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Affiliated investment firms settle SEC trading violations charges


Two units of an investment firm will pay more than $1 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that they improperly shared nonpublic information, the SEC said Thursday.

The SEC said from that February to March 2012, World Trade L.L.C., a broker dealer, shared information with Wolverine Asset Management L.L.C., an investment adviser, about trading positions and strategies for an exchange-traded note in violation of their firms' policies and procedures. Both companies are subsidiaries of Chicago-based Wolverine Holdings Inc.

“Wolverine Asset Management subsequently profited from a market opportunity that it should not have received,” said the SEC.

Each unit agreed to pay penalties of $375,000, and Wolverine Asset Management will pay disgorgement of $364,146 plus prejudgment interest of $39,158, the SEC said.

“The federal securities laws require not only careful establishment of policies and procedures to prevent the misuse of material, nonpublic information, but also vigorous maintenance and enforcement of those policies and procedures,” said Michael J. Osnato, Jr., chief of the Enforcement Division's Complex Financial Instruments Unit, in a statement. “Without consistent oversight and vigilance, broker-dealers and investment advisers like Wolverine Trading and Wolverine Asset Management fail to counteract the ever-present risk of misuse.”

Wolverine said in a statement, “We take very seriously the need to maintain the proper separation between Wolverine entities. We have worked diligently over the last three years to improve and expand the information barrier policies and procedures for all of our entities including Wolverine Trading and Wolverine Asset Management.”

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