SG Cowen Securities Corp. confirmed Thursday it has been subpoenaed by Massachusetts securities regulators investigating the claims of a former analyst who alleges he was fired for trying to publish negative research on biotechnology companies.
The analyst, Bill Tanner, has filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court claiming that he and another analyst needed permission from the firm’s investment banking division before downgrading a stock, and that he was blocked from downgrading Cambridge-based Genzyme Corp. in December.
SG Cowen has denied the allegations. The firm confirmed Thursday it has received the subpoena and said it would cooperate fully.
The company issued a statement saying: “We are confident that once these allegations are fully aired, they will be found to be completely without merit,” and that any review would “demonstrate the independence and integrity of our research analysts and department.”
Massachusetts securities regulators have already caused major headaches for Credit Suisse First Boston, charging in an administrative complaint that the impartiality of that firm’s research was contaminated by pressure from CSFB’s investment banking business.
Tanner claims he was fired in May and that SG Cowen’s chief executive, Kim Fennebresque, discouraged Banc of America Securities from hiring him. He now works at Leerink Swann & Co., a Boston investment firm.