FINLAND – The former chief executive of Finnish broking and asset management group FIM, Seppo Sairanen, has been sentenced to jail by the District Court of Helsinki for alleged fraud.

The company has been also been fined €100,000 – though it says it will appeal.

“The District Court of Helsinki sentenced Mr. Sairanen to two years, two months of imprisonment and the broker involved to one year, eight months of imprisonment by votes of the lay judges,” FIM said in a release.

It added that the court judgment “concerned the concealment of assets of a private person accused of among others an aggravated fraud by a debtor”.

It also said that FIM and the persons in question have given notice of intent to appeal the District Court’s judgment.

"The District Court’s judgment has no effect on the status of FIM’s customers or our customer relations, business strategies or the company management,” said CEO Jan Forsbom.

“The over 250 professionals working at FIM will continue their long-term work to increase the wealth of our customers."

FIM had net sales in 2005 of €63.2m and operating profit of €19.1m.

Last month FIM Asset Management hired two executives from Nordea, with Petri Aho becoming head of international sales and Jouni Salmenkivi head of fixed income.

It also said it plans to start a Russian asset management and mutual fund group.