Matt Jacobs, CFA, recommended to a client that he buy shares in Timeco, which has subsequently underperformed the market. Timeco stock is thinly traded, and its price has decreased sharply over the past few weeks because two insiders have sold large blocks of shares. Jacobs believes this price decrease reflects an illiquid market. Because he still believes Timeco is a good long-term investment, he buys shares for his personal account in order to raise the price and help him convince his client to hold on to his investment in Timeco. Has Jacobs violated the Standards?
Whatever his motivation, Jacobs’ attempt to manipulate the market price of Timeco shares with the intent to deceive market participants (in this case, his own client) constitutes a violation of Standard 11(B) Market Manipulation.