Jay G. Baris

Jay G. Baris

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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SEC Gives the Nod to Exchange-Traded Mutual Funds

Barely two weeks after it signaled thumbs-down on two requests to approve non-transparent exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the SEC on November 6, 2014 published a notice of application that would allow the applicant to create...more

11/12/2014

SEC’s Champ: Staff to Focus on Alt Fund Risk Disclosures

The Division of Investment Management again has turned its attention to alternative mutual funds, this time ensuring that they adequately disclose risks to retail investors. ...more

11/12/2014 - Alternative Mutual Funds Enforcement OCIE Public Disclosure SEC SIFMA

SEC: Non-Transparent ETFs Not Ready for Prime Time

The SEC has given a preliminary thumbs-down to non-transparent exchange traded funds (ETFs). In two separate notices issued on October 21, 2014, the Commission stated that applications to allow actively managed ETFs to...more

11/3/2014 - Disclosure Requirements ETFs Investment Company Act of 1940 SEC Transparency

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

SEC Requires Floating NAV for Institutional Money Market Funds; IRS Eases Tax Reporting Burden for Fund Investors

A divided Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted rules that will require floating net asset values (NAVs) for institutional money market funds and give most money market funds the discretion to impose liquidity...more

7/29/2014 - Floating NAV IRS Liquidity Fees Mary Jo White Money Market Funds NAV Redemption Gates Reporting Requirements SEC

SEC Requires Floating NAV for Institutional Money Market Funds; IRS Eases Tax Reporting Burden for Fund Investors

Yesterday, a divided Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules that will require floating net asset values (NAVs) for institutional money market funds and give most money market funds the discretion to impose liquidity...more

7/24/2014 - Compliance Income Taxes Investment Funds Investors Liquidity Fees Money Market Funds NAV SEC

Commissioner Piwowar Slams “Dodd-Frank Politburo” for Overstepping Authority

In a speech on July 15, 2014, SEC Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar expressed his views about the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) operating in secrecy as it tries to expand its regulation of financial institutions...more

7/17/2014 - Banking Sector Banks Capital Markets Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform FSOC SEC Transparency

SEC Staff Offers Guidance Regarding Investment Advisers and Proxy Advisory Firms

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management and Division of Corporation Finance published joint guidance on June 30, 2014 regarding investment advisers’ responsibilities in voting client proxies, and two exemptions from the...more

7/3/2014 - Investment Adviser Proxies Proxy Advisors Proxy Voting Guidelines SEC

SEC Staff Closes Loophole on BDC Asset Coverage Requirements

In a Guidance Update published on June 30, 2014 by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, the staff closed a loophole that allowed business development companies (BDCs) with wholly owned Small Business Investment...more

7/2/2014 - Business Development Companies Debt Securities Guidance Update SBA SEC Subsidiaries

SEC Staff Warns Against “Disclosure Creep”

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management warned against “disclosure creep” invading fund prospectuses in regulatory guidance posted in June 2014....more

6/30/2014 - Disclosure Disclosure Requirements Investment Funds OCIE Prospectus SEC

SEC Staff: Measure Percentage Ownership by Fund, not by Complex

In its June 2014 Guidance Update, the SEC’s Division of Investment Management said that series funds are individual investment companies for purposes of compliance with certain investor protections, including the 1940 Act’s...more

6/26/2014 - Investors OCIE SEC Series Funds

Banking Regulators: Exit Fees for Bond Mutual Funds?

Should federal regulators impose exit fees on bond funds? Officials at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve may think so....more

6/19/2014 - Banks Bonds Federal Reserve Mutual Funds

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

Best Practices for Independent Directors of Business Development Companies

As business development companies (BDCs) grow in popularity, the role of their independent directors grows in importance. Here we look at the increasingly important role that BDC independent directors play and how their...more

6/6/2014 - Best Management Practices Business Development Companies Capital Markets Conflicts of Interest Corporate Governance Directors Funding Investment Adviser Investment Portfolios Private Equity Funds Small Business

Socially Aware - Volume 5, Issue 3 - May 2014

In This Issue: - Jerked Around? Did the FTC’s “Jerk.com” Complaint Just Turn API Terms Into Federal Law? - Which Way Is Aereo Pointing? The Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Public Performance Copyright Case - The...more

5/22/2014 - Aereo APIs Copyright FTC Internet Internet of Things Internet Service Providers Internet Streaming Investment Adviser Jerk Public Performance Rights SCOTUS Social Media VPPA

Spreading Sunshine or Shining a Spotlight?

In a recent speech, Andrew Bowden, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) “spread sunshine” on private equity industry practices gathered through so-called “presence exams” of newly...more

5/13/2014 - Compliance Enforcement Actions OCIE Private Funds SEC

Congressional Report May Kill BDC Reform Bill

A congressionally mandated budget report may ring the death knell for proposed legislation that would increase the leverage limit for business development companies (BDCs)....more

4/25/2014 - Business Development Companies C-Corporation Income Taxes Proposed Legislation Shareholders Tax Revenues

Division of Investment Management: References by Advisers to Public Commentary on Social Media Sites Don’t Invoke “Testimonial...

Acknowledging the growing demand by consumers for information through social media, the Division of Investment Management set some ground rules on how investment advisers can use social media and publish advertisements that...more

4/7/2014 - Investment Adviser Social Media

New Regulatory Guidance on Use of Social Media by Investment Advisers

Acknowledging the growing demand by consumers for information through social media, the Division of Investment Management set some ground rules on how investment advisers can use social media and publish advertisements...more

4/7/2014 - Compliance Investment Adviser Social Media

SEC Correction: Reinstating an Exception to an Exception to an Exception

No one could be blamed for having difficulty understanding the intricacies of the rules under Section 17(d) of the Investment Company Act, the statute that prohibits “joint transactions” without an SEC order. At the end of...more

4/3/2014 - Compliance Enforcement SEC

Division of Investment Management Lists 2013 Accomplishments; Sets 2014 Agenda

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management summarized its activities in 2013, highlighting its intensified rulemaking program, efforts to identify new and emerging risks and its disclosure initiatives. The Division also took...more

4/2/2014 - Compliance Enforcement SEC

SEC Sanctions Non-U.S. Firm for Failing to Register as Broker-Dealer/Adviser

The SEC charged a non-U.S. multi-national financial institution with a large U.S. presence with violating federal securities laws by providing brokerage and investment advisory services to U.S. clients without registering...more

4/2/2014 - Broker-Dealer Investment Adviser Registration SEC

Toke on This: FinCEN Issues Guidelines for Marijuana-Related Businesses

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) got a whiff of the fact that financial institutions provide services to burgeoning marijuana-related businesses and published guidance to clarify customer due diligence...more

2/24/2014 - Bank Secrecy Act Controlled Substances Act FinCEN Marijuana Money Laundering

NFA Requests Comments on Need for CPO/CTA Capital Requirements

Should the National Futures Association (NFA) impose capital requirements on commodity pool operators (CPOs) and commodity trading advisors (CTAs)? On January 23, 2014, the NFA published a Notice to members seeking public...more

2/12/2014 - CFTC CPO CTA NFA

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

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