In case you don’t remember Thomas Bruderman, he’s the Fidelity trader whose lavish bachelor party took place on a yacht and “included booze, scantily clad women… and even a dwarf for hire.”
They went to a strip club (of course). And all the guests were apparently flown to Miami in private jets.
Needless to say, it was an awesome party, but unfortunately, Bruderman didn’t pay for it. A group of brokers did.
Once the SEC found out that brokers who wanted Fidelity business paid $160,000 for it, Bruderman became famous.
Even though the practice of paying for entertainment is widespread on the Street, and other Fidelity traders also got accused of wrongdoing by the SEC, Bruderman was the public scapegoat. He left the mutual fund “under pressure” in 2004.
Fidelity paid $8 million to settle with the SEC over allegations it should have been monitoring its traders more closely.
“I could easily have paid my own way,” Bruderman wrote in an email, but “my sell-side friends were strongly encouraged by their firms to entertain and in some cases even required to do so.”
“The whole affair was nicely salacious and there was plenty of free press to be had” for regulators
In fact, Bruderman’s case “transformed gift-giving rules on Wall Street,” Reuters said.
Recently, Bruderman and the SEC came to a settlement over accusations that his acceptance of travel and gifts from brokers was “improper.” As of April, he’s paying $350,000 and accepts a censure. He never admitted or denied wrongdoing.
And now he’s launching his own hedge fund, VP Theta, with two others. They’ve already raised $100 million and will start marketing properly soon.
And while Bruderman certainly wants to prove that his partying days are behind him, he’s not uptight about people joking about his past.
“I deserve it… I do not begrudge anyone from having a few laughs at my expense.”