Seventeen financial firms have signed interim agreements with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to stop taking part in analyst surveys while the state continues an industry-wide investigation into the early release of analysts’ opinions.
Schneiderman said in a press release that providing a preview to “powerful clients at the expense of others” skews the market.
“Our markets will only be fair and healthy if everyone plays by the same rules, which is why we will continue to take action against those who provide unfair advantages to elite traders at the expense of the rest of us,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
The agreement announced Tuesday follows an announcement last month that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, would end a practice of surveying Wall Street analysts to get insight into their views on various companies.
Schneiderman has for several months expressed concern over the early release of market-moving data to preferred investors, a practice he calls “Insider Trading 2.0.” The BlackRock investigations showed that through the questions in their surveys, companies could glean the analyst’s views on company management, earnings and other information that could provide early or unfair insight.
The following firms agreed to stop participating in the surveys while the investigation continues: Merrill Lynch, UBS Securities, Barclays Capital, Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse Securities, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Securities, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Thomas Weisel Partners, Macquarie Group, Vertical Research Partners, FBR Capital Markets and Wolfe Research.