| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Jan 7 Mark Mahaney, a top-rated
Internet stock analyst who was fired from Citigroup in October
after one of his staffers improperly shared research with a news
website, has been hired by RBC Capital Markets.
Mahaney will oversee coverage of the Internet sector for
RBC, the firm announced on Monday. RBC did not state which
companies Mahaney will cover. He will be based in San Francisco.
Rated the top Internet analyst for the past five consecutive
years by Institutional Investor, Mahaney is among the most
well-known and respected analysts covering the online industry.
His research notes of companies including Google Inc
, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc, were
considered must-reads among many investors, who praised his
stock picks and his perspective on the fast-moving Web business.
One such report, which was being prepared ahead of the
high-profile initial public offering of Facebook last year, led
to Mahaney's exit from Citigroup, although Mahaney was only
indirectly involved in the incident.
Mahaney failed to supervise a junior analyst who improperly
shared Facebook research with the TechCrunch news website,
according to a settlement that Citigroup struck with
Massachusetts regulators in October.
Citigroup paid a $2 million fine to Massachusetts regulators
to settle charges that the bank improperly disclosed research on
Facebook ahead of its $16 billion IPO earlier in May. Last year,
Reuters reported that Facebook had pre-briefed analysts for its
underwriters ahead of its IPO, advising them to reduce their
profit and revenue forecasts.
The settlement agreement also outlined an incident in which
Mahaney failed to get approval before responding to a
journalist's questions about Google - and told a Citigroup
compliance staffer that the conversation had not occurred - even
after being warned about unauthorized conversations with the
RBC said in a statement that Mahaney is "a well-known asset
in the investing community and is widely-regarded as one of the
most influential research analysts covering the Internet, as
confirmed by our extensive due diligence." The firm declined to