DEFINITION of 'Pilot Fishing'

A type of pre-marketing of an initial public offering (IPO) that involves testing investor sentiment to receive feedback on how the market may respond to an issue. Pilot fishing has led to much controversy because it could undermine the role of investment bankers by providing advice to clients about the price at which the IPO is launched.

BREAKING DOWN 'Pilot Fishing'

Pilot fishing is practiced in Europe, but SEC regulations about what can and cannot occur during the SEC's IPO approval process prevent this from happening in the U.S. Analyst research is not allowed to be published before IPOs are approved by the SEC, so decisions made by investors is based mainly on prospectuses.

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