Kelley A. Howes

Kelley A. Howes

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Latest Publications


SEC Sanctions Adviser, Executives and CCO for Custody Rule Violation – Again

On November 19, 2015, the SEC sanctioned a registered investment adviser, its two owners, and a former chief compliance officer for violating the Advisers Act “custody rule” after previously settling similar charges and...more

11/23/2015 - Chief Compliance Officers Custody Rule Pooled Investment Vehicles Registered Investment Advisors SEC

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - November 2015

Regulation - OCIE Cautions Advisers on Outsourcing Compliance Activities: In a Risk Alert dated November 9, 2015, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) said it found that outsourced...more

11/18/2015 - AIFMD Anti-Money Laundering CFTC Compliance Cybersecurity Enforcement Actions FINRA Investment Management Investor Protection OCIE Outsourcing SEC Swap Dealers Swing Pricing Volcker Rule

SEC Sanctions Adviser for Misstatements in Advertisements, Client Presentations and Regulatory Filings

The SEC found that a registered investment adviser that operates as a “manager of managers” misstated a sub-adviser’s investment performance in communications with its clients, potential clients and the SEC. According to the...more

11/18/2015 - Compliance Material Misstatements Registered Investment Advisors Sanctions SEC Third-Party Service Provider

OCIE Cautions Advisers About Outsourcing Compliance Activities

In a Risk Alert dated November 9, 2015, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) said it found that outsourced compliance programs are generally effective, but some of these arrangements leave room...more

11/11/2015 - Chief Compliance Officers Compliance OCIE Outsourcing Risk Alert SEC

SEC Adopts Further Revisions to Rule 2a-7

The SEC recently adopted rule amendments removing credit rating references in Rule 2a-7 and Form N-MFP. Issuer diversification provisions were also amended to eliminate a current exclusion for securities subject to a...more

9/25/2015 - Amended Regulation Asset Diversification Board of Directors Credit Ratings Duty to Monitor Guarantors Money Market Funds New Guidance NRSRO Risk Assessment SEC

SEC Sanctions Investment Adviser For Materially False Advertisements

The SEC recently instituted proceedings against a registered investment adviser and its founder, CEO and majority shareholder for allegedly making material misstatements and omissions regarding the amount of assets...more

9/14/2015 - CEOs Compliance Conflicts of Interest Enforcement Actions False Advertising Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Material Misstatements Omissions Policies and Procedures Sanctions SEC

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - July 2015

The 2016 compliance dates for new rules included in the SEC’s money market fund reforms are fast approaching. Among other things, the reforms include changes to stress-testing requirements, disclosure requirements, net asset...more

7/29/2015 - Disclosure Requirements Liquidity Money Market Funds NAV Regulatory Agenda SEC Stress Tests

BDC Master Feeder Funds on the Horizon – No-Action Relief Granted to One Issuer

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management said that it would not recommend enforcement action if a business development company (BDC) reorganizes into a master-feeder structure. The relief will also be...more

7/22/2015 - Business Development Companies Division of Investment Management Feeder Funds Investment Company Act of 1940 Middle Market No-Action Relief Public Offerings SEC Shareholders

SEC Staff Provides Guidance to Clarify Application of Rule Requiring Reporting of Personal Securities Transactions by Investment...

In a June 2015 Guidance Update, the staff of the Division of Investment Management clarified how the code of ethics reporting rules apply to investment advisers. Current rules require certain advisory personnel who...more

7/2/2015 - Ethics Guidance Update Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Material Nonpublic Information Reporting Requirements SEC

SEC Solicits Comments on Exchange-Traded Products

Citing significant growth in the size and scope of exchange-traded products (ETPs), on June 12, 2015, the SEC focused its attention on ETPs, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), non-1940 Act pooled investment vehicles, and...more

6/16/2015 - ETFs ETNs Exchange-Traded Products FINRA Pooled Investment Vehicles SEC

SEC Issues Cybersecurity Guidance for Registered Investment Advisers and Registered Funds

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued guidance highlighting the importance of cybersecurity and discussing measures that registered investment companies (“funds”) and registered investment advisers (“advisers”)...more

5/4/2015 - Cybersecurity Investment Adviser Investment Funds New Guidance 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

Firm Sanctioned for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Violation of the Compliance Rule

The SEC sanctioned a registered investment adviser for breaching its fiduciary duty by failing to disclose to its clients a conflict of interest created by a portfolio manager’s outside business activity and personal...more

4/23/2015 - Breach of Duty Chief Compliance Officers Conflicts of Interest Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser Investment Funds 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

The Administration Proposes Imposing a Fiduciary Standard on Retirement Advisers

Yesterday, the Obama administration called on the Department of Labor to draft rules that, in effect, would require brokers who provide retirement advice to abide by a fiduciary standard. In a speech at an event hosted by...more

2/25/2015 - Broker-Dealer Brokers CFPB Dodd-Frank DOL ERISA Fiduciary Duty Financial Adviser Obama Administration Proposed Regulation SEC

OCIE Publishes Exam Priorities for 2015

The National Exam Program of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its examination priorities for 2015 this week. (Last week, FINRA published its priorities, discussed here.) Many of the...more

1/15/2015 - Industry Examinations Investment Adviser OCIE Retirement Plan SEC

FINRA Sanctions Member Firm for Failure to Deliver ETF Prospectuses

FINRA recently sanctioned a broker-dealer (the “Firm”) for failure to deliver prospectuses in connection with its sale of ETFs. FINRA also found that the Firm failed to implement a supervisory system reasonably designed to...more

12/19/2014 - Broker-Dealer Enforcement Actions ETFs FINRA Prospectus

Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

In a December 10, 2014 speech, Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, offered a glimpse at the top 10 industry lessons learned in 2014. While admitting that his Top Ten list “may not be as...more

12/15/2014 - Compliance Investment Management 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 -- 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

Paying for Playing: SEC Brings First Pay-to-Play Action against an Investment Adviser

The SEC has brought the first action under the “pay-to-play” rule adopted under the Investment Advisers Act. Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC Enforcement Division, served notice that the SEC “will hold investment advisers...more

7/2/2014 - Affiliates Broker-Dealer Enforcement Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Pay-To-Play SEC

SEC’s Final Municipal Advisor Registration Rules Will Take Effect on July 1, 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) temporary stay on its final municipal advisor rules under Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) expires July 1, 2014. Accordingly, municipal...more

6/27/2014 - Dodd-Frank Final Rules MSRB Municipal Advisers Registration SEC Securities Exchange Act

Something Old, Something New: SEC Brings Action for Prohibited Principal Transactions and Retaliation Against Whistleblower

Clearly signaling its intention to support whistleblowers who provide actionable evidence of wrong-doing, the SEC this week settled the first case brought under the authority granted by the Dodd-Frank Act enabling...more

6/18/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions Hedge Funds Investment Adviser Retaliation SEC Whistleblowers

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