Reports that Fidelity is disciplining traders for accepting gifts from broker-dealers are being more widely reported. Thursday the Boston Herald reported that Fidelity may fire some of those involved. Friday other media outlets picked up the story, including the Wall Street Journal that reported
that two two traders may be placed on leave while Fidelity awaits a meeting with the SEC set for early next week.
The probe appears to involve possible gifts from a Jefferies Group employee to traders at Fidelity. The NASD and SEC are also examing practices at other broker-dealers.
In its report, the WSJ adds that Scott DeSano, Fidelity's head of stock trading, was at one Jefferies-organized outing. If DeSano paid for his portion of the expenses himself he would not have violated any any rules.
The Boston Globe picks up the DeSano tie
and contends that broker-dealers may not be unhappy if DeSano is harmed by the investigation. The Fidelity trading head has build a reputation for holding broker-dealers' feet to the fire when purchasing their services. He is also a lead critic of how the NYSE now conducts trades.
Fidelity's independent trustees are also watching the case, the Boston Globe reports in a separate article
. It quotes Marvin L. Mann, lead independent trustee, as saying that they "are aware of this matter as we oversee all the activities of the funds. We know both the regulators and the company are thoroughly reviewing the matters in question."
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