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Legal Alert: SEC and PCAOB Address Independence Requirements in Audits Related to Broker-Dealers’ Financial Statements

Confirming that auditor independence continues to be a regulatory priority, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued orders on December 8,...more

12/11/2014 - Auditors Audits Broken Gates Broker-Dealer Financial Statements PCAOB Regulation S-X Sanctions SEC

Ten Items to Consider as FINRA’s Consolidated Supervision Rules Take Effect

On December 1, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Consolidated Supervision Rules will take effect. The Consolidated Supervision Rules, which were approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

11/25/2014 - Consolidated Supervision Rules FINRA Regulatory Standards SEC

What Does It Take to Make the SEC Happy? SEC Criticism of Broker-Dealers’ Due Diligence for Sales of Unregistered Securities...

To ensure that broker-dealers (BDs) do not inadvertently facilitate an unlawful distribution of securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission has long required BDs to conduct a “reasonable inquiry” into the circumstances...more

10/24/2014 - Broker-Dealer Due Diligence FINRA OCIE SEC Section 5 Securities Act of 1933 Settlement Unregistered Securities

FINRA Provides New Carve-Out Provisions to Include in Settlement and Confidentiality Agreements

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Member Firms have new language to include in their settlement and confidentiality agreements. On October 9, FINRA released Regulatory Notice (RN) 14-40, warning that firms are...more

10/16/2014 - Arbitration Agreements Carve Out Provisions Confidentiality Agreements FINRA Settlement

Legal Alert: Largest SEC Whistleblower Award Could Have Been Larger

On September 22, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the largest-ever whistleblower award, more than double last year’s record-breaking award. According to the Order, the award, which will likely...more

9/26/2014 - Dodd-Frank Extraterritoriality Rules Foreign Nationals SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Approves Rule Preventing Barters for Expungement Cooperation – What You Can Do to Ensure Compliance

On July 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) proposed Rule 2081, which prevents firms or associated persons from conditioning settlement or...more

7/28/2014 - Consideration Expungement FINRA Proposed Regulation SEC Settlement

SEC Issues $875,000 Whistleblower Award

On June 3, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a whistleblower award to two individuals who had provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The whistleblower...more

6/10/2014 - Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

U.S. District Judge in Florida Dismisses SEC Action Against Corporate Defendants and Holds that Five-Year Statute of Limitations...

On May 12, Judge James Lawrence King of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed with prejudice the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) case against five defendants in an action...more

5/23/2014 - Dismissals SEC Section 2462 Securities Fraud Statute of Limitations Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Cybersecurity Issues in the Financial Services Industry: Fasten your cyber belts, it's going to be a bumpy night

Few topics are as hot as cybersecurity. Recent high-profile data breaches at national retailers have made cybersecurity a frequent topic on Capitol Hill and an issue of growing concern to average Americans. Not surprisingly,...more

4/23/2014 - Broker-Dealer Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Security Act Enforcement Actions FINRA Governance Standards Investment Adviser Regulation S-P SEC U.S. Treasury

M&A Brokers Exempt from SEC Broker-Dealer Registration Requirements

On January 31, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Trading and Markets issued a No-Action Letter (Letter)1 that allows a private business broker (M&A Broker) to receive transaction-based...more

2/10/2014 - Broker-Dealer No-Action Letters Registration SEC Securities Exchange Act

SEC’s Examination Program Issues a Risk Alert on Investment Adviser Due Diligence Processes

On January 28, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a Risk Alert entitled: Investment Adviser Due Diligence Processes for Selecting...more

2/3/2014 - Compliance Due Diligence Enforcement Investigations OCIE SEC

Stepping Into the Ring Against the SEC and FINRA: Sometimes It Pays to Duke It Out Against the Regulators

Originally published in Thomson Reuters - Securities Regulation Law Journal - Winter 2012. Faced with the possibility of litigating against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Financial Industry...more

12/20/2012 - ALJ Appeals Broker-Dealer Compliance FINRA FINRA Hearing Panel Sanctions SEC

FINRA Reverses Course and Issues Guidance Changing Its Interpretation Regarding the Key Issues of "Potential Investors" and...

Background - FINRA’s new suitability requirement, Rule 2011, went into effect July 9, 2012. Because the rule was such a departure from prior standards, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 12-25 (May 2012) to explain the rule...more

12/19/2012 - Broker-Dealer FINRA Investment Adviser Suitability Rule

Welcome to the Party? FINRA Invites Investment Advisers to Utilize its Arbitration Procedures

Originally published in the Investment Adviser Association Newsletter on December 3, 2012. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued guidance (Guidance) stating that it will now accept requests...more

12/8/2012 - Arbitration FINRA Investment Adviser SEC

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