SEC accuses Polar Asset Management trader of front-running scheme

Sean Wygovsky, CFA, a Toronto-based trader was arrested this morning and charged with securities and wire fraud in a front-running scheme. His employer is by far the oldest and largest Canadian hedge fund, Polar Asset Management, AUM of over $20 billion.

Sean allegedly exploited his advance knowledge of Polar's large market-moving orders to place profitable trades using accounts of family relatives. The scheme is alleged to have run since 2015, involving at least 700 trades and more than US$3.6m in profits. A large chunk of which was, it is claimed, kicked back to him.

Sean is facing fraud charges with a maximum sentence of twenty years. The CFA Institute may also send him a letter of reprimand.

You can read this background of Polar Asset Management:

Polar Asset Management, Original Gangster of Canadian Hedge Funds

In 2016, Sean was named by Institutional Investor as a hedge fund rising star and profiled thus:

After Wygovsky graduated in 2002 with a BS in business administration, his first job in finance was as an investment analyst with asset manager TIAA-CREF in New York. Finding that role insufficiently challenging, after two years he switched to trading, starting in corporate bonds with New York hedge fund firm Exis Capital Management. In 2006 he joined New York–based Tiger Management Corp., where he became a trader for a handful of hedge funds in the Tiger stable of managers. Then in 2013, Wygovsky was given the opportunity to join Polar Asset Management Partners as a partner, trader and portfolio manager.

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