Inside The Mind of An Inside Trader

Inside The Mind of An Inside Trader

No Big 4 audit firms or their partners have been named in the insider trading scandal surrounding the now-defunct hedge fund Galleon Management. But the SEC has accused one of the most prominent businessmen ever implicated in such crimes, Rajat Gupta, a former McKinsey & Company Global Managing Director.

Mark O'Connor, CEO of Monadnock Research, put together a research note for his subscribers that gives us the details of the accusations. He also provides new insight into why a guy like Gupta may have committed these alleged crimes.

Gupta is alleged to have tipped Galleon's Rajaratnam, a friend and business associate, providing him with confidential information learned during board calls and in other aspects of his duties on the Goldman and P&G boards. Gupta reportedly made calls to Rajaratnam "within seconds" of leaving board sessions where market-moving information was discussed.

The complaint alleges that Rajaratnam then either used the inside information on Goldman and P&G to execute trades on behalf of some of Galleon's hedge funds, or shared it with others at Galleon, who then traded on it ahead of public disclosure. The SEC claims the insider trading scheme generated more than $18 million in a combination of illicit profits and loss avoidance.

The SEC also says that Gupta was, at the time of the alleged disclosures of confidential non-public information, a direct or indirect investor in at least some of Galleon's hedge funds, and had other business interests with Rajaratnam.

Gupta, as a McKinsey veteran, embodied the "trusted advisor" consulting ethos and personified the McKinsey "advisor to CEOs" business strategy and brand. The firm's value to its clients and its effectiveness as an advisor requires knowing their secrets and holding them close to the vest.

Gupta was McKinsey & Company's worldwide Managing Director for 9 years from 1994 through 2003...Gupta, now 62, stepped down as a McKinsey partner in 2007, and has since served as Managing Director Emeritus, according to his profile at the Indian School of Business (ISB). Gupta was instrumental in co-founding ISB in 2001, and continues to serve as its current Governing Board Chairman and Executive Board Chairman. He is also a current or former board member (or trustee) of AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines; the Rockefeller Foundation; the University of Chicago; Harman International Industries; Genpact India; the World Economic Forum; the International Chamber of Commerce, World Business Organization; New Silk Route and New Silk Route Private Equity; and the Emergency Management and Research Institute. Galleon's Rajaratnam was also associated with the New Silk Route ventures, where Gupta continues as Chairman. Rajaratnam is no longer associated with those entities.

Several media commentators have openly wondered whether the accusations against Gupta, and earlier accusations in the same scandal against McKinsey senior partner and Gupta protégé Anil Kumar, strike a deadly blow to McKinsey.

Read this article in its entirety at the re: The Auditors, a blog by Francine McKenna

Insider trading is discussed in greater detail in 6 A.A. Sommer Jr., Securities Law Techniques, Ch. 80 (Matthew Bender Rev. Ed.), " Insider Trading Under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act," which can be accessed online by subscribers of lexis.com.  This treatise is also available in the LexisNexis online store.

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