SEC Probes Unit of Thomson Financial

The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Thomson Financial to find out more about its service providing information to public companies about their institutional investors, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Thomson Financial is cooperating fully with the SEC and has been informed that the inquiry should not be construed as an indication by the commission or its staff that any violation of law has occurred," the company said in a statement.

The Stamford, CT, company is a unit of Thomson Corp. of Toronto, generated $33 million in revenue last year from its small capital-markets intelligence group, the Journal reported, adding that the group helps companies determine client buying and selling trends. Thomson Financial had overall revenues of $1.5 billion.

"At times, [Thomson] estimates trading activity during the interim period between filings," Tim Casey, a media analyst at broker BMO Nesbitt Burns, told Ecommerce Times. That's the "activity that is being investigated and the analysis includes several companies in the sector," Casey said in a report to clients.

Some securities lawyers told Ecommerce Times that they believe that the SEC may be looking at whether brokerage firms are violating customer confidentiality by providing institutional investor trading information to firms like Thomson.

The SEC declined comment.

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