Credit Suisse First Boston on Monday placed Frank Quattrone on administrative leave pending completion of a US regulatory investigation into alleged conflicts of interest in how he led the investment bank’s technology group.
The investment bank, a unit of Credit Suisse Group, said its action was based on new information learned on Friday. It had been revealed that Mr Quattrone had received a so-called Wells Notice from the National Association of Securities Dealers, informing him that the US markets watchdog planned to file civil charges.
The NASD cited Mr Quattrone for what regulators called a failure to supervise. In part, this stems from Mr Quattrone’s unusual dual role as a supervisor of both bankers and analysts.
The notice also said it was considering civil charges stemming from Mr Quattrone’s alleged involvement in “spinning” allocating shares in initial public offerings to potential investment banking clients.
CSFB said the information raised questions about Mr Quattrone’s responses to an inquiry last week by the bank about whether he was aware of pending investigations in 2000, when he sent an e-mail to employees about document retention issues. Whether Mr Quattrone acted properly in December 2000 when he sent the e-mail and permitted a subordinate to send similar e-mails to staff are also in question, the bank said.
CSFB added that its legal department had acted promptly after the December 2000 e-mails to ensure all relevant documents would be preserved and provided to authorities. The bank said it had informed the appropriate US government authorities and was cooperating fully.