David Smyth

David Smyth

Brooks Pierce

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Unregistered Brokers: Watch out for Shortcuts

One of the things I’ve learned since returning to private practice three years ago is that people like to raise money for profitable enterprises when they can. And why not? It can be lucrative. And if the people raising...more

8/21/2014 - Broker-Dealer Brokers Compliance SEC

It Starts with the Custody Rule

If you’re an investment adviser with custody of your client’s assets, is there a more important rule to be sure you’re on top of than the custody rule? If you’re on the SEC’s IA exam staff, is there a more important rule to...more

5/13/2014 - Compliance Custody Rule Fraud SEC

The SEC Will Take “Your” Money, Thanks

So let’s say you work for a hedge fund or some other financial institution that engages in proprietary trading , and you’re inclined to do some insider trading on your employer’s behalf. You make your trades, but you’re a...more

3/11/2014 - Compliance Insider Trading Proprietary Trading SEC Securities Exchange Act

“Whistleblowers” and Tipsters at the SEC

I was thinking my disgorgement post would be the last one of the year but, you know, it’s hard to stop. On Christmas Eve, the Boston Globe published a nice profile of Paul Levenson, the newly installed head of the SEC’s...more

12/31/2013 - Compliance Investment Management SEC Whistleblowers

Back to the Future with Lloyd Cutler

One of the best lawyers I know was packing and unpacking some boxes recently and re-found an article she had read a number of years ago. The Role of the Private Law Firm was written by Lloyd Cutler – a founder of the...more

12/16/2013 - Compliance Legal Ethics

Admit-Deny Placeholder

First, the kerfuffle surrounding the Citi matter has wholly obfuscated the SEC staff’s achievement. Understand that these structured products cases are extremely complicated. Even when assisted by whistleblowers, the facts do...more

12/10/2013 - Citigroup Compliance FCPA SEC Whistleblowers

SEC CustodyFest Vol. 3: Jason Returns

In this last chapter of SEC CustodyFest, we visit Knelman Asset Management Group. For this case, I’m mostly interested in discussing a change to the SEC’s custody rule, Rule 206(4)-2, from 2010....more

12/6/2013 - Compliance Custody Rule Enforcement GAAP PCAOB SEC

One Week, Three Subpoena Enforcement Actions

I know you’re ready to get back to volumes 2 and 3 of SEC CustodyFest. Believe me, we all are. And I assure you, we will. But for those looking for evidence that the SEC is taking a new, tough turn under Mary Jo White, I...more

11/15/2013 - Compliance Enforcement Actions SEC Subpoenas

SEC Whacks GW & Wade for Rule 12b-1 Fees, Too

Before turning back to SEC CustodyFest, volumes 2 and 3, I’d like to focus for a bit on another aspect of the SEC’s October administrative case against GW & Wade. In addition to the custody rule issues, the SEC found that the...more

11/13/2013 - Compliance Enforcement Actions Rule 12b-1 Plans SEC

Commercial Bribery on the Table in Diebold FCPA Actions

Last week the SEC and Justice Department brought parallel FCPA enforcement actions charging Ohio-based Diebold, Inc., a global provider of ATMs and bank security systems. From the SEC’s press release: “[S]ubsidiaries...more

10/31/2013 - Bribery Compliance Enforcement Actions FCPA SEC

Ralph Lauren Escapes FCPA Problems with Minimized Damage

Often, enforcement officials at the SEC and the Justice Department express their wish that securities law violators own up to their (mis)conduct as soon it comes to light. That is, come to the government and explain what has...more

4/23/2013 - Bribery Compliance Customs Damages DOJ FCPA Ralph Lauren SEC Self-Reporting

SEC Highlights Compliance and Ethics for Broker-Dealers

On Tuesday the SEC held a National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers at an open meeting at its D.C. headquarters. The first panel – titled The Role of Compliance and Ethics – was nominally targeted to...more

4/11/2013 - Broker-Dealer Chief Compliance Officers Compliance Corporate Culture FCPA Risk Management SEC

SEC Enforcement Coming to a Private Equity Firm Near You

Bruce Karpati, chief of the SEC’s Asset Management Unit (“AMU” or the “Unit”), recently spoke at the Private Equity International Conference in New York, and opened a window into the Unit’s views toward the industry. In...more

3/5/2013 - AMU Asset Management Compliance Private Equity SEC

SEC’s Asset Management Unit Focuses on Compliance Failures, Vol. 2

As we discussed last month, the SEC’s Asset Management Unit has developed a likeness for not just big, headline-grabbing cases, but relatively small compliance-based cases that are designed to prevent minor problems from...more

12/19/2012 - Asset Management Unit Books & Records Compliance Investment Adviser Registration SEC

FCPA Declination Opinions? SEC and DOJ Sort of Have Them

The Justice Department and the SEC released long-awaited joint guidance on enforcement and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act yesterday. Many have pointed out that the guidance does not cover much new ground...more

11/16/2012 - Compliance DOJ FCPA FCPA Resource Guide SEC

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