David D. Brown IV, chief of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's Investment Protection Bureau, said today there are "10 to 20 other institutions out there that we know have problems" with market timing. The money involved in many cases is "astronomical," and sanctions will be correspondingly large, Mr. Brown said at a Securities Industry Association conference in New York. He did not identify the money management firms under investigation but noted that in "virtually every instance, very senior people" at the firms involved were aware of timing arrangements.
Mr. Brown called on the managers to be more proactive in addressing the issue, saying that many of the firms seem to be waiting for regulators to come to them. He said with only 15 attorneys and "an ample number of targets," Mr. Spitzer's office would look kindly on those firms that come forward and say, "Yes, we had a timing issue, and we believe the damages are X."
Also at the conference, SEC Commissioner Paul S. Atkins said "we must be open to innovative solutions" with regard to the SEC's 4 p.m. ET hard-close proposal for mutual fund trades. Mr. Atkins said a "critical additional piece of our proposal" is an alternative to allow intermediaries that could prove receipt of a trade order by 4 p.m. to receive same-day pricing, even if the order is delivered after 4 p.m.