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Wizz Air executive sacked after breaching trading rules

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Wizz Air has fired an executive after an investigation by regulators revealed he had breached rules governing trading by company insiders.

András Sebők, the budget airline’s chief supply officer, bought and sold shares on 114 different occasions without notifying the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Thousands of the company's shares were traded in Mr Sebők’s name between April 2019 and November 2020. Some £2.3m of shares were bought and £1.8m sold, according to analysis by The Telegraph of a stock market filing that was published on Thursday night.

Wizz, which is a member of the FTSE 250, said that it was unaware of Mr Sebők’s dealings. His employment has been terminated with immediate effect.

Wizz added: “The company will continue to cooperate with the FCA in relation to any further enquiry or investigation. The company is unable to comment further.”

A spokesman for the FCA said: “We are aware of the issue and in contact with the firm.”

Mr Sebők joined Wizz in 2004 and has stayed with the carrier as it grew to become one of Europe’s biggest low-cost airlines.

He worked in the airline’s treasury, financial planning, fleet acquisition, and corporate finance departments before being promoted to chief supply officer in April 2019.

Market abuse regulations state that “persons discharging managerial responsibilities” must notify the company and FCA about share purchases and sales of shares in their employer within three business days.

There is little precedent in relation to breaches of the rules. Kevin Gorman, managing director of a division of Braemar Shipping was the first person to be fined in December 2019.

Mr Gorman’s penalty was £45,000 after breaching the rules on three occasions. The fine took into account that the shares were awarded by the company as part of his employment.

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