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Toto Wolff

Financial authorities reject Wolff inside trading allegations as 'no evidence found' of wrongdoing

The Financial Conduct Authority refuses to comment but is unlikely to pursue an investigation into allegations of inside trading from Toto Wolff's purchase of Aston Martin shares.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Financial authorities have found no evidence of wrongdoing after Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff's purchase of shares in Aston Martin last year.

Wolff purchased shares in Aston Martin Lagonda in April 2020, a 4.77 percent stake that was diluted to 0.95 percent due to rights issuance.

The Austrian's purchase was made four months after Lawrence Stroll, a Canadian businessman and head of the Racing Point consortium that purchased the former Force India team in 2018, initially invested in Aston Martin, and a month after Stroll purchased 25 percent of the car company's stock.

Wolff's purchase was also made in the same month that the company announced it would return to Formula 1 as a takeover of the Racing Point team under Stroll.

According to the Financial Times, financial regulators have looked into suspicions of insider trading in Daimler and Aston Martin shares, including the purchase of a stake in the UK luxury carmaker by Wolff.

BaFin, the German markets watchdog, said it had looked into trading at Daimler and also passed information to counterparts at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority regarding trading in Aston Martin shares.

BaFin also said it had not found evidence to proceed with an investigation. The Financial Times say that the Financial Conduct Authority declined to comment. A person familiar with the matter said the Financial Conduct Authority had not pursued an investigation.

With Racing Point and Aston Martin working together with Mercedes as an engine supplier both in Formula 1 and in their road car division, the close relationship between the parties further tightened after Wolff's purchase.

In May 2020, Tobias Moers, who was Mercedes-AMG's CEO and had worked for Daimler for 26 years, was appointed as Aston Martin's CEO.

Six months after Wolff bought Aston Martin shares, Mercedes announced the purchase of an additional stake of 20 percent of Aston Martin in exchange for technology sharing.

Since Wolff's purchase in April 2020, Aston Martin's share price has risen by around 60 percent.

When asked by RacingNews365.com whether the team are aware of any current scrutiny on Wolff, a spokesperson said: "No. We are not aware of any such action. All necessary disclosures have been made to the UK financial authorities at the appropriate time."

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