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Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - July 2015

The 2016 compliance dates for new rules included in the SEC’s money market fund reforms are fast approaching. Among other things, the reforms include changes to stress-testing requirements, disclosure requirements, net asset...more

FINRA’s Revised Sanction Guidelines: Higher, Tougher, Fairer?

FINRA’s newly revised Sanction Guidelines, effective immediately, signal that the upward trend in sanctions against broker-dealers is likely to continue. The Sanction Guidelines, which establish the range of sanctions...more

FINRA is Apparently Holding its CARDS

Broker-dealers appear to have succeeded, at least for now, in beating back FINRA’s proposal to capture extensive amounts of data through electronic means....more

NY Department of Financial Services: Check Your Vendors’ Cybersecurity

According to a recent report released by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), the financial industry has a long way to go in overseeing the cybersecurity capabilities of outside vendors who carry out...more

SEC Annual Conference Highlights 2014 Accomplishments and Promises to Turn Up the Heat in 2015

With Chair Mary Jo White in her second year at the helm, the Securities and Exchange Commission showcased its efforts, improvements, and enforcement successes at this year’s SEC Speaks Conference. The Commission highlighted...more

Agencies Issue Guidance for Foreign Banking Entities on the Application of the Marketing Restriction for the Volcker Rule’s SOTUS...

On Friday, February 27, 2015, the Volcker Inter-Agency Group posted a new frequently asked question (FAQ 13), clarifying the scope of the so-called “marketing restriction” under the SOTUS covered fund exemption. The SOTUS...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - February 2015

In This Issue: - SEC Proposes Rule Requiring Hedging Disclosure - SEC Reports the Result of its Cybersecurity Sweep of Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers - House Passes Bill to Ease Volcker Rule and Other...more

FINRA Issues its Cybersecurity Report, Providing Tools and Encouragement to Broker-Dealers

FINRA recently issued a Report on Cybersecurity Practices (“Report”), growing out of its targeted examination of firms last year. To issue the Report, FINRA gave careful consideration to the needs of many broker-dealers for...more

The Administration Proposes Imposing a Fiduciary Standard on Retirement Advisers

Yesterday, the Obama administration called on the Department of Labor to draft rules that, in effect, would require brokers who provide retirement advice to abide by a fiduciary standard. In a speech at an event hosted by...more

SEC Reports the Result of its Cybersecurity Sweep of Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers

An SEC cybersecurity sweep examination by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) found that 88 percent of the broker-dealers (BDs) and 74 percent of the registered investment advisers (RIAs) they...more

Heightened Scrutiny of Brokers – SEC Approves FINRA’s Proposed Background Check Rule

In recent years, questions have been raised in many quarters about how brokers with questionable backgrounds have been able to move among firms and remain in the industry. FINRA has responded by enhancing a broker-dealer’s...more

FINRA Issues a Packed Priorities Letter for 2015

FINRA opened 2015 with a lengthy and ambitious agenda of regulatory priorities. This year’s Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter is much longer than those issued the last two years, and repeats many of those years’...more

FINRA Sanctions Member Firm for Failure to Deliver ETF Prospectuses

FINRA recently sanctioned a broker-dealer (the “Firm”) for failure to deliver prospectuses in connection with its sale of ETFs. FINRA also found that the Firm failed to implement a supervisory system reasonably designed to...more

SEC and PCAOB Combine Their Focusses on Broker-Dealer Audits and Independence in Settlements with Fifteen Audit Firms

On December 8, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) announced settlements with fifteen audit firms for violating independence rules applicable to auditors of...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- December 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation ..SEC Chair’s Agenda Provides Glimpse of New Rules to Come ..The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection ..SEC Declines to Approve Non-Transparent...more

Heightened Supervision of Branch Offices — Tips for the Coming Year

In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have heightened their expectations of what constitutes a “comprehensive” branch self-inspection program. Firms...more

Structured Thoughts: Volume 5, Issue 8 - December 2014

In This Issue: - Key Regulators Speak at Structured Products Conference - FINRA Shows Its CARDS; It Will Use Big Data to Review Suitability of Complex Products Sales - FINRA’s Proposed Bond Mark-up...more

The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection

On November 6, 2014, FINRA released results from a survey of U.S. investors measuring the demand for additional regulatory protections. The survey polled 1,000 adults and revealed that an overwhelming majority felt that it...more

11/13/2014  /  FINRA , Investors , Regulatory Agenda , Surveys

SEC Staff Finds that Broker-Dealers Still Are Not Conducting Adequate Section 5 Reviews

The staff of the SEC recently addressed broker-dealers’ obligations when engaging in transactions in unregistered securities by issuing FAQs and a Risk Alert that reported the results of examinations of a number of...more

Takeaways From Broker-Dealers’ Section 5 Inadequacies

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently addressed broker-dealers’ obligations when they engage in transactions in unregistered securities by issuing FAQs and a risk alert that reported the results of...more

SEC Charges Broker-Dealer for Failure to Protect Against Insider Trading by Employees

The Securities and Exchange Commission for the first time brought charges against a broker-dealer for failure to adequately protect against insider trading by its employees. The charges stem from a broker’s use of a...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- September 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation: Long-Awaited Money Market Fund Rules Adopted - SEC Staff Offers Guidance Regarding Investment Advisers and Proxy Advisory Firms - SEC Staff Closes Loophole on BDC Asset...more

Ninth Circuit Brookstreet Decision Upholds Control Person Liability

The Ninth Circuit recently found the principal of a broker-dealer liable for the extensive and aggravated sales practice violations of the firm’s registered representatives. In its unpublished decision (not to be cited as...more

Lying to Examiners Can Lead Quickly to Criminal Charges

Hell hath no fury like a regulator (allegedly) lied to. This week, the SEC brought civil charges, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York brought criminal charges, against a broker-dealer and its founder...more

Additional Fees on Securities Transactions – FINRA Sees No Justification

In an area of broker-dealer practices with relatively little guidance—the appropriate level of commissions or mark ups on securities trades—FINRA recently brought another in a series of cases that provides insight into the...more

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