The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday charged a former Deutsche Bank research analyst with certifying a rating on a stock that was inconsistent with his personal view.
An SEC investigation found that Charles Grom certified a research report in 2012 about discount retailer, Big Lots, indicating that the report accurately reflected his beliefs about the company and its securities. But in private communications with the bank’s research and sales personnel, “Grom indicated that he didn’t downgrade Big Lots from a ‘buy’ recommendation in his report because he wanted to maintain his relationship with Big Lots management,” the SEC says in a statement.
Grom agreed to pay a US$100,000 penalty, and to be suspended from the securities industry for a year.
“When research analysts tell clients to buy or sell a particular security, the rules require them to actually mean what they say. Analysts simply cannot express one view publicly and the opposite view privately,” says Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division.
According to the SEC, Grom neither admitted nor denied the regulator’s findings, but consented to the SEC’s order finding that he violated the analyst certification requirements.