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The Council of Institutional Investors Urge SEC Again to Restrict Executive Trading Rules

“Federal securities regulators have been slow to revamp rules abused by corporate insiders to trade their company stocks, according to a group of pension funds and a former SEC commissioner.

In a letter Thursday to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Council of Institutional Investors urged the agency for the second time in four months to tighten rules on government-sanctioned trading plans that allow corporate executives and directors to sell shares despite potentially having knowledge of nonpublic information about their companies.

The group, which represents pension funds overseeing more than $3 trillion in assets, cited a series in The Wall Street Journal on the issue. The articles have triggered criminal and civil investigations into whether executives and directors improperly profited from trading their company shares while in possession of confidential information.

“There are some abuses going on—even broader than some had suspected,” Jeff Mahoney, the group’s general counsel, said in an interview.

Mary Jo White, the SEC’s new chairman, declined to comment through a spokesman. The SEC hasn’t ruled out taking action to amend its guidance or regulations on the plans, but no such review is under way, according to a person familiar with the agency.

For now, the SEC intends to continue to tackle any abuses of the plans through enforcement actions, the person added…..”

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