A senior Fidelity Investments trader left the huge mutual-funds company this week, the fifth to depart since Fidelity recently began reviewing...
BOSTON — A senior Fidelity Investments trader left the huge mutual-funds company this week, the fifth to depart since Fidelity recently began reviewing compliance with conflict-of-interest policies covering gifts and trading involving employees’ relatives, a Fidelity spokeswoman said yesterday.
The spokeswoman, Anne Crowley, confirmed that David Donovan Jr. left Tuesday, but she declined to discuss the circumstances.
Donovan, who oversaw trading in technology stocks, told The Boston Globe for a story published in yesterday’s editions that regulators were investigating whether a single trade by his mother was connected to Fidelity’s trading position in stocks.
Donovan, a 13-year Fidelity employee and one of the company’s highest-rated traders, said his mother’s personal trade “had nothing to do with me.” He told the Globe he was confident a regulatory inquiry would turn up nothing wrong.
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Donovan did not return a phone message left yesterday at his Marblehead home. His attorney, Raipher Pellegrino, said his client was “continuing to work out separation issues with Fidelity.” Pellegrino declined to comment further.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said an internal inquiry by Fidelity discovered stock purchases in the personal account of Donovan’s mother that were made before Fidelity executed orders to buy the same security.
Because a move by a big mutual-fund company such as Fidelity to buy a stock can cause that security’s price to rise, securities laws forbid traders from profiting from their inside knowledge on their company’s positions, or from passing along information to others.
The Globe, citing attorneys involved in the case that the newspaper did not identify, said investigators were reviewing trading by Donovan’s mother, Concetta Donovan, in shares of Covad Communications, a telecommunications firm.
Boston-based Fidelity, the No. 1 mutual company in terms of assets, in December disciplined 14 employees amid a probe of compliance with its conflict-of-interest policies covering gifts from brokers to Fidelity’s traders. The probe, which Crowley said yesterday is continuing, also involves potential violations of ethics rules governing employees and their relatives.
In addition to the 14 who were disciplined, two other Fidelity employees departed the company, and three more have since left, Crowley said.