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March 15, 2007

SEC Probes Hedge Fund Trades

By Peter Chapman

The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked several brokerage firms for the details of their stock and options trades made during a two-week period last September. The regulator is trying to determine whether any of the brokerages' hedge fund clients improperly benefited from information about pending large trades. The SEC is examining the transactions of several firms because it believes the hedge funds may have received information from one house and traded on that information with another. The SEC also wants a list of the brokerage firms' customers that use the firms' prime brokerage systems. Behind the SEC's action lie charges by traditional money managers of front-running by hedge funds.