Jay G. Baris

Jay G. Baris

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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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

2/23/2017 - Anti-Money Laundering Broker-Dealer Cybersecurity ETFs Examination Priorities FINRA Investment Adviser OCIE Retail Investors SEC Securities Transactions

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

2/2/2017 - Attorney-Client Privilege Broker-Dealer Brokers Capital Acquisition Broker (CAB) Conflicts of Interest Cross-Selling DOL Examination Priorities Exploitation Fiduciary Rule FINRA Investment Adviser Liquidity Risk Management Rule Mutual Funds OCIE Pay-To-Play Sales Load Variations SEC Section 36(b) Swing Pricing Trustees

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

1/25/2017 - Broker-Dealer DOL Examination Priorities Fiduciary Rule FINRA OCIE SEC

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

1/9/2017 - Broker-Dealer Conflicts of Interest DOL Guidance Update Intermediaries Investment Management SEC

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

1/9/2017 - Broker-Dealer Examination Priorities FINRA Investors SEC

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

12/29/2016 - Bank Holding Company Broker-Dealer Derivatives Investment Companies SEC Shareholders Swap Dealers

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

12/8/2016 - Accredited Investors Broker-Dealer Business Development Dodd-Frank DOL Enforcement ETFs Fiduciary Rule Independent Director Investment Adviser Investment Companies Investment Management Presidential Elections SEC SIFIs Transition Team Trump Administration Volcker Rule

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

8/16/2016 - Advisors Act Auditors BDC Broker-Dealer Business Continuity Plans Business Development Companies CFTC Commodity Futures Contracts Commodity Pool Customer Due Diligence (CDD) ETFs FinCEN FSOC OCIE Private Equity Qualified Client Risk Management SEC

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

8/9/2016 - Broker-Dealer Business Development Companies FINRA Retail Investors

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

1/16/2016 - Alternative Fee Arrangements Analytics Broker-Dealer ETFs Examination Priorities Investment Adviser Investor Protection OCIE Pay-To-Play Retail Investors SEC

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

10/22/2015 - Broker-Dealer Disgorgement Enforcement Actions ETNs Information Sharing Insider Trading Investment Adviser Material Nonpublic Information Neither Admit Nor Deny Settlements Penalties Sanctions SEC

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

8/31/2015 - Broker-Dealer Conflicts of Interest Debt Securities Disclosure Requirements Equity Securities FINRA Fiscal Reports Investment Banks Investors Sarbanes-Oxley

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

7/28/2015 - Board of Directors Broker-Dealer Chief Compliance Officers Compliance Conflicts of Interest Directors Division of Investment Management Gifts Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Investment Companies Policies and Procedures SEC

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

6/27/2015 - Broker-Dealer Industry Examinations Investment Adviser OCIE Retirement Plan SEC Strategic Enforcement Plan

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

6/24/2015 - Broker-Dealer Financial Institutions Investment Adviser Social Media

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

6/17/2015 - Broker-Dealer Capital Raising Crowdfunding FINRA Investment Adviser Investment Companies Material Misstatements Non-GAAP Financial Measures Non-Public Information OCIE Private Offerings Proxy Solicitations Public Offerings Regulation FD SEC Securities Regulation Social Media Testimonial Statements Websites

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

3/27/2015 - Asset Management Broker-Dealer Dodd-Frank Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser Mary Jo White Proposed Standards SEC

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

2/27/2015 - Background Checks Broker-Dealer CFTC Compliance Cybersecurity Data Protection Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions Equity Swaps FINRA Hedging Investment Adviser Investment Management OCIE SEC

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

2/18/2015 - Alternative Investment Funds Broker-Dealer Custody Rule Enforcement Actions Investment Adviser SEC

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

2/13/2015 - Broker-Dealer Cyber Attacks Cybersecurity Data Protection Investment Adviser OCIE SEC

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

12/11/2014 - Alternative Mutual Funds Broker-Dealer Disclosure Requirements ETFs Exchange-Traded Products Investment Management Referral Fees SEC

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 JOBS Act Legislative Agendas Marijuana New Legislation Private Equity Funds SEC SEC Commissioner SIFIs Transaction Fees

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

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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