Matthew Noel Murray

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Matthew Noel Murray is an American analyst who was the focus of widespread financial media publicity in 2006 after he reported his investment banking employer ([1]) to the United States Senate Finance Committee for what he considered to be inappropriate pressure not to lower his investment rating on one of the firm's clients.

His actions resulted in a Senate investigation of his employer that included a letter[2] being sent to the Chairman of the SEC requesting that action be taken and questioning[3] of Rodman's chairman Wesley Clark. The Senate's request was followed by the issuance of subpoenas[4] by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the New York Attorney General's office. In addition, a federal lawsuit, NASD arbitration, and an amicus brief in a case before the New York Court of Appeals all focused on this case which some related issues highlighted by the Wall Street Global Settlement. The investigation was reported on in two New York Times articles ([5][6]), an article in the New York Post, and a video segment on CNBC.[7]

The email [8] at the center of the case, which had been sent to the analyst by the director of research, includes a suggestion that he "finesse his target price." Rodman has acknowledged in court documents that this is an awkward request to be made by a superior regarding an investment banking client but maintains that it was merely an attempt to improve the precision of the rating, citing a dictionary definition. However, the analyst has stated that subsequent actions by the firm, including his [9] from the research department and[10] from the firm, support his contention that this was an attempt to suppress an independent research opinion. The analyst also cites the fact that he was denied his [11] on two occasions[12] to have his name removed from coverage, citing SEC Regulation AC, after he was denied his request for a downgrade of his investment rating from buy to sell. Several Wall Street analysts have created a blog [13] that contains updates on developments in this case.

In a ruling dated Aug 26th, 2010, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel ordered Murray to pay $10.7 million in damages to Rodman for defamation and interfering with business relations. A counterclaim filed by Murray, seeking a total of $4 million in compensatory and punitive damages, as well as other relief, was denied.[14]