Janney Montgomery Scott LLC has consented to pay $850,000 to resolve Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it failed to set up and enforce policies to prevent possible insider trading. The financial services firm also agreed to cease from further violations of laws that prevent the misuse of material, nonpublic information that could be used for insider trading. Even with the securities settlement, however, Janney is not admitting wrongdoing.
According to regulators, between January 2005 and July 2009, there were occasions when Janney’s Equity Capital Markets division did not enforce policies. Some of these failures, which created the risk that certain information could be used for insider trading, included:
• Failure to comply with written procedures.
• Not properly monitoring trading in securities belonging to companies that Janney’s investment bankers were advising.
• Not requiring that investment bankers obtain clearance for personal trades prior to making them.
• Failing to get yearly questionnaires identifying employees who had brokerage counts at other financial firms.
• Not reviewing these employees’ activities at these other firms.
Also per the settlement, Janney will retain an independent compliance consultant who will make recommendations about how to comply with laws pertaining to material, nonpublic information.
Insider Trading and Securities Fraud Enforcement Act of 1988
Under this act, firms must implement policies and procedures to prevent insider trading from happening and ensure that employees are aware of these immediately upon hiring. These policies and procedures have to be formal.
It is a firm’s responsibility to ensure that these policies are followed. They must conduct reviews of employees and proprietary trading, while monitoring employee trading that doesn’t involve the firm. If a firm suspects possible insider trading, it must immediately investigate the allegations.
Related Web Resources:
Janney Montgomery Scott To Pay $850K To Settle SEC Charges, RTT News, January 11, 2011
Janney Montgomery Scott settles SEC charges, Bloomberg/Business Week/AP, July 11, 2011
SEC Charges Janney Montgomery Scott Failed to Maintain and Enforce Policies to Prevent Misuse of Material, Nonpublic Information, SEC, July 11, 2011
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