MarketWatch  Sep 6  Comment 
Brazil’s far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, was stabbed during campaigning Thursday as tensions ran high ahead of the country’s most unpredictable election in decades.
The Economic Times  Aug 14  Comment 
Currently, serious offences such as insider trading and front running cannot be settled through consent mechanism.
Financial Times  Jan 17  Comment 
DoJ case relates to market manipulation before Hewlett-Packard’s takeover bid for Autonomy
Mondo Visione  Jan 17  Comment 
The former head of Barclays Capital Inc.’s (Barclays) New York foreign exchange trading operation was charged yesterday in an indictment for his alleged role in a scheme to defraud a client of Barclays through a method commonly referred to as...
SeekingAlpha  Dec 13  Comment 
Financial Times  Nov 24  Comment 
ECU claims its suspicions supported by recent conviction in US of trader
Euromoney  Nov 8  Comment 
The conviction of former HSBC trader Mark Johnson for front-running a customer FX order could transform the way dealers hedge client trades – and how they communicate with each other.
Mondo Visione  Oct 23  Comment 
The former head of global foreign exchange cash trading at HSBC Bank plc, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (collectively HSBC), was found guilty today for his role in a scheme to defraud an HSBC client through a multimillion-dollar scheme...
The Hindu Business Line  Oct 22  Comment 
Guidelines fell short of actual intent: Supreme Court
Channel News Asia  Oct 17  Comment 
"No one is paid to front run the apocalypse".


Front-running is an investing strategy that anticipates the impact of upcoming trades on the price of a security. It is illegal for brokers or asset managers to practice front-running using trading information about their own or another broker's clients, and this is punished by the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, front-running is not always illegal, and investors can use this strategy to make a profit based on the predictable effect of a certain transaction on the price of a stock.

In front-running, a trader will take a position in an equity just before a brokerage takes a position that will cause the stock to move in a predictable way. The most common example of front-running is when an individual trader buys shares of a stock just before a large institutional order for the stock which will cause a rapid increase in the stock's price. This information can be obtained legally through monitoring the bids and asks on the market and the investing transactions of institutional investors like hedge funds. It can also be obtained illegally, such as when the research analysts of an investment bank pass insider information to the brokerage arm of the business, or when a money manager takes a position in a stock before convincing a client to make a large investment in that same security.

Examples of Illegal Front-running

Front-running can be done illicitly by a brokerage, which can profit using insider information

  • Example 1 - Billitkoff Investment Securities, LTD is about to sign a new client, Mary Moneybags, to its large-cap hedge fund. Billitkoff buys 1,000 shares of Apple (AAPL), then signs Ms. Moneybags and convinces her to invest 50% of her new portfolio in technology stocks. Billitkoff Investments then buys 100,000 shares of AAPL with the capital from the new account, driving up the price on the 1,000 APPL shares it's already holding which it keeps as a profit.
  • Example 2 - Silverman Investment Bank's equity research division is about to publish a "strong buy" recommendation for Kraft Foods (KFT). Silverman's brokers, acting on a tip from the company's analysts, buy 100,000 shares of KFT shortly before the analysts publish their recommendation. When the market reacts to the buy rating from the research division, Silverman's brokerage profits from the KFT shares it is already holding.

But what if somebody recommends to Mr.X to buy Vodafone Shares and Mr.X buys the stock of Vodafone.If it matches with the deal of Morgan stanley,whether it constitutes Front Running.

Examples of Legal Front-running

Front-running is not always illegal, but could be considered unethical or a "parasitic" type of investing where profits are made from anticipating or reacting to another broker's trading patterns.

  • Example 1 - A common example of front-running is called "penny jumping", and can be done when a broker places a large buy limit order for a stock. Let's say Blueblood Partners puts in a buy limit order for 50,000 shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) at $80.00. Another trader - James Buyback - sees this and puts in an limit order for XOM for $80.01. Mr. Buyback has used front-running to limit his risk - if XOM's price rises above $80.01, he'll profit, but if it doesn't he'll be able to sell for $80.00 as part of Blueblood's large limit order.
  • Example 2 - John C. Futures is a trader, and he sees that his broker colleague Andrew Long has just bought 10,000 shares of Dryships (DRYS). Mr. Futures knows, from past experience, that Mr. Long often buys all of the competitors to a particular company shortly after buying that company's stock. So he buys dry bulk shipping stocks like Genco Shipping (GNK) and Diana Shipping (DSX) in advance of Mr. Long's large orders for these same stocks. If Mr. Futures made his front-running trades simply by reading his colleague's past habits and predicting his next move, he's done nothing wrong. However, if Mr. Futures found out that Mr. Long was about to buy GNK and DSX directly from Mr. Long or an employee of his firm, this would be an example of illegal front-running.
  • Example 3 - Sometimes, with a very large market orders, simply exposing the order to the market allows for front-running as traders sell positions that may become unprofitable. The opposite is also true, and a large buy can encourage front-running as traders buy in ahead of the large order. let's say that Alpha Investments, a hedge fund with a $100 Billion portfolio, wants to shift 10% of its portfolio into Visa (V). It can't buy $10 billion in V stock all at once, so it must do so gradually, in installments. Other traders watching Alpha's activity can anticipate that Alpha will continue to buy V, driving up the price, and front-run by purchasing shares in V ahead of this order.


Wikinvest © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Use of this site is subject to express Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer. By continuing past this page, you agree to abide by these terms. Any information provided by Wikinvest, including but not limited to company data, competitors, business analysis, market share, sales revenues and other operating metrics, earnings call analysis, conference call transcripts, industry information, or price targets should not be construed as research, trading tips or recommendations, or investment advice and is provided with no warrants as to its accuracy. Stock market data, including US and International equity symbols, stock quotes, share prices, earnings ratios, and other fundamental data is provided by data partners. Stock market quotes delayed at least 15 minutes for NASDAQ, 20 mins for NYSE and AMEX. Market data by Xignite. See data providers for more details. Company names, products, services and branding cited herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The use of trademarks or service marks of another is not a representation that the other is affiliated with, sponsors, is sponsored by, endorses, or is endorsed by Wikinvest.
Powered by MediaWiki