Jay G. Baris

Jay G. Baris

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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SEC Commissioner: Don’t Hold CCOs Accountable for Misdeeds of Advisers

SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher, in a speech on June 25, 2015, said that a perceived trend by the SEC toward “strict liability” for chief compliance officers (CCOs) is “sending a troubling message.” The statement...more

7/2/2015 - Chief Compliance Officers Enforcement Actions Investment Adviser Investment Management SEC Strict Liability

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

SEC Sanctions Independent Trustees for Deficient Advisory Contract Review

In a cease-and-desist order entered on June 17, 2015, the SEC found that a fund adviser, two independent trustees, and an inside trustee willfully violated Section 15(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”)...more

6/22/2015 - Investment Adviser Investment Advisory Agreements Investment Company Act of 1940 SEC Trustees

SEC Proposes Heightened Data and Reporting Rules for Funds and Advisers, Ponders New Rules on Derivatives and Leverage

At an open meeting of the Securities and Exchange Commission today, Chair Mary Jo White announced to enhance SEC reporting by investment companies and investment advisers. Data collection. The SEC proposed rules that...more

6/3/2015 - Data Collection Derivatives ETFs Investment Adviser Investment Funds Reporting Requirements SEC

OCIE Targets Never-Before-Examined Investment Companies for Compliance Exams

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations in a Risk Alert dated April 20, 2015, announced a program targeting investment companies that have never been examined for focused, risk-based compliance...more

4/23/2015 - Industry Examinations Investment Funds OCIE Risk Alert SEC

No-Action Relief Granted for Three-Tier Fund Structure

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management on April 3, 2015, said that it will not recommend enforcement proceedings against an investment adviser that structures a three-tier fund allowing certain funds to invest in a...more

4/20/2015 - Fund of Funds Investment Adviser Investment Funds No-Action Relief SEC

SEC Division of Investment Management Cautions Advisers on Acceptance of Gifts and Entertainment

Fund compliance policies and procedures should address the receipt of gifts or entertainment by fund advisory personnel, according to guidance published by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management....more

4/20/2015 - Chief Compliance Officers Conditional Gifts Investment Adviser Investment Company Act of 1940 New Guidance Policies and Procedures SEC

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

FSOC, At It Again, Places Asset Managers in Its Crosshairs

In seeking comment on potential risks to the U.S. financial system created by asset managers, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) again places asset managers in its crosshairs. This crusade potentially can lead...more

1/9/2015 - Asset Management Banking Sector Banks CPOs Financial Institutions FSOC Hedge Funds Insurance Companies Risk Assessment SEC

SEC to Require Living Wills and Stress-Testing for Investment Advisers

In a speech on December 11, 2014, SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced three broad “proactive initiatives” to address the risks of “increasingly complex portfolio composition and operations” in the asset management industry. ...more

12/15/2014 - Asset Management Fund Managers Investment Adviser Living Will SEC Stress Tests

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

SEC Chair’s Agenda Provides Glimpse of New Rules to Come

The SEC offered a peek into what new rule proposals we can expect in the coming months. The sneak preview includes some eye openers, like proposed rules to require funds to adopt liquidity management programs and...more

12/8/2014 - Asset Management ETFs Exchange-Traded Products Investment Adviser Liquidity Risk Management Rule OMB Proposed Regulation Rulemaking Process SEC Stress Tests

New Valuation Guidance: A Reminder of Directors’ Responsibilities

In the December 2014 issue of Fund Directions, Investment Management partner Jay Baris discusses in the “Learning Curve” column challenges faced by mutual fund directors as they struggle to comply with new valuation guidance...more

12/4/2014 - Investment Portfolios Money Market Funds Mutual Funds New Guidance SEC Valuation

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

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