Former Goldman Analyst Barred by Finra for Insider Trading

Former Goldman Sachs & Co. research analyst Brian Maguire was barred from the securities industry for twice buying stocks after he learned a fellow analyst was upgrading his recommendations.

Maguire bought shares in two companies through undisclosed accounts after seeing internal emails that showed the analyst covering the stocks was raising his ratings from “neutral” to “buy,” according to a Tuesday statement from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Maguire made the purchases in April and June 2020, after the upgrades were approved internally but before research reports announcing the changes were published.

“Insider trading by securities industry professionals erodes the public trust in our capital markets,” Jessica Hopper, the brokerage industry-funded regulator’s enforcement chief, said in the statement. “Finra utilizes sophisticated surveillance tools to detect and remediate this type of misconduct.”

During the investigation, Maguire lied to Finra about his trading history, according to the statement. Maguire, who didn’t admit or deny the regulator’s allegations, also bought and sold securities he covered in violation of Goldman policies.

On multiple occasions, Maguire sold securities when he had a “buy” recommendation in his latest research, Finra said. He also authored reports without disclosing that a member of his household had a financial interest in the companies, something that is prohibited under Finra conflict of interest rules. The regulator also said Maguire traded without seeking pre-approval from Goldman.

An attorney for Maguire didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former employee in question violated firm policy and was terminated, a Goldman spokesperson said in an email. The New York-based bank has a zero tolerance policy for behavior of this sort and cooperated with authorities, the spokesperson said.

Maguire joined Goldman in July 2010 and covered the paper, packing and waste management sector, according to the Finra order. The bank fired Maguire in November 2020 over insider trading concerns. He was based in Houston, according to his LinkedIn page.

Goldman has had a string of insider trading cases against its employees in recent years. In January 2020, an investment banker plead guilty in New York for sharing details on upcoming deals. In June 2019, another banker was sentenced to three months in prison for sharing illicit tips. And an analyst pleaded guilty in 2018 to leaking information to a National Football League linebacker in exchange for tickets to games.

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