings, suggesting French authorities
issued the group penalty in the absence of fraud or mismanagement by H2O.

Deminor announced that it is financing litigation for victims of H2O’s
Natixis managed asset fund. Deminor is representing 1,500 individuals on a
non-recourse basis. After meeting with French authorities, H2O announced
formalizing a reserve allocation to cover the maximum potential fine as a
cash flow precaution.
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