Selective Dissemination of Research Through Surveys, Trade Ideas Platforms, Huddles and Desk Research: What Are the Implications for Hedge Funds?

A July 15, 2012 article in The New York Times originally entitled “In Surveys, Hedge Funds See Early Views of Stock Analysts,” highlighted the topic of selective dissemination of research, alleging that hedge funds are getting early access to ratings changes through surveys and “trade ideas” platforms.  Not to be outdone, The Wall Street Journal published an article on July 25, 2012 titled “Stock Research, For a Select Few” which discussed trade ideas platforms and the rise of “desk analysts” who are not subject to the same dissemination requirements as publishing analysts.  While selective dissemination is a front burner issue for regulators, the compliance implications for hedge funds are less clear.  In a guest article, Sanford (Sandy) Bragg, CEO of Integrity Research Associates, LLC, describes various methods for disseminating research, including surveys, trade ideas platforms, huddles and desk research; reviews recent regulatory activity on and rules governing the selective dissemination of research, particularly as it relates to trade ideas platforms; and discusses how hedge funds might mitigate selective dissemination risks.

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