Slack’s initial public offering was pretty successful. Set to go off on the New York Stock Exchange at $26, its shares actually fetched $38.50 at their debut. (It has been all downhill from there, and now you can have some at about $21.) No wonder Ken Griffin’s little market-making business has made him $5 billion richer.

On the other hand, perhaps Slack’s IPO was a little too successful? And maybe some other tech unicorn IPOs, too? (Citadel Securities also managed Uber’s listing, which, it must be said, priced at the low end of its range and not 50% above it.) The SEC’s just wondering out loud here. In information-request form.

SEC enforcement staff have recently sent letters including one seeking information from electronic-trading firm Citadel Securities LLC related to how it opened Slack’s stock for trading on June 20 in the workplace-messaging app’s so-called direct listing, the people said. It also seeks information on other IPOs.

Regulators asked Citadel Securities and at least one other firm for messages such as emails sent just before the stocks opened for trading, as well as their policies for complying with NYSE rules, some of the people said.

SEC Probes Listings of Slack, Other Unicorns on NYSE Over Several Years [WSJ]
Ken Griffin has another money machine to rival hedge fund [Bloomberg]

Related

SEC Posts Confidential Citadel Document

Oops. Those crazy porn-surfers at the Securities and Exchange Commission inadvertently posted a confidential earnings report from Citadel’s brokerage and market making unit on their website. The report, picked up by Bloomberg, shows Citadel Securities posted earnings of $81.6 on revenue of $1.01 billion last year.

SEC Staffers Have Made Remarkable Progress Re: Learning What Constitutes Appropriate Use Of A Work Computer

If you had asked us two years or two months or two days ago if we thought that there would be a time in the near future when Securities and Exchange employees would not be getting reprimanded for watching porn on their work-issued computers, we would have said absolutely not. No judgment, but in our professional opinion, people do not go from, among other things: * Receiving "over 16,000 access denials for Internet websites classified by the Commission's Internet filter as either "Sex" or "Pornography" in a one-month period" * Accessing "Internet pornography and downloading pornographic images to his SEC computer during work hours so frequently that, on some days, he spent eight hours accessing Internet pornography...downloading so much pornography to his government computer that he exhausted the available space on the computer hard drive and downloaded pornography to CDs or DVDs that he accumulated in boxes in his office." * www.ladyboyx.com, www.ladyboyjuice.com, www.trannytit.com, and www.anal-sins.com ...to living a porn-free existence at l'office. Did we think they'd take baby steps toward that goal sure? But when you've tried to log on to your websites of choice, on average, 533 times a day, assuming weekends were worked, baby steps means getting yourself to a place where you can do a solid two hours of work each week without hitting up anal-sins.com. So you can imagine (and probably share in) our surprise to hear that, according to a probe by Interim Inspector General Jon Rymer re: "misuses of government resources," the worst offenses one office was charged with claiming they needed iPads to do their jobs when really they just wanted to watch movies on them at home and going to hacker conferences without encrypting the data on their computers. Granted, it doesn't look so great that the group that was running around with computers that didn't even have anti-virus programs on their computers was the one that "is responsible for ensuring exchanges are following a series of voluntary guidelines...concerning computer audits, security, and capacity" but still, no ladyboyjuice while on the job-- that's huge. In a 43-page investigative report that probed the misuse of government resources, SEC Interim Inspector General Jon Rymer discovered that an office within the SEC's Trading and Markets division spent over $1 million on unnecessary technology. The report also found that the staffers failed to protect their computers and devices from hackers, even as they were urging exchanges and clearing agencies to do just that. Although no breaches occurred, the staffers left sensitive stock exchange data exposed to potential cyber attacks because they failed to encrypt the devices or even install basic virus protection programs...On Friday Reuters reviewed a copy of the full report, which details an even broader array of problems, from misleading the SEC about the office's need to buy Apple Inc products, to cases in which staffers took iPads and laptops home and used them primarily for pursuits such as personal banking, surfing the Web and downloading music and movies. The report says the staff may have brought the unprotected laptops to a Black Hat convention where hacking experts discuss the latest trends. They also used them to tap into public wireless networks and brought the devices along with them during exchange inspections...The report also found that some people who worked in the office had little or no experience with exchange technical matters. SEC staffers used govn't computers for personal use - report [Reuters] Earlier: SEC Supervisor Surfed Tranny Porn To Cope With Stress Of The Job; SEC Official Who Surfed Tranny Porn To Deal With Stress Of The Job– Not Alone!;

Former Online Brokerage Chief Offers Handy How-To-Guide Re: Getting Banned From The Securities Industry

Regardless of what you think of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a good rule of thumb is that if you are regulated by the agency, you probably don't want to go out of your way to unnecessarily insult and/or anger it. In fact, to play it safe, you might want to just show the place complete and total deference, whether you're violating its rules or not. This is an attitude that many a hedge fund manager has adopted over the years, some of their own volition, others by strong advisement. Then you have Sheldon Maschler. The former chief trader of Datek Online, who in 2003 paid a $29.2 million fine and was banned from the securities industry, took a different approach. From Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson's new book, Dark Pools: During the hearings, Maschler displayed a stunning irrevenerce toward the regulators. One day, he showed up in bathing trunks and a T-shirt that read NASDAQ SUCKS. The judge, outraged, tossed him out, telling him to come back in a different shirt the following day. Maschler did as ordered-- wearing a T-shirt that read NASDAQ SUCKS in different colors. Regulators were quickly crawling all over Maschler's ragtag office. One day, a typical one in the market for Datek, each trader sat staring at his Watcher in Maschler's basement, all decked out in their standard work uniform-- baggy shorts, T-shirts, tennis shoes or flip-flops. Suddenly, they all noticed an odd presence in the room: two men in crisp suits looming over the stairwell door. Maschler exploded like a grenade. "Who...the FUCK...are YOU!" he screamed, jumping from his seat and jabbing his Macanudo in the air. "We're from the SEC," one of the suits said. "We're looking for Sheldon Maschler." "Who the FUCK let you in!" "The door was open." "If my fly was open, would you suck my dick?" The Datek traders buckled in their seats, struggling to contain their laughter. "Now get upstairs and RING THE FUCKING BELL!" Maschler roared. The two SEC officials sheepishly crept back upstairs-- and rang the bell. Maschler pressed the intercom buttom. "Hello, who is it?" he said calmly. There was a pause. Then, "It's the SEC." "Come on down!" Maschler greeted them warmly, all smiles, backslapping. "Now, wasn't that easier?" he said, waving around his Macanudo and blowing smoke into their faces.