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ENG Compliance Framework Helps Prevent Insider Trading

Boutique Firm Provides Management Tools That Mitigate Compliance Risk

NEW YORK, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ENG ||| Expert Network Group ("ENG") highlights its comprehensive cloud-based compliance framework allowing institutional investors to conduct thorough due diligence and channel checks without risking exchange of confidential information.

ENG's Expert Relationship Management System ("ERMS") gives institutional investors a secure arena to conduct primary research as regulators investigate firms for insider trading. Developed in collaboration with legal and compliance officers, the platform alleviates the burden of ambiguity by enforcing measures at every step along the client and expert interaction. "Institutions need to be able to develop market insights with confidence.  Our compliance framework leaves no room for error.  We understand and respect the intricacies of the insider trading laws and have translated them into comprehensive front and back-end controls," says Mark Wolkstein, Managing Partner of ENG. "It's our sole responsibility to ensure that any exchange of information facilitated by ENG complies with regulations set forth by the SEC," Wolkstein adds.  ENG's boutique approach to compliance surpasses regulatory standards of large expert networks that lack sufficient tools to effectively monitor their volume of daily engagements.

The SEC Encourages Use of Expert Networks

When managed correctly, an expert network holds both parties - experts and clients - accountable.  The Securities and Exchange Commission supports the use of expert networks, provided that ethical conduct takes precedence over financial gain. Carlo di Florio, Director of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the SEC recently stated that "the use of expert networks is an important part of the investment research process and the Commission does not seek to undermine them."

Robert S. Khuzami, Director of the Division of Enforcement of the SEC reinforced the importance of channel checks as a valuable component of any investor's mosaic. "The SEC has no interest in undermining the mosaic theory or preventing market participants from obtaining market color." Khuzami characterized recent cases filed by the SEC as "clearly over the line conduct."

ENG Effectively Safeguards Market Sensitive Data

ENG's ERMS compliance platform works in tandem with compliance officers at institutions to synchronize their policies and procedures regarding the way primary research is obtained.  ENG audits and documents all details related to events.  Clients benefit from complete transparency and comprehensive disclosures that allow due diligence to take place, unfettered by the risk of illegal practices.

  • Pre-event controls: ENG rigorously vets experts, who must undergo internal screening and training in operating policies and procedures. All activity and relevant work history details are logged and organized by date, firm, PM/analyst, event type, expert, event topic, duration as well as expert/client attestations; all customizable by client need. 
  • Event controls: ENG schedules, connects and hosts every one-on-one interaction. Exchanges are private conversations.  Centralizing and overseeing all interactions mitigates compliance risk.
  • Post-event controls: Each event (1x1 phone consultations, 1x1 meetings, field visits, guest speaker events) is logged, reported in ERMS and easily searchable.  All follow-up interactions are organized and hosted by ENG.  Complete audit trail is provided for client and compliance review. 

"Informed and insightful analysis, founded on primary research, always has been and will continue to be a fundamental part of the investment process. We are confident that the institutional community will continue to recognize ENG as an industry leader in compliance best practices," says Wolkstein.

About ENG ||| Expert Network Group, LLC

Founded by industry veterans in 2009, ENG takes a custom approach in providing institutions access to a diverse, global network of experts across all industries and sectors. ENG differentiates itself through the timely delivery of fresh, non-commoditized experts who have had limited exposure to the investment community. ENG emphasizes quality over quantity in order to provide only the most appropriate experts for each project. The firm currently serves institutional investors in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. 

SOURCE ENG ||| Expert Network Group

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