The Galleon Group is a New York hedge-fund manager that has been rocked by an insider-trading scandal and is winding down. The firm managed five long/short equity funds in the following sectors: technology, healthcare, new media, communications and life sciences. Galleon invested in global public-equity markets as well as in private equity.
Galleon founder Raj Rajaratnam has been charged in connection with a $20 million insider-trading ring, along with five others. The case includes charges that Rajaratnam and executives at blue-chip firms including IBM and Intel allegedly connived to profit from information that could move stock prices, according to The Wall Street Journal. Three former colleagues of Mr. Rajaratnam secretly are bolstering the government's probe, the paper says. The case against Mr. Rajaratnam will likely hinge on whether he crossed the line and profited from information obtained illegally. His lawyer says he did nothing wrong and will fight the charges.
Mr. Rajaratnam is a native of Sri Lanka who rose to prominence in the late 1980s as a semiconductor analyst at investment-banking firm Needham & Co. He formed in 1997 after having been former president of investment bank Needham & Co. Galleon made its name investing in tech stocks in the 1990s. Galleon had been a fast-moving firm, making about 1,000 trades a day. Rajaratnam appeared in Forbes Magazines’ ranking of the worlds’ top billionaires of 2009, which cited a net worth of $1.3 billion.
Galleon has begun the process of winding down in the wake of heavy investor withdrawls and looking for alternatives, including selling all or part of the firm. Galleon's investment team would be an important part of the business that could garner interest from buyers, according to The Wall Street Journal.