2010年12月3日金曜日

ヘッジファンドにインサイダー疑惑

ヘッジファンドにインサイダー取引の疑惑がでた。
捜査当局はヘッジファンド三社を一斉に捜索。
一連のインサイダー疑惑は、FBIやSECが三年前から捜査を進めてきた。

Primary Global Research LLCの顧客担当者とexpert-networkを経由して、
インサイダー情報を利用した疑惑が持たれているのが、
SAC Capital Advisors LLC、Citadel LLC、Janus Capital Group Inc、
Wellington Management Co.。
これらの会社の担当者や元担当者を逮捕したようだ。
expert-networkのコンサルタントが、expert-networkを経由せず、
顧客から直接問合せを受ける場合もあり、インサイダー情報の提供に
繋がったとの見方もあるようだ。

Goldman Sachs Group Incも調査されていて、内部で、健全性を含む
業務情報を投資家のために漏らした疑惑があるようだ。

市場原理による情報が、高額で取引され、さらに、高額の利益を産出す。
賭博による投資は継続している。FBIはインサイダー取引をよく見つけた
思う。

金融規制改革法案 米大統領署名


---米で大規模インサイダー疑惑 景気回復に冷水---
2010年11月27日 夕刊
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/economics/news/CK2010112702000200.html

 【ニューヨーク=共同】複数のヘッジファンドや資産運用会社が、上場企業の非公開の内部情報を利用して株式を売買したとされる大規模なインサイダー取引疑惑が米国で浮上。当局が捜査に乗り出す事件に発展しており、回復基調にある米国の株価に冷水を浴びせる恐れがある。
 米メディアによると、捜査当局は二十二日にヘッジファンド三社を一斉に捜索。二十四日には米連邦捜査局(FBI)がカリフォルニア州の金融調査会社の幹部を逮捕した。
 この幹部は、情報技術(IT)関連企業の内部情報を持つ元社員らと、ヘッジファンドを橋渡しする役割を担ったとされる。ファンド側はこうした内部情報を利用した株式の売買で違法な利益を得た可能性がある。
 疑惑は大手にも拡大している。運用資産残高千六百億ドル(約十三兆四千億円)の米ジャナス・キャピタル・グループは「インサイダー事件に関し照会を受けた」と発表した。米紙ウォールストリート・ジャーナルによると、米当局は金融大手ゴールドマン・サックスも調査している。
 一連のインサイダー疑惑は、FBIや米証券取引委員会(SEC)が三年前から捜査を進めてきた。


---米国で大規模インサイダー疑惑 回復基調の株価に冷水も---
2010.11.27 08:50
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/finance/101127/fnc1011270851003-n1.htm

 複数のヘッジファンドや資産運用会社が、上場企業の非公開の内部情報を利用して株式を売買したとされる大規模なインサイダー取引疑惑が米国で浮上。当局が捜査に乗り出し、回復基調にある米国の株価に冷水を浴びせる恐れがある。
 米メディアによると、捜査当局は22日にヘッジファンド3社を一斉に捜索。24日には米連邦捜査局(FBI)がカリフォルニア州の金融調査会社の幹部を逮捕した。この幹部は、情報技術(IT)関連企業の内部情報を持つ元社員らと、ヘッジファンドを橋渡しする役割を担ったとされる。ファンド側は内部情報を利用した株式の売買で違法な利益を得た可能性がある。
 疑惑は大手にも拡大。米ジャナス・キャピタル・グループは「インサイダー事件に関し照会を受けた」と発表。米紙ウォールストリート・ジャーナルによると、米当局は金融大手ゴールドマン・サックスも調査している。(共同)


---Trading Inquiry Widens to Big Firms---
NOVEMBER 24, 2010
By JENNY STRASBURG, MICHAEL ROTHFELD And STEVE EDER
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704369304575633063046187560.html

Federal authorities, intensifying an insider-trading investigation, are demanding trading and other information from some of the nation's most powerful investment firms.

Hedge-fund giants SAC Capital Advisors and Citadel LLC, big mutual-fund company Janus Capital Group Inc. and Wellington Management Co., one of the nation's biggest institutional-investment firms, have received subpoenas from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office seeking trading, communications and other data as part of a broad criminal investigation, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation also recently questioned an account manager at Primary Global Research LLC, a California company that provides "expert-network" services to hedge funds and mutual funds, people familiar with the matter say.

Such expert-network firms set up meetings and arrange calls between traders seeking an investing edge and current and former managers from hundreds of companies. The FBI is seeking information about a Primary Global consultant and his hedge-fund clients, these people say.

Executives of Primary Global, based in Mountain View, Calif., didn't respond to requests for comment. Representatives of Wellington, Citadel and SAC, which is run by Steve Cohen, declined to comment. In a letter to investors, SAC said it received an "extraordinarily broad" subpoena, that it will cooperate with investigators, and that the request doesn't suggest that "anyone at SAC has engaged in wrongdoing." Janus said in a filing that it "intends to cooperate fully with that inquiry," which sought "general information." Janus shares fell 2.8% in Tuesday trading.

Subpoenas are requests for information and don't necessarily mean the recipients are suspected of wrongdoing.

The latest disclosures show that authorities are pursuing numerous strands in their three-year investigation. One focus is whether expert-network firms leaked inside information to hedge funds and others, according to people familiar with the matter. Another is whether independent consultants provided nonpublic information to investors, these people say.

SAC, Wellington, Janus and Citadel were among the clients of John Kinnucan, an analyst who recently was questioned by two FBI agents. The agents visited Mr. Kinnucan last month and accused him and his clients of trading on inside information, according to an email Mr. Kinnucan sent to about 20 clients. The FBI asked him to tape his calls with SAC, according to a person close to the situation. In his email, Mr. Kinnucan said he refused to tape any calls.

Still another strand of the probe is examining whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bankers leaked information about transactions, including health-care mergers, in ways that benefited certain investors, the people say. Goldman declined to comment.

On Oct. 26, the day after the FBI visited Mr. Kinnucan, agents visited the Primary Global account manager at his home, people familiar with the matter say.

FBI agent B.J. Kang, who was involved in last year's Galleon Group insider-trading case, asked most of the questions, which focused on an expert in the semiconductor industry who consulted for clients of Primary Global and several other expert-network firms, these people say.

The manager was asked about the firm's work with the expert, his pay and Primary Global guidelines regarding sharing proprietary, nonpublic information with clients, these people say. Mr. Kang declined to comment.

Primary Global's compliance policies, posted on its website, say experts "are required to keep in confidence proprietary information acquired by them," and must not "breach any agreement with their employers" by working as consultants or sharing prohibited information.

One challenge for expert-network firms is policing their consultants. Such firms hire current or former company employees, as well as doctors and other specialists, to share information with investment funds.

The consultants typically earn several hundred dollars an hour for their services, which can include meetings or phone calls with traders to discuss developments in their company or industry. The expert-network companies say internal policies bar their consultants from disclosing confidential information. But because there are so many calls and meetings with investment funds, not all are monitored, according to executives at expert-network companies.

It isn't the first time authorities have examined whether individuals working for expert-network firms have passed along inside information. The SEC and the New York Attorney General's office examined the activities of Gerson Lehrman Group, the largest expert-network firm, following a Wall Street Journal article on the company in late 2006. Both probes were dropped with no charges brought.

Those probes prompted a number of expert-network firms to beef up compliance rules, such as requiring experts to sign agreements saying they have their employers' permission to act as consultants, and saying they won't share material, nonpublic information with clients.

Executives of expert-network firms and others say such rules can't stop consultants from sharing prohibited information on private phone calls, either purposely or accidentally, when a client pressures them.

Attempts to get consent from consultants and clients to record phone calls, which some say would be a strong deterrent to problematic behavior, have fallen flat, people in the industry say.

"Clients have generally said they didn't want that," says Stuart Lewtan, who runs Zintro Inc, a small Waltham, Mass., expert-network firm. "These are people who generally operate in a pretty secretive way. Even if they're complying with SEC regulations, they generally just don't like to be recorded."

The current investigation has caused some hedge funds to cancel calls with experts, while others are going ahead with calls after reviewing compliance procedures with the analysts involved, lawyers and others say.

"In the short term, clients are going to be very nervous about using expert-network firms," said Michael Mayhew, head of Integrity Research Associates, a New York firm that tracks the industry and collects fees for helping investors select expert-network firms.

After news of the investigation broke on the Journal website on Friday night, some hedge funds reached out to clients to reassure them that they didn't rely on expert networks.

Vijai Mohan, founder of hedge fund Hyphen Partners LP in San Francisco, sent a letter to his investors over the weekend saying: "Hyphen purposely uses no 'expert networks,' and relies on publicly available information to draw its conclusions."
-Aparajita Saha-Bubna and Gregory Zuckerman contributed to this article.


---Trading Inquiry Widens to Big Firms---
NOVEMBER 23, 2010
By JENNY STRASBURG, MICHAEL ROTHFELD And STEVE EDER
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704369304575633063046187560.html

Federal authorities, intensifying an insider-trading investigation, are demanding trading and other information from some of the nation's most powerful investment firms.

Hedge-fund giants SAC Capital Advisors and Citadel LLC, big mutual-fund company Janus Capital Group Inc. and Wellington Management Co., one of the nation's biggest institutional-investment firms, have received subpoenas from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office seeking trading, communications and other data as part of a broad criminal investigation, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation also recently questioned an account manager at Primary Global Research LLC, a California company that provides "expert-network" services to hedge funds and mutual funds, people familiar with the matter say.

Such expert-network firms set up meetings and arrange calls between traders seeking an investing edge and current and former managers from hundreds of companies. The FBI is seeking information about a Primary Global consultant and his hedge-fund clients, these people say.

Executives of Primary Global, based in Mountain View, Calif., didn't respond to requests for comment. Representatives of Wellington, Citadel and SAC, which is run by Steve Cohen, declined to comment. In a letter to investors, SAC said it received an "extraordinarily broad" subpoena, that it will cooperate with investigators, and that the request doesn't suggest that "anyone at SAC has engaged in wrongdoing." Janus said in a filing that it "intends to cooperate fully with that inquiry," which sought "general information." Janus shares fell 2.8% in Tuesday trading.

Subpoenas are requests for information and don't necessarily mean the recipients are suspected of wrongdoing.

The latest disclosures show that authorities are pursuing numerous strands in their three-year investigation. One focus is whether expert-network firms leaked inside information to hedge funds and others, according to people familiar with the matter. Another is whether independent consultants provided nonpublic information to investors, these people say.

SAC, Wellington, Janus and Citadel were among the clients of John Kinnucan, an analyst who recently was questioned by two FBI agents. The agents visited Mr. Kinnucan last month and accused him and his clients of trading on inside information, according to an email Mr. Kinnucan sent to about 20 clients. The FBI asked him to tape his calls with SAC, according to a person close to the situation. In his email, Mr. Kinnucan said he refused to tape any calls.

Still another strand of the probe is examining whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bankers leaked information about transactions, including health-care mergers, in ways that benefited certain investors, the people say. Goldman declined to comment.

On Oct. 26, the day after the FBI visited Mr. Kinnucan, agents visited the Primary Global account manager at his home, people familiar with the matter say.

FBI agent B.J. Kang, who was involved in last year's Galleon Group insider-trading case, asked most of the questions, which focused on an expert in the semiconductor industry who consulted for clients of Primary Global and several other expert-network firms, these people say.

The manager was asked about the firm's work with the expert, his pay and Primary Global guidelines regarding sharing proprietary, nonpublic information with clients, these people say. Mr. Kang declined to comment.

Primary Global's compliance policies, posted on its website, say experts "are required to keep in confidence proprietary information acquired by them," and must not "breach any agreement with their employers" by working as consultants or sharing prohibited information.

One challenge for expert-network firms is policing their consultants. Such firms hire current or former company employees, as well as doctors and other specialists, to share information with investment funds.

The consultants typically earn several hundred dollars an hour for their services, which can include meetings or phone calls with traders to discuss developments in their company or industry. The expert-network companies say internal policies bar their consultants from disclosing confidential information. But because there are so many calls and meetings with investment funds, not all are monitored, according to executives at expert-network companies.

It isn't the first time authorities have examined whether individuals working for expert-network firms have passed along inside information. The SEC and the New York Attorney General's office examined the activities of Gerson Lehrman Group, the largest expert-network firm, following a Wall Street Journal article on the company in late 2006. Both probes were dropped with no charges brought.

Those probes prompted a number of expert-network firms to beef up compliance rules, such as requiring experts to sign agreements saying they have their employers' permission to act as consultants, and saying they won't share material, nonpublic information with clients.

Executives of expert-network firms and others say such rules can't stop consultants from sharing prohibited information on private phone calls, either purposely or accidentally, when a client pressures them.

Attempts to get consent from consultants and clients to record phone calls, which some say would be a strong deterrent to problematic behavior, have fallen flat, people in the industry say.

"Clients have generally said they didn't want that," says Stuart Lewtan, who runs Zintro Inc, a small Waltham, Mass., expert-network firm. "These are people who generally operate in a pretty secretive way. Even if they're complying with SEC regulations, they generally just don't like to be recorded."

The current investigation has caused some hedge funds to cancel calls with experts, while others are going ahead with calls after reviewing compliance procedures with the analysts involved, lawyers and others say.

"In the short term, clients are going to be very nervous about using expert-network firms," said Michael Mayhew, head of Integrity Research Associates, a New York firm that tracks the industry and collects fees for helping investors select expert-network firms.

After news of the investigation broke on the Journal website on Friday night, some hedge funds reached out to clients to reassure them that they didn't rely on expert networks.

Vijai Mohan, founder of hedge fund Hyphen Partners LP in San Francisco, sent a letter to his investors over the weekend saying: "Hyphen purposely uses no 'expert networks,' and relies on publicly available information to draw its conclusions."
-Aparajita Saha-Bubna and Gregory Zuckerman contributed to this article.

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