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June 22, 2017

Posted  August 1, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced additional charges in an enforcement investigation involving the improper handling of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) by a Wall Street firm’s securities lending desk. The SEC’s order finds supervisory failures by Anthony Portelli, a former managing director and head of operations at broker-dealer ITG Inc.  Portelli supervised ITG’s securities lending operations and was responsible for the firm’s compliance with “pre-release agreements” for ADR transactions.  ADRs are U.S. securities that represent foreign shares of a foreign company.  Before obtaining a “pre-released ADR” to lend to a customer, brokers like ITG must own, or determine that a customer owns, the number of foreign shares that corresponds to the number of shares the ADR represents.  Under Portelli’s watch, personnel on ITG’s securities lending desk failed to take reasonable steps to determine whether the proper amounts of foreign shares were owned and held by ITG’s customers.  This failure opened up the possibility that the ADRs could be used improperly for short selling or dividend arbitrage. SEC

Tagged in: Market Manipulation and Trading Violations, Regulatory Violations, Securities Fraud,