"Insider trading used to be so easy," a hedge-fund trader of 15 years said. "The days of getting a wink of an upgrade, a nod of an eminent takeover or a fast call to front-run sizable order flow are a thing of the past. These days you have to be much more sophisticated."
I called around to some trader friends to find out how the landscape of insider trading has changed since I was on Wall Street. The overwhelming consensus was that a lot has changed.
One source told me that Steve Cohen's Point72 is leading the way to ensure that the sell side doesn't put them in jeopardy. They've instructed all research coverage to not call them until a report has been officially published. And other hedge funds are following suit. This never used to be the case. While I was at the Galleon Group, we'd inculcate the idea that if a research report had already been published, even 30 seconds ago, it was considered old news. We didn't want that call.