According to a MarketWatch report, Eric Hunsader of Nanex LLC has identified himself as is the recipient of a more than $700,000 Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounty award.  According to Hunsader, the information he provided to the SEC led to a $5 million fine of the New York Stock Exchange.

As we recently reported, on January 15, the SEC announced that it had rewarded an unidentified whistleblower who provided “detailed analysis” to the agency.  The SEC is prohibited from publicly identifying the whistleblower receiving the award but Hunsander elected to publicly identify himself as the award recipient.

Hunsader’s award is the first whistleblower award issued by the SEC to an independent third party for analysis (as opposed to insider information) of a potential securities law violation.  Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, explained in the agency’s press release announcing the award that, “[t]he voluntary submission of high-quality analysis by industry experts can be every bit as valuable as first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing by company insiders.”  Ceresney further explained that the agency intends to “leverage all forms of information and analysis [it] receive[s] from whistleblowers to help better detect and prosecute federal securities law violations.”

According to the SEC, its whistleblower program has paid more than $55 million to 23 whistleblowers since the program’s inception in 2011.  This first award to an industry critic will no doubt incentivize other industry watchdogs to submit information to the SEC about potential securities laws violations.