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Examination Priorities for 2017 from FINRA and OCIE

In these uncertain times, the predictability and regularity of the annual priorities letters from FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update – February 2017

REGULATION - DOL Issues Additional Guidance on Fiduciary Rule - On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a second set of guidance on its new fiduciary rules, which are scheduled to become...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 8, Issue 1

U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds SEC’s Backtesting Finding - In a 2016 case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a former investment adviser lost a petition to review and vacate the decision of an SEC...more

A Case of Appendicitis: SEC Staff Guidance on Sales Load Variation Disclosures Sends Funds Scrambling

A Guidance Update published in December 2016 by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management has sent funds scrambling to beef up prospectus disclosures to accommodate changes to fees charged by financial intermediaries before...more

FINRA Issues 2017 Examination Priorities Letter

Introduction - Consistent with prior practice, with the arrival of the new year, FINRA has published its key examination priorities. As in prior years, the letter covers a broad array of topics. This year’s topics...more

Unfinished Business: SEC Chair Details Rules Ready to Go

In a letter dated December 12, 2016, to the Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, SEC Chair Mary Jo White took issue with a request to defer consideration of new rulemaking during the...more

Big Regulatory Changes in Store for Funds and Advisers? No One Knows for Certain, but Here’s Our Best Guess

While no one knows for sure what the future holds for investment management regulation, the tea leaves indicate that we may expect a slowdown on new regulations, some pullback on parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - August 2016

Regulation - Next on the SEC’s Regulatory Agenda: A Chief Valuation Officer? - First, the SEC required funds to designate a chief compliance officer. Then, the SEC proposed that funds designate a liquidity...more

FINRA Announces Sweep of Broker-Dealers that Sell Non-Traded BDCs

In a notice published on its website on August 4, 2016, FINRA announced that it is conducting an inquiry with respect to non-traded business development companies (BDCs). FINRA asked that the member broker-dealers send the...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - April 2016

Regulation - Department of Labor Issues Fiduciary Regulations Under ERISA - The Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-anticipated final regulation (the “Regulation”) defining who is a fiduciary as a result of...more

4/21/2016  /  Broker-Dealer , CFTC , Crowdfunding , Derivatives , DOL , ERISA , FINRA , SEC

OCIE Publishes Exam Priorities for 2016

The National Exam Program of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its examination priorities for 2016 this week. Much like last year’s letter, this year’s letter is organized around...more

SEC Sanctions Broker-Dealer and Affiliated Asset Manager for Breaching Information Barriers for Exchange-Traded Products

On October 8, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged an investment adviser and a broker dealer for failing to maintain and enforce polices to prevent misuse of material non-public information. Without admitting...more

FINRA Sets Effective Dates for Research Report Conflicts Rules

FINRA rules addressing conflicts of interest relating to the publication of equity research reports become effective on September 25, 2015, or December 24, 2015. Corresponding rules for debt research reports become effective...more

Conflicts of Interest: When You're Having Too Much Fun at That Business Lunch

How should fund directors monitor gifts and entertainment received by investment adviser personnel? This question moved to the forefront in February, when the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment...more

OCIE Launches Sweep Examination of BD/IA Retirement Investments

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is launching a sweep examination that will target the retirement-based savings activities of broker-dealers and investment advisers. The multi-year...more

The Guide to Social Media and Securities Law - June 2015

The growing use of social media has created challenges for federal securities regulators, who must enforce antifraud rules that were written at a time when the prevailing technology was the newspaper. This Guide...more

The Guide to Social Media and the Securities Laws

The growing use of social media has created challenges for federal securities regulators, who must enforce antifraud rules that were written at a time when the prevailing technology was the newspaper. This Guide...more

Coming Soon: Regulations for Uniform Fiduciary Standard

In testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services on March 24, 2015, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said that she supports a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisers that provide...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

SEC Charges Alt Fund Adviser with Custody Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission on February 12, 2015, entered findings against an investment adviser to several alternative mutual funds for maintaining $247 million in cash collateral at broker-dealer counterparties...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

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

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 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

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

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