The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent hedge funds a list of questions they should pose to employees and clients who are privy to information that would constitute insider trading if they were to share it with portfolio managers, the Associated Press reports.
In particular, the SEC is asking hedge funds for a list of all of their employees and clients and any of their relatives who are executives or directors at publicly traded companies.
“This is an effort to look out for potential insider trading at hedge funds and to ensure that hedge fund advisers are living up to their obligation to detect and prevent insider trading,” said Mark Schonfeld, director of the SEC’s New York regional office.
But hedge funds are taking the request in stride, according to Nora Jordan, a hedge fund attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Jordan said she didn’t expect it to result in any information. “It would surprise me if they found some big smoking gun on this,” she said.
The SEC came under scrutiny last year when one of its former attorneys charged that his superiors had prevented him from investigating insider trading information a prominent Wall Street executive had shared with a hedge fund.
Last month, the Senate issued a report recommending that the SEC establish formal procedures for conducting enforcement investigations.