About one-third of hedge fund professionals have witnessed wrongdoing in their offices (30 percent) and have felt pressure to break the rules (35 percent). Nearly half those surveyed (46 percent) think their competitors break the law.
These were the findings of an independent survey of hedge fund industry participants conducted by the law firm of Labaton Sucharow, the Hedge Fund Association and the HedgeWorld news organization.
According to the survey, 29 percent of the respondents said they would be retaliated against if they reported misconduct at their companies.
When asked about personal ethics, 13 percent of the respondents said they would engage in insider trading if they felt they could make at least $10 million and get away with it.
More than half the respondents said the Securities and Exchange Commission is ineffective at detecting, investigating and prosecuting securities law violations.
On a more positive note, 93 percent of those surveyed believed their firms put investors first. And 87 percent said they would report wrongdoing under SEC whistle-blower protections.
Still, Hedge Fund Association Executive Director Lara Block called some of the findings “troubling.”
The group surveyed 127 hedge fund professionals between February 25 and March 17.