The Securities and Exchange Commission's crackdown on short-selling violations has cost the Australian Securities Exchange two longtime board members.
Manikay Partners founders Russell Aboud and Shane Finemore resigned from the exchange's board. The two announced their decision last night, after the ASX board met to discuss the situation.
New York-based Manikay was one of 23 hedge funds and other investors rapped by the SEC for violating Rule 105, which bars "shorting into the deal"—participating in a stock offering within five days of having shorted the stock on offer. It settled, contributing $2.65 million to the $14.1 million collected by the SEC from such prominent names as D.E. Shaw Group and Hudson Bay Capital Management.
Manikay illegally participated in a Citigroup share offering after shorting the bank's shares in 2009. The firm was not accused of any wrongdoing; Rule 105 does not require intent to cause a violation.
"I don't think that there is a governance perception issue for the ASX arising from this, but the cleanest thing for us to do in the circumstances is to resign," Aboud told The Australian.
Aboud has served on the ASX board since 2005. Finemore joined in 2007, a year before the two launched the $1.5 billion hedge fund.