UBS Settles Claims that It Offered Hedge Fund Manager Customers of its Prime Brokerage Business Below-Market Office Rental Deals Without Adequate Disclosure

On November 18, 2010, the Massachusetts Securities Division (Division) entered into a Consent Order with UBS Securities LLC (UBS) settling allegations that UBS violated Massachusetts securities laws by failing to disclose deals for high-end office space offered at below-market rents in exchange for hedge fund prime brokerage business.  The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, William F. Galvin, released a statement confirming that UBS agreed to pay $100,000 to settle the eight-year investigation into the so-called “hedge fund hotels.”  In addition, UBS agreed to hire an independent consultant to review its disclosure policy and report to the Division with implementation recommendations that UBS must adopt.  This article reviews the (admitted) facts found in the Order regarding the office space arrangement; UBS’ disclosure policies regarding the arrangement over the relevant period; the sequence of events leading to the settlement; conclusions of law (not admitted by UBS) regarding alleged violations of Massachusetts law as well as the remedies agreed to under the terms of the settlement.

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