Daniel A. Nathan

Daniel A. Nathan

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Ketchum Shares Bon Mots with BD Industry at SIFMA Meeting

At this week’s Annual SIFMA Law and Compliance meeting, FINRA CEO Rick Ketchum provided a number of candid and pointed comments in a wide-ranging and no-holds-barred interview conducted by long-time senior compliance official...more

4/8/2014 - ACLU Chief Compliance Officers Compliance FINRA SIFMA

FINRA Provides a Detailed Analysis of a Broker-Dealer’s Failure to Adequately Supervise Alternative Investment Sales

In March 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined a broker-dealer $950,000 for supervisory deficiencies related to its failure to adequately supervise the sale of “alternative investments.” These...more

3/28/2014 - Business Development Business Development Companies FINRA Oil & Gas REITS

FINRA Protects Seniors by Disciplining Inadequate Supervision of VA Sales

As baby boomers continue to age, securities regulators focus on protecting the growing population of seniors and retirees. For example, the regulators are seeking to ensure that broker-dealers’ systems and procedures for...more

3/7/2014 - Elder Issues FINRA IRA Retirement Variable Annuities

FINRA Announces a Sweep to Assess BDs’ Cybersecurity

After announcing that cybersecurity will be one of its 2014 examination priorities, FINRA wasted no time before commencing a sweep. FINRA announced a Targeted Examination Letter to conduct an assessment of firms’ approaches...more

2/10/2014 - Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Protection FINRA

FINRA Focuses AML Enforcement on a BD Doing Business in Mexico

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently took formal disciplinary action against a New York-based broker-dealer that is affiliated with a Mexican broker-dealer and a Mexican bank for inadequate anti-money...more

2/7/2014 - Anti-Money Laundering Broker-Dealer FINRA Foreign Banks Mexico

New FINRA Supervision Rules Impact Broker-Dealers’ Insider Trading Procedures and Supervisory Controls

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules require member firms to establish and maintain a system of written procedures to supervise the activities of its members. On December 23, 2013, the SEC approved new FINRA...more

1/30/2014 - Broker-Dealer Compliance FINRA Insider Trading SEC Stocks

Broker-Dealer Cybersecurity: Protect Yourself or Pay the Price

In its recently issued 2014 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, FINRA stated that cybersecurity remains a priority given the ongoing cybersecurity issues reported across the financial services industry, including...more

1/13/2014 - Broker-Dealer Critical Infrastructure Sectors Cybersecurity Data Protection FINRA Regulation S-P

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 5, Issue 1 -- January 7, 2014

In This Issue: “Structured Products, Meet the Volcker Rule”: The New Limitations on Proprietary Trading; SEC and FINRA Personnel Speak at Structured Products Conference; FINRA’s Annual Regulatory and Examination...more

1/8/2014 - Banks Enforcement FINRA IOSCO Proprietary Trading SEC Structured Financial Products Volcker Rule

A Must Read: FINRA’s 2014 Exam Priorities

FINRA did not wait for any dust (or snow) to settle on the New Year before alerting the brokerage industry and the public about its regulatory and examination priorities for 2014. This year’s letter, issued earlier than ever...more

1/6/2014 - Algorithmic Trading Anti-Money Laundering Broker-Dealer Compliance Conflicts of Interest Crowdfunding Employer Liability Issues Enforcement FINRA High Frequency Trading Qualified Benefit Plans Recidivism

Retirement Funds Rollovers: FINRA Ends 2013 By Identifying Its First 2014 Priority

It is the end of the year, and many people are thinking about the status of their retirement accounts and planning any changes to their investments. FINRA also has retirement accounts on the brain. It is thinking about the...more

1/2/2014 - 401k Broker-Dealer FINRA IRA Retirement

SEC Intensifies Scrutiny of Fee-Based Accounts and Reverse Churning

The SEC is crunching a lot of data these days, and it apparently intends to use some of that data to identify “reverse churning.” Reverse churning is the practice of placing a client who trades infrequently in a fee-based,...more

12/23/2013 - Broker-Dealer Brokers Chief Compliance Officers Churning Compliance FINRA SEC

FINRA Continues its Crackdown on Companies that Fail to Respond to Red Flags

FINRA continues to discipline broker-dealers that fail to detect and investigate so-called “red flags” of suspicious account activity. Yesterday, FINRA announced a $1 million fine against COR Clearing LLC (the “Firm”) –...more

12/19/2013 - Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Enforcement Actions FINRA

FINRA Reiterates Its Concern about Unsuitable Sales of Non-Traditional ETFs

FINRA recently announced a disciplinary proceeding that underscores its continuing concerns about unsuitable retail sales of structured products. In a recently settled formal disciplinary proceeding, FINRA censured a...more

12/6/2013 - Broker-Dealer ETFs FINRA Sales

FINRA gives member firms a thumbs up on suitability rule compliance

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to interpret Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Regulatory Notice 13-31, which provides practical advice to member firms about how FINRA will be...more

11/26/2013 - Customer Funds Protection Due Diligence FINRA Risk Management Suitability Rule

SEC Commissioner Draws Some Clean Enforcement Lines

The SEC should put more of its efforts into pursuing regulatory violations, such as failure to supervise, instead of trying to pursue fraud theories on weak facts, according to an SEC Commissioner....more

11/11/2013 - Enforcement FINRA Fraud Scienter SEC Supervisors

FINRA Warns Investors to Look Behind Closed-End Fund Distribution Rates

FINRA issued an Investor Alert concerning closed-end fund distributions, principally to warn the public that a fund’s distributions might include a return of principal. Financial firms that create or distribute closed-end...more

10/29/2013 - FINRA Investment Funds Investors

FINRA Tells Broker-Dealers How to Better Manage Conflicts of Interest

A much-anticipated FINRA report concludes that broker-dealers must do more to manage conflicts of interest. FINRA said that the report, published on October 14, 2013, highlights “effective conflicts management...more

10/17/2013 - Broker-Dealer Conflicts of Interest FINRA

FINRA Warns Investors About Private Placements

On the eve of an anticipated increase in private-placement activity as a result of recent reforms made pursuant to the JOBS Act, FINRA issued an Investor Alert on Monday about risks associated with private placements. The...more

9/19/2013 - FINRA Investors JOBS Act Private Placements

The Impact of the SEC’s Final Rules on General Solicitation and Bad Actor Disqualification for Broker-Dealers and Investment...

The SEC recently finalized amendments to Rule 506 of Regulation D and Rule 144A under the Securities Act relaxing prohibitions against general solicitation in certain private offerings of securities implementing Section...more

9/12/2013 - Bad Actors Broker-Dealer Dodd-Frank FINRA General Solicitation Investment Adviser JOBS Act SEC

Hurricane Sandy Redux: Agencies Recommend Business Continuity Planning

As hurricane season approaches, the securities and commodities industries’ principal regulators are effectively encouraging firms to do the equivalent of putting up storm shutters, stocking up on batteries and bottled water,...more

8/22/2013 - CFTC FINRA Hurricane Sandy Natural Disasters Risk Management SEC

FINRA Increases the Cost of Penny Stock-Related AML Deficiencies

The price tag for failing to detect suspicious activity in penny stocks through an adequate anti-money laundering program continues to increase. Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. recently agreed to pay FINRA more than $1.4 million to...more

8/16/2013 - Anti-Money Laundering FINRA Internal Controls Money Laundering Stocks

Please Mr. Postman: FINRA Cracks Down on Late Prospectus Delivery

FINRA has been engaged in a “stealth sweep” of firms’ untimely deliveries of mutual fund and ETF prospectuses that has resulted in formal disciplinary proceedings against twelve firms since 2011, and a total of over $5...more

7/30/2013 - Broker-Dealer ETFs FINRA Mutual Funds Notice Requirements Prospectus Securities Act of 1933

FINRA Issues Sweep Letter Regarding Use of Social Media

FINRA, having enacted new communications rules that specifically reference electronic communications, having issued two Regulatory Notices (linked here and here) providing guidance to the securities industry on social media,...more

6/20/2013 - Broker-Dealer FINRA Social Media Sweep Letter

Broker-Dealer Email Systems Must Keep Pace with Firm Growth, FINRA Says

A recent FINRA disciplinary action sends a strong message to broker-dealers that the development of their compliance systems — particularly with respect to email review and retention — must keep pace with the growth of their...more

5/29/2013 - Broker-Dealer Discovery Email FINRA Recordkeeping Requirements Sanctions Supervision

FINRA Focuses on Anti-Money Laundering Procedures and Red Flags

Last week, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) publicized penalties against three companies – as well as four associated individuals – that it found had failed to establish and implement adequate procedures...more

5/17/2013 - Anti-Money Laundering Bank Secrecy Act FINRA Red Flags Rule

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