Compliance Solutions for Investment Advisers

Cherry-Picking

So what is cherry-picking?  The SEC gives a good description in a recent enforcement case (In the Matter of MiddleCove Capital, LLC and Noah L. Meyers):

“Myers executed his cherry-picking scheme by unfairly allocating trades that had appreciated in value during the course of the day to his personal and business accounts and allocating trades that had depreciated in value during the day to the accounts of his advisory clients. Myers did this by purchasing securities in an omnibus account and delaying allocation of the purchases until later in the day (and sometimes the next day), after he saw whether the securities appreciated in value. When a security appreciated in value on the day of purchase, Myers would often sell the security and disproportionately allocate the purchase and the realized day-trading profit to his own accounts or accounts benefiting himself or his family members. In contrast, for securities that did not appreciate on the day of purchase, Myers would disproportionately allocate these purchases to his clients’ accounts and his clients would hold the position for more than one day.”

line