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After news of a hedge fund’s covert spying activities hit the Financial Times this weekend, Ikos responded with a reportedly “lengthy” public statement explaining why it spied on an employee (and his family).(Background: A spy hired by Ikos founder Elena Ambrosiadou allegedly went out of her way to befriend Tobin “Sam” Gover and his wife. She began looking after their son. She spent Christmas with the family. Then Gover found out she was a spy. He sued Ambrosiadou for infiltrating his family in order to “aid” litigation against him and she paid him damages.)
In its public statement, Ikos says that it was “necessary and appropriate” to spy on its employee, Tobin Gover.
The firm’s public statement says that Ikos undertook “investigations” to “protect its business… [and that] any investigations authorised … were necessary and appropriate…[because Ikos was engaged in an] avalanche [of litigation]” with former employees centred on the firm’s co-founder, Martin Coward, according to the Financial Times.
Gover’s side of the story is a big different. The charges he filed against Ikos founder Elena Ambrosiadou say that Ambrosiadou didn’t just spy on him and his family, it says that she developed a Monaco surveillance operation against a number of former top employees of the firm and codenamed it “Operation Apollo.”
The operation seems to have begun around the time that Ambrosiadou began splitting from her husband, a co-founder of the firm, Martin Coward. Ambrosiadou reportedly suspected that Coward was planning to sequester a number of traders, steal trade secrets from Ikos and “misappropriate” them.
Ikos’ statement asserts that the operation was justified. The statement accuses Mr Coward “and his acolytes” of conspiring to take control of Ikos and “misappropriate its technology,” according to the FT.
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