Massachusetts Securities Division Proposes Regulation on the Use by Hedge Fund Managers of Expert Networks

On April 20, 2011, the Massachusetts Securities Division (Division) proposed regulations that would impose new conditions on the use of “matching or expert network services” by Massachusetts-registered hedge fund managers or unregistered hedge fund managers operating in Massachusetts.  In the proposing release, the Division stated: “The rise of expert network firms, and the number of abuses which have been addressed by regulators, make it clear that additional measures are required to ensure that confidential information is not being accessed and traded upon.”  By way of evidence of “the number of abuses which have been addressed by regulators,” the Division’s proposing release cites the Division’s own recently filed complaint against Risk Reward Capital Management Corp., the allegations of which remain to be proven.  See “Massachusetts Commences Civil Securities Fraud Enforcement Action against Hedge Fund Investment Adviser Risk Reward Capital Alleging that the Hedge Fund Traded on Inside Information Provided through an Expert Network,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 10 (Mar. 18, 2011).  This article describes relevant Massachusetts regulation and how the proposed regulation would change the current regulatory regime.  This article concludes with a critique of the proposed resolution, generally suggesting that it is overbroad, redundant of current law, redundant of current practice and incomplete.

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