John Hartman, the former Orion Asset Management dealer gaoled last week for insider trading, was never paid total compensation anywhere near the $350,000 referenced by the judge in his sentencing remarks, claims the firm.

The business manager for the Australian equities boutique, Dominic Fallins, said the widely reported number for Hartman’s compensation was overstated.

“He joined us on a normal, modest wage for a graduate recruit, and at all times his total compensation was in line with the industry average.”

A graduate dealer such as Hartman,working for a buy-side firm of Orion’s size, could expect to be paid around $100,000 a year, with perhaps half that again as a bonus “if they were lucky”, according to Meredith Jordan, a recruiter with a funds management specialisation at Jon Michel Executive Search.

It’s understood the $350,000 figure came from a remark by Hartman himself at his sentencing hearing, which prosecution lawyers did not challenge because it was deemed irrelevant to the question of his guilt.

However, the offending number has since been used to criticise Orion, and the broader financial services industry. Judge Peter McClellan said paying so much money to such a young person could corrupt their morality, creating a “significant risk” of criminal behaviour.

Fallins said the issue of Hartman’s remuneration had been clarified in a note to clients, which had also challenged the judge’s remark that the rogue trader had operated “without effective supervision”.

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