Daniel A. Nathan

Daniel A. Nathan

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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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

10/22/2014 - Anti-Money Laundering Broker-Dealer Compliance SEC Securities Act of 1933 Unregistered Securities

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

10/22/2014 - Anti-Money Laundering Broker-Dealer Compliance Fraud Market Manipulation SEC Unregistered Securities

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

10/1/2014 - Broker-Dealer Confidential Information Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions Insider Trading Investment Adviser Policies and Procedures SEC

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

9/17/2014 - Banks CFTC Conflicts of Interest CPO Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions FINRA Hedge Funds Investment Adviser Liquidity Fees Money Market Funds Municipal Advisers NAV Pay-To-Play Proxy Advisors Redemption Gates SEC Strategic Enforcement Plan Whistleblowers

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 In its unpublished decision (not to be cited as...more

9/9/2014 - Broker-Dealer Professional Liability SEC Summary Judgment

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

8/14/2014 - Books & Records Broker-Dealer Criminal Prosecution Falsified Documents Lying SEC

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

6/16/2014 - Broker-Dealer Cybersecurity Dark Pool FINRA High Frequency Trading Investment Adviser Issuers JOBS Act Legislative Agendas Marijuana New Legislation Private Equity Funds SEC SEC Commissioner SIFIs Transaction Fees

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

6/11/2014 - Advertising Disclosure Requirements Enforcement Enforcement Actions FINRA SEC Section 1031

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

5/21/2014 - Compliance Corporate Financing Corporate Financing Rule ETFs FINRA SEC

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

4/29/2014 - Broker-Dealer FINRA Rebates SEC Section 17(a) Stock Trades Transaction Fees

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

4/23/2014 - Cybersecurity Data Protection Investigations SEC

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

4/11/2014 - Broker-Dealer Enforcement Actions Fees Investment Adviser SEC

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

2/7/2014 - Broker-Dealer No-Action Letters Registration SEC

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

2/3/2014 - Compliance Cyber Attacks Cybersecurity Data Protection NEP SEC

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

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

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

Is Exercising Employee Stock Options Illegal Insider Trading? Maybe

Amidst the flurry of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cases involving improper employee stock option backdating several years ago, many commentators opined on the potential insider trading implications of companies'...more

12/9/2013 - Compliance Insider Trading SEC Stock Options

A View of EB-5 Program Issues from a Top SEC Enforcement Official

As participation in the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigrant Investor Program or “EB-5 program” grows, regulatory interest is showing a commensurate uptick. On November 20, 2013, Associate Director Stephen...more

12/3/2013 - Compliance EB-5 Enforcement Enforcement Actions Immigrants SEC USCIS Visas

SEC Chair Says Commission Is Prepared to Try More Cases on Heels of Change to Settlement Policy

Last Thursday, SEC Chair Mary Jo White told a crowd of white collar lawyers and judges in Washington, D.C., that the Commission is prepared to try more cases in the wake of its recent policy change requiring certain...more

11/18/2013 - Mary Jo White SEC Settlement

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

Broker-Dealer Registration Issues Associated with Development Projects under the EB-5 Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (the “EB-5 Program”) administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has been a significant source of capital for various real estate and other development projects...more

11/7/2013 - Broker-Dealer Compliance EB-5 Enforcement Limited Partnerships SEC USCIS

Halloween Shivers: Frightening Times Ahead for RIAs?

Two Halloween announcements by securities regulators may frighten investment advisers. The October 31 statements from the SEC and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) suggest that federal and...more

11/5/2013 - Compliance Dodd-Frank NASAA OCIE SEC

Financial Fraud Law Report: October 2013 - Insider Trading in Mutual Funds: Do Traditional Theories Apply?

A federal court of appeals recently held out the possibility that insider trading prohibitions — at least under the classic theory — do not apply to mutual fund redemptions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh...more

10/25/2013 - Chief Compliance Officers Compliance Fraud Insider Trading Mutual Funds Rule 10b-5 SEC Securities Exchange Act White Collar Crimes

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