Former BT finance chief has OBE revoked

BT has jettisoned part of its French business to Computacenter. A former finance director at BT…

BT has jettisoned part of its French business to Computacenter.

A former finance director at BT who was implicated in an insider trading scandal has been stripped of his OBE. 

Hanif Lalani was slapped with a €1.5m fine by the French stock market regulator eight years ago following BT’s investment in the IT services company, Net2S. 

BT seized 68.6pc of Net2S in October 2007, the same month Mr Lalani became the boss of BT’s network services arm, Global Services. 

It was later revealed his relatives had bought shares in the Paris-based company in expectation of BT’s offer. 

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF ) fined five members of Mr Lalani’s extended family €4.6m. 

An announcement in the London Gazette on Friday said the OBE awarded to Mr Lalani on December 31, 2002, had been “cancelled and annulled”. 

Mr Lalani joined BT as a graduate trainee in 1983. He spent 26 years in a string of financial and management roles, including group finance director and chief executive of its Northern Ireland arm. 

However, his BT career ended in 2010 when he stepped down as chief executive of Global Services just 15 months into the job. 

He had been sent to steady the ship following a £2bn writedown linked to  over-optimistic assumptions made about some international contacts.

In 2007, he was named finance director of the year by lobbying group the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

BT sold its domestic French operations to Computacenter in March. Chief executive Philip Jansen has been offloading fringe businesses and focusing the company on blanketing Britain in ultra-fast broadband. 

A BT spokesman said: “BT wasn’t involved in the legal cases as they related to the personal actions of a former employee. It would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment.”

Mr Lalani could not be reached for comment.