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NYSE Chairman Should Resign After Being Involved in NYSE Insider Trading Scheme

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Dec. 2, 2020

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The Progressive Investor

NYSE Chairman Should Resign After Being Involved in Insider Trading Scheme

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA -- A web site that tracks corporate governance and individual investor protection issues is calling for the resignation of the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange after the SEC named him in an unprecedented insider trading scheme along with his wife, a sitting US Senator.

Due to the insider trading charges against NYSE Chairman Jeff Sprecher, Chuck Epstein, the editor of the web site,, said these charges taint the exchange's corporate governance standards and have seriously tarnished the NYSE's reputation and self-policing authority.

NYSE chairman Jeff Sprecher is also the founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, (ICE), the NYSE's owner.

"As the symbol of American capitalism and the nation's top corporate governance authority, these charges raise issues about conflicts-of-interest, self-dealing, the validity of self-regulation and the exchange's commitment to corporate governance. In its simplest form, these charges present the appearance of impropriety," Epstein said.

"All this has damaged the NYSE's reputation. NYSE-listed companies that value transparency should be very concerned when their shares trade on an exchange whose chairman was even remotely associated with insider trading," according to Epstein.

Epstein, a former NYSE employee, noted the NYSE is a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) and can investigate and punish member firms and their top executives without SEC approval. As a publicly-traded company that is owned by ICE, the NYSE must comply with the same standards it applies to its own listed companies.

The US Justice Department dismissed the insider trading charges against the couple, citing they complied with SEC Rule b5-1. This rule allows company insiders to sell a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time after receiving material non-public information if completed under particular conditions.

"SEC Rule b5-1 may serve a purpose. However, the timing of these trades by Sprecher and his wife, Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, immediately after she attended a confidential Senate briefing on the impact of the COVID virus on the US economy, shows poor judgment," Epstein said.

"Insider trading charges are among the most serious for any director of a publicly-traded company, especially those that involve the NYSE chairman. The people involved in these events have created the perfect storm of money, politics, and the appearance of selective enforcement," Epstein said.

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Chuck Epstein has held senior-level marketing communications positions at the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Russell Investments, Principal Financial, Zacks Investment Research and Lind-Waldock. He is the author of (more...)

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