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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

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

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

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

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

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

FINRA Announces and Publishes Its Sweep of Order Routing Practices

FINRA announced this week that it is conducting a review of its member firms’ order-routing processes and procedures and the execution quality of customer orders in exchange-listed stocks. We previously reported in this...more

7/10/2014  /  Brokers , FINRA , SEC , Securities , Stock Trades

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- June 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation ..SEC Begins to Scrutinize Registrants’ Cybersecurity Practices ..SEC Staff Sets Boundaries for Adviser Testimonials in Social Media ..Chair White: SEC to Tackle High-Frequency...more

SEC Decision Regarding TIC Advertisements Offers Broader Lessons About Providing Fair and Balanced Disclosures

Earlier this year, the SEC found that CapWest Securities, Inc., a defunct broker-dealer, had failed to comply with advertising rules in promoting investments that use Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code (“1031...more

SEC Approves Amendments to FINRA’s Corporate Financing Rule

Broader Availability of Termination Fees and Rights of First Refusal - Elimination of Filing for Certain ETFs: In May 2014, the SEC approved FINRA’s proposed amendments to Rule 5110, commonly called the...more

Securities Regulators Are Inspired by an Academic Article to Seek Information Regarding Order Routing

Apparently attempting to understand how broker-dealers provide best execution in the face of incentives to trade at certain exchanges, the SEC and FINRA are asking broker-dealers for extensive transaction information...more

Cybersecurity: SEC Is Starting to Scrutinize Registrants’ Practices

The SEC plans to examine the cybersecurity practices of over 50 registered broker-dealers and investment advisers. The SEC announced its plan in an April 15, 2014 Risk Alert, which closely follows the March 26 Cybersecurity...more

A Blast from the Past: The SEC Fines Investment Adviser/Broker-Dealer for Breakpoint Violations

In a case reminiscent of the “breakpoint” enforcement actions brought 10 years ago by securities regulators, the SEC recently found that a registered investment adviser and broker-dealer overcharged clients because it...more

Private Company M&A Brokers Don’t Need to Register With the SEC as Broker-Dealers

On January 31, 2014, the SEC issued a ground-breaking no-action letter, taking the position that a financial intermediary that limits its business activity to advising privately held companies in M&A transactions need not...more

SEC Examiners to Take a Close Look at Firms’ Cyber Security

A high-level SEC official told an industry group yesterday that the National Examination Program (NEP) will be reviewing asset managers’ policies and procedures for preventing cyber attacks. In particular, the SEC is looking...more

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