Toto Wolff is reportedly under scrutiny by British stock market authorities for potential insider trading following the Austrian's purchase of shares in Aston Martin Lagonda in April 2020.
The Mercedes F1 boss acquired a stake of just under 5% in Aston Martin, the legendary sportscar manufacturer controlled by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, a holding that was later reduced to 0.95% following a rights issue that was done by the company.
According to Canada's Journal de Montreal, BaFin, the German stock market regulatory body, conducted in November 2020 an investigation into Wolff's transaction. BaFIn then transferred the case to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority as the shares had been acquired on the London Exchange.
Wolff's transaction, estimated at approximately $36 million, came under scrutiny as the Austrian's personal investment was followed several months later by news of Mercedes increasing its stake in Aston Martin.
Shares of Aston Martin subsequently increased, ensuring Wolff a hefty capital gains. From April 2020, when the Mercedes team boss acquired his stake, to today, Aston's share price has accrued by over 60%!
The question, therefore, is whether Wolff – a close friend of Lawrence Stroll - was aware at the time of his personal investment in Aston Martin that Mercedes would increase its stake in the prestigious luxury automobile brand, managed by former Mercedes-AMG boss, Tobias Moers.
The Journal de Montreal queried the Mercedes team on the ongoing probe but was told that the Brackley squad was unaware of any investigation by the UK's stock market authorities.
"No. We are not aware of any such action," said Bradley Lord, Mercedes motorsport communications director.
"All necessary disclosures have been made to the UK financial authorities at the appropriate time."
Aston Martin declined to comment on the report, while no information was forthcoming from the British or German stock market authorities contacted by Journal de Montreal.