Guest Post: Shining A Light On Expert Networks Part 3

Tyler Durden's picture

Memo to Steve Jobs / Steve Dowling of Apple

Dear Steve and Steve:

I know you are always quite concerned about secrecy and so I thought you might want to know about what appears to be a real breach in your security veil. No, not for software. We're talking about reporting systems for product sales. You may or may not know of a company called Brightstar. This company is one of the largest distributors of mobile handsets in the world. And yes, they do distribute Apple iPhones, as well as phones from RIMM, Nokia and Samsung. One of my anayst colleagues in the hedge fund industry told me earlier this year that a senior Brightstar executive is or was in the employ of a company called DeMatteo Monness. This company is a close partner of LinkedIn and is one of the "expert networks" we've been writing about here on ZeroHedge.

These networks provide exclusive access -- for a price -- to hedge fund managers seeking confidential conversations with people working inside various industries. (Note to Andrew Cuomo: Is this getting interesting?). As you probably realize, cell phone distributors have a wealth of information that hedge fund managers could potentially benefit from but is not available to the general public or even to most institutional investors. This information is closely held due to the sensitive nature of cell phone sales and shipments and the impact such information could have on stock prices. Whether this senior Brightstar manager is still consulting with hedge fund managers (for what is likely to be a sum of $500 per hour or so) I am unsure. But you should ask the expert network company he was working with for transcripts of those conversations to ensure that no insider trading rules were violated and no material data was released. And you may want to discuss with Brightstar, as well, what sort of information may or may not have been released.

Steve and Steve, just trying to help you run a tight ship. I'm sure the hedge fund managers won't mind talking to normal sources of information that are more accessible, such as the NPD Group. Good luck going forward.


Hedgehog's Repent

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Hephasteus's picture

Any cell phone is a bug. Many are cameras. They can be burst transmitted remotely record things for several minutes. They keep getting bigger and faster processors. More and more ram. They use dangerous battery packs that have so much energy density they make deadly or very harmful explosive or incindiery devices.

When you drop a cell phone which happens all the time you stand the chance of damaging the battery pack just a little. Then that same pack can explode in your shirt pocket or ear. The need to spy and have devices that don't make much sense engineering wise is so strong that cell phone companies cover up the battery and power problems that they have.

Cell phone companies have alot of information. But it's not just a side affect of their industry. They are actively gathering it and selling it off.

Rollerball's picture

After Katrina, Blackwater (Xe) had snipers atop NO server banks.  Penetrate the perimeter, and you're riding with JFK.    

Anonymous's picture

I wondered when ZeroHedge would rip this little scab open. Wait until they start digging on Gerson Lehrman's operations. Expert networks are nominally industry experts that help hedgies understand market trends, but what really happens is that the smarties in hedge land are able to manipulate the interviews of naive industry people into divulging inside information that is unavailable to the wider market. This is complete insider trading, but I never thought that the regulators would be smart enough to catch on. Maybe ZeroHedge can illuminate them. If the powerful market forces don't take them down first.
If you're a member of the general investing public, please take these issues that ZH is issuing seriously. They are fighting for your right to participate in a fair market.

Anonymous's picture

"Expert networks are large communities of industry professionals who occasionally are paid to provide opinion and color on a particular subject, event, product marketplace or industry. More than 20 expert networks operate globally. Their primary clientele are investment funds and corporations which utilize experts as part of their fundamental research efforts."

Ben_the_Bald's picture

Any disclosure of confidential information between the Brightstar executive and a third party may be violating a non-disclosure agreement between the company Brightstar and the manufacturer, say Nokia. Is there a way to pursue this issue with the manufacturers directly? Or are the non-disclosure agreements insufficient or non-existent?

Careless Whisper's picture

It seems very inappropriate for any company to allow an executive to disclose proprietary information. If the information is not publicly available then there is concern for unfair treatment in favor of the purchaser of the selected information. This entire industry needs to be looked at as is implied by the author.

Anonymous's picture

With this "expert network" story I guess we can look forward to another smear in the Post or some other MSM venue trying to out ZH on some trumped up rumor (or perhaps fact).

What was so disappointing is that two stalwarts of the econoblogs Yves and Felix (the latter is not really a stalwart) embraced the story. I wonder what kind of fees a speaker gets to speak at a gathering of banksters.

Ironic that hanging with a convicted felon (do we remember Mr. Milen) is now socially acceptable but being associated with a blogger who is leading the charge against corruption and of whom rumors are running rampant in the MSM is anathema.

Anonymous's picture

that's Mr. Milken as in Michael Milken (Milken was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989 as the result of an insider trading investigation. After a plea bargain, he pled guilty to six securities and reporting violations but was never convicted of racketeering or insider trading.)

Anonymous's picture

I should read my own posts holy f --- "Prior to that, she worked for Goldman Sachs"

Anonymous's picture

All I know is chicken-fried steak is not good for your arteries. It doesn't matter who cooked it, where you ate it, or how many salads you may eat in the future. The stuff will eventually give you a heart attack.

Anonymous's picture

All I know is chicken-fried steak is not good for your arteries. It doesn't matter who cooked it, where you ate it, or how many salads you may eat in the future. The stuff will eventually give you a heart attack.

Anonymous's picture

All I know is chicken-fried steak is not good for your arteries. It doesn't matter who cooked it, where you ate it, or how many salads you may eat in the future. The stuff will eventually give you a heart attack.

Rollerball's picture

Yeah, pluck the right haarp string, and the frequency will kill ya.

Anonymous's picture

And I ma wondering why Nokia stock keep going down in a general improving market conditions. Hell it is trading at a FEB level and we all know what the market looked like back then. So may be hedgies know some extra info.

Anonymous's picture

The guys who originally invested in glg worked for money managers whose /cough research money /cough was funneled
to glg, as i understand it.

Anonymous's picture

The expert networks are in the vein of "loosely stay within the letter of the law while completely violating the spirt of disclosure laws". The agreements are written so the IR guys can actually sign off on an employee's participation in the expert network.

Funny thing is, while some of these experts are literally doubling their pay by serving as experts, a high number of the inside experts really don't know jack but are still booking 10-20 hrs a week with the hedge fund community.

Ben_the_Bald's picture

The expertise doesn't need to be genuine. Sometimes name recognition is sufficient.


For example:

GLG is one of several plaintiffs in the case of the Canadian pharmaceutical company Biovail against the hedge fund SAC Capital Investors. According to the Financial Times, "The suit ... alleges that Gerson Lehrman, a research firm that matches hedge funds with officials with expertise in particular industries, paid doctors to provide quotes to the financial press, including some false statements, that were damaging to Biovail. Gerson Lehrman facilitated 'the dissemination of false and misleading information for illegal market manipulation purposes,' the suit alleges" (Financial Times, February 23, 2006).

And by the way, this case was decided this week:

Judge Trashes Drug Co.’s Suit Against SAC

A New Jersey judge has dismissed a lawsuit against SAC Capital Advisors accusing the hedge fund of market manipulation.

Judge Donald Goldman ruled yesterday that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case, brought by Canadian pharmaceutical company Biovail. But he also ruled that Biovail had failed to show that it was entitled to any damages, even if its claims were true.

“Biovail fails to elicit any specific damages, and instead relies upon a general diminution theory,” the judge ruled. “Biovail’s claims must be dismissed.”

Goldman did specify that he had not evaluated the merits of Biovail’s claims, which also named research firm Gradient Analytics and hedge fund Sigma Capital Management.

The drug company had accused SAC of conspiring with independent research firms and Wall Street analysts to put out bogus research reports about Biovail, with the intention of hurting its stock price. Goldman’s decision follows a federal judge’s tossing of a second lawsuit against SAC, this one filed by Biovail shareholders.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler in Newark, N.J., ruled that the shareholder’s suit had “a tainted origin,” since it used documents that another federal judge had ordered sealed, and pointed to Biovail’s own alleged wrongdoing.

Biovail has agreed to pay more than $150 million since suing SAC to settle allegations that it, too, made false statements, to boost its share price, as well as charges of accounting improprieties.


Ben_the_Bald's picture

Are you guys ready to take on the likes of Mark Gerson of the GLG?


Good luck with that, really.

Here's some background:


I know Ron Paul doesn't like neocons, but this one is as well connected as they come.