New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced interim agreements Wednesday with large investment firms to stop their practice of cooperating with analyst surveys administered by some technologically sophisticated clients at the expense of other consumers.
Schneiderman said the practice that can put the market at an unfair disadvantage.
He requested that the firms end their participation in these surveys while he conducted an industrywide investigation into early access to analysts’ opinions.
Last month, Schneiderman announced his office’s agreement with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to end its practice of surveying Wall Street analysts for their opinions on firms they cover.
As the result of the continuing investigation, Schneiderman announced interim agreements with 18 financial firms – Merrill Lynch; UBS Securities LLC; Barclays Capital Inc.; Citigroup Global Markets Inc.; Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC; Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC; Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.; Jefferies LLC; Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc.; Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC; Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., a division of Stifel; Thomas Weisel Partners, a division of Stifel; Macquarie Group; Vertical Research Partners; FBR Capital Markets & Co.; and Wolfe Research.
The firms have agreed to discontinue cooperating with these surveys and to continue their cooperation with the attorney general’s investigation. The firms also have agreed to not participation in any survey worldwide that relates to companies listed on U.S. exchanges.
“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,” said Schneiderman.