It was in September 1996 when trading in three Morgan Grenfell investment funds was suspended following the discovery of certain 'irreguarities'. Peter Young, the fund manager at the center of the affair, is said to have trod the fine line between genius and eccentric.
An Oxford graduate, with a degree in mathematics, Young joined Morgan Grenfell in 1992 (the company was acquired by Deutsche Bank in 1989) from Mercury Asset Management, and rose rapidly up the ranks, taking over the running of the firm's European Growth Trust funds two years later. The funds seemed to be on a roll as Young invested in a number of technology stocks.
But then the proverbial hit the fan. It turned out that the performance of the funds was an illusion, and that Young had set up a complex web of Luxembourg-based holding companies to conceal the fact that he had made excessive investments in obscure high-tech businesses, which were not delivering the goods.
Young was sacked and subsequently turned up at his trial at City of London magistrates court wearing a scarlet blouse and matching tight skirt. He was then going under the name of Elizabeth. Young's wife confirmed that her husband had been acting rather weird for some time - on one occasion returning from the supermarket with 30 jars of pickled gherkins. Sadly, things continued to go downhill for Young, who said that he often heard voices in his head and later attempted to castrate himself with a pair of scissors, eventually losing a testicle.
In 2002, the former fund manager was found unfit to stand trial and was in the hands of professional carers. Deutsche Bank is said to have lost around £400m as a result of the affair.
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