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Bernstein's Hintz in Hot Water

The brokerage analyst faces a NASD sanction stemming from a recent stock sale.

Securities regulators are considering sanctioning oft-quoted brokerage analyst Charles "Brad" Hintz for allegedly violating a rule regarding the sale of shares by research analysts.

Hintz, an analyst with

Sanford Bernstein

, recently disclosed the potential regulatory action by the


on an updated version of his brokerage registration statement. The NASD first notified Hintz of its intent to sanction him in July.

The NASD action stems from Hintz's sale of shares in two brokerages that he covered. The filing says Hintz sold the stock after writing a research report in which he suspended coverage of the companies.

Hintz, in the filing, says he had "received the securities as compensation while employed by the issuers of those securities."

Before joining Bernstein in 2000, Hintz was chief financial officer at

Lehman Brothers


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and a managing director at

Morgan Stanley


. Bernstein is a division of

Alliance Capital



NASD rules to deter analyst conflicts of interest require an analyst to issue a sell recommendation before selling any of his own shares in a company. Also, if an analyst is terminating coverage, he generally must give a reason for stopping coverage.


, which first reported the potential NASD enforcement action, says Hintz sold the shares after publishing a Dec. 23 research report in which he announced he was stopping coverage of the two brokerages. In the report, Hintz disclosed that Bernstein had asked the NASD whether the analyst could continue covering the companies while selling the shares.

Hintz could not be reached for comment. A Bernstein spokesman did not a return a phone call.