January 15, 2008

Is Wall Street Trading Ahead of Deals They Are Advising?

Yesterday’s WSJ ran this provocative article about a recent study that suggests that some investment banks are trading on deals they are working on – before the deals are announced. The article notes that study’s statistical pattern could be no more than a series of coincidences, reflecting unconnected events in disparate parts of large investment banks – but that the statistical likelihood of that is challenged by the study.

In the study – “The Dark Role of Investment Banks in the Market for Corporate Control” – three European finance professors examined more than 1,600 US merger deals between 1984 and 2003, along with quarterly 13F filings of institutional stock ownership. They found that during the last quarter before a merger announcement, large investment banks serving as lead advisers to acquirers accumulated shares in target companies just over 19% of the time – either by taking new stakes or significantly increasing existing stakes. That’s nearly double the 10.5% rate of investment banks not serving in that role. Look for FINRA and the SEC to be closely behind…

M&A: The ‘Former’ SEC Staff Speaks

Catch the webcast tomorrow – “The ‘Former’ SEC Staff Speaks” – to hear former Senior Staffers from the SEC’s Office of Mergers & Acquisitions weigh in on the latest rulemakings – and interpretations – from the SEC. This webcast will provide a complete “bring-down” of what’s happening at the SEC – and provide practical guidance about what you should be doing as a result. Join:

– Dennis Garris, Partner, Alston & Bird LLP and former Head, SEC’s Office of Mergers & Acquisitions
– Jim Moloney, Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and former Special Counsel, SEC’s Office of Mergers & Acquisitions

The grace period for has expired. As all memberships are on a calendar-year basis, if you haven’t renewed, you won’t be able to catch this webcast or this upcoming one: “MAC Clauses: All the Rage.” So renew your membership today!