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Right place at the right time? Or insider information?

Tom Tropp | June 27, 2017

A manager becomes aware that her employer plans to acquire a company in a rural community in which there is already a branch office. She assumes that Corporate will want to move the two offices into one location, and she also knows that there is only one building in town that can accommodate the new office size. The building is for sale, and there are very few buyers in that area. She quietly approaches the desperate seller, offers a low price for the property and closes on the building two weeks before the merger agreement is completed by her employer. Her employer then announces the merger and immediately begins searching for a location to consolidate the two offices. Her building gets the lease at a rate that is substantially greater than the building would have brought a few months earlier. Is she guilty of using “insider information,” or is she just in the right place at the right time? Is this a compliance issue or an ethical one?

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