Puneet Dikshit, a former partner at consulting firm McKinsey & Company, on December 15 pled guilty to a single count of securities fraud in Manhattan federal court.
Dikshit was in November charged with insider trading for using non-public information gleaned from his role advising Goldman Sachs on its acquisition of fintech lender GreenSky.
The ex-McKinsey partner, who was fired by the New York-based consultancy in November for violation of its policy and codes of conduct, bought approximately 2,500 short-term GreenSky options before the September 15 public announcement of Goldman Sachs’ acquisition of the fintech company for $2.24 billion. The sale of these options netted Dikshit profits of approximately $450,000, according to a statement from the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office.
“Barely a month after he was charged, Puneet Dikshit admitted in court today that he used his access to material nonpublic information about a pending acquisition of GreenSky, Inc., to trade in GreenSky call options,” said US Attorney Damian Williams. “This conduct, which netted the defendant nearly half a million dollars in tainted profits, broke the law and violated the defendant’s duties to his firm and its client. Now Puneet Dikshit awaits sentencing for his admitted crime.”
Dikshit faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and is set to be sentenced on March 30.
Goldman Sachs hired McKinsey in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to advise on the potential purchase of GreenSky, according to federal prosecutors. Dikshit, who led the consultancy’s unsecured lending practice in New York, was one of the lead partners assigned to the deal.
Dikshit made the options trades on accounts in his name and in his spouse’s name, according to the SEC. Google search queries on his McKinsey work computer included “what happens to options when a company is acquired” and “greensky market cap.”
The case was handled by the Department of Justice’s securities and commodities fraud task force with support from the FBI and SEC.