The SEC has initiated cease-and-desist proceedings against a portfolio management firm in upstate New York and its CEO for allegedly failing to disclose material conflicts of interest relating to the private funds it was recommending to advisory clients -- charges that the firm vigorously denies.

The commission is charging that Edgar R. Page and his firm, PageOne Financial, promoted three private funds to the firm's advisor clients while concealing an arrangement whereby one of the fund managers was set to acquire a 49% stake in the firm.

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