Disclosing inside information: Can investors still be brought ‘over the wall’?

A string of recent, high-profile enforcement actions by the FSA has highlighted the risk for companies and financial advisers of improperly disclosing inside information. It also serves as a reminder of the need for robust procedures to ensure that inside information is only communicated to third parties in those limited circumstances where disclosure is permitted.

The practice of “wall-crossing” investors has also been brought under scrutiny. This is where a number of investors are briefed about a major, forthcoming transaction by a publicly traded company ahead of any announcement to the market. The usual purpose of making such a disclosure is to elicit support from shareholders for the transaction in question or to ascertain the investor’s appetite for participating in a fund raising. It also allows the company a degree of comfort that the transaction will be well-received when launched…

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