There is no exception from the at-will employment doctrine for the chief compliance officer of a hedge fund who claims he was fired because he questioned the ethics of his boss’ trading activities, a unanimous appeals panel in Manhattan ruled yesterday.

“As hard as it may seem,” Justice Eugene Nardelli (See Profile) wrote for the Appellate Division, First Department, the compliance officer at Peconic Partners can be fired despite his position and the firm’s ethics code which requires its employees to “determine” whether the code has been violated “on pain of termination.”

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