Kelley A. Howes

Kelley A. Howes

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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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

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

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

A Must Read: FINRA’s 2014 Exam Priorities

FINRA did not wait for any dust (or snow) to settle on the New Year before alerting the brokerage industry and the public about its regulatory and examination priorities for 2014. This year’s letter, issued earlier than ever...more

1/6/2014 - Algorithmic Trading Anti-Money Laundering Broker-Dealer Compliance Conflicts of Interest Crowdfunding Employer Liability Issues Enforcement FINRA High Frequency Trading Qualified Benefit Plans Recidivism

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- December 2013

In This Issue: Regulatory Updates - SEC Continues to Look at a Uniform Fiduciary Standard for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers; SEC Grants Unusual Exemptive Relief from Pay-to-Play “Time-Out” Provision;...more

12/11/2013 - Broker-Dealer Compliance Conflicts of Interest Directors Fiduciary Duty FINRA Investment Funds SEC

Investment Advisory Committee Recommends Rulemaking on Uniform Fiduciary Standard

Last week, the SEC’s Investment Advisory Committee recommended that the SEC enact rules to impose a fiduciary duty on broker-dealers when they provide personalized investment advice to retail investors. The Committee’s draft...more

11/26/2013 - Broker-Dealer Dodd-Frank SEC

Uniform Fiduciary Standard Still a Priority, But No Timeline Yet

Both the SEC and FINRA believe that the question of whether a uniform fiduciary standard should be imposed on broker-dealers and investment advisers needs to be resolved. The problem is, neither one seems to have a view...more

11/15/2013 - Broker-Dealer Fiduciary Duty FINRA Investment Adviser SEC Uniform Fiduciaries Act

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- October 2013

- Regulatory Updates: CFTC Adopts “Substituted Compliance” Approach for Registered Investment Companies that are Commodity Pools; SEC’s Final Rules on General Solicitation and Bad Actor Disqualification for Investment...more

10/24/2013 - Audits Bad Actors Broker-Dealer CFTC Commodity Pool Compliance Continuity of Enterprises Dodd-Frank Enforcement FINRA General Solicitation Investment Adviser JOBS Act PCAOB Private Funds Rule 506 Offerings SEC

SEC Sanctions Investment Adviser for Pushing Class A Shares When Investors Qualified to Buy Institutional Class Shares

The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned an investment adviser and its owner for failing to seek best execution and breaching their fiduciary duty in selecting mutual fund share classes for three advisory...more

10/3/2013 - Broker Commissions Broker-Dealer Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Mutual Funds Sanctions SEC

Non-U.S. broker-dealers and investment advisers may have U.S. registration requirements when existing clients relocate to the...

The SEC recently reminded non-U.S. broker-dealers and advisers with clients that relocate to the United States that they may be required to register under the U.S. securities laws. On July 31, 2013, the SEC sanctioned a...more

8/7/2013 - Broker-Dealer EU Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Registration SEC Securities Exchange Act

FINRA Enforcement Action Stresses Procedures for Due Diligence on Private Placements of Investment Funds

In a recent formal disciplinary proceeding, FINRA reaffirmed member firms’ obligations to maintain adequate procedures for conducting due diligence on private placements, including the review of sales materials, and systems...more

7/29/2013 - Broker-Dealer Due Diligence Enforcement Actions FINRA Fraud Investment Funds Private Placements Regulation D

Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean: FINRA Raises Concerns About Advertising “Free” and “No-Fee” Services

FINRA is once again focusing on member firms’ communications with the public. Regulatory Notice 13-23 provides members with guidance regarding disclosure of fees in communications about retail brokerage accounts and...more

7/25/2013 - Broker-Dealer Disclosure Requirements Fees FINRA IRA Misrepresentation

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- July 2013

In This Issue: Regulatory Updates - SEC Proposes Money Market Reform; SEC Eases Ban on General Solicitation and General Advertising in Certain Private Placements; SEC and CFTC Adopt Joint Rules to Address...more

7/19/2013 - Broker-Dealer CFTC Disclosure Requirements FSOC General Solicitation Identity Theft Insider Trading Investment Funds JOBS Act Marketing Money Laundering Money Market Funds New Legislation New Regulations Nonbank Firms NYSE Private Placements SEC Social Media Tax Reform Whistleblowers

Broker-Dealer Email Systems Must Keep Pace with Firm Growth, FINRA Says

A recent FINRA disciplinary action sends a strong message to broker-dealers that the development of their compliance systems — particularly with respect to email review and retention — must keep pace with the growth of their...more

5/29/2013 - Broker-Dealer Discovery Email FINRA Recordkeeping Requirements Sanctions Supervision

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- May 2013

In This Issue: Regulatory Updates - SEC Allows Limited Use of Social Media for Public Disclosure; Federal Reserve Board Publishes a Final Rule Specifying when Nonbank Firms are “Predominantly Engaged in...more

5/17/2013 - Broker-Dealer Custody Rule ETFs Federal Reserve Final Rules Investment Management Nonbank Firms Pensions Public Disclosure SEC Social Media Startups

One Step Closer to a Fiduciary Duty for Broker-Dealers?

More than two years after an SEC Staff study recommended adoption of a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisers, the SEC has taken its first significant step towards possible implementation of the...more

3/7/2013 - Broker-Dealer Dodd-Frank Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser SEC

OCIE to Target Adviser Payments for Fund Distribution, Funds with “Alternative” Strategies and New Advisers

In an attempt to “increase transparency, strengthen compliance, and inform the public and the financial services industry about key risks,” the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its 2013...more

2/25/2013 - Broker-Dealer Conflicts of Interest Corporate Governance Enterprise Risks Fund Distribution Investment Adviser NEP OCIE Revenue Sharing Risk Management SEC

FINRA Provides Early Guidance About Its Exam Priorities; Firms Should Take Notice

In its annual summary of regulatory and examination priorities, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) signaled that it will aggressively pursue market misconduct. The January 11, 2013 report follows closely on...more

1/16/2013 - Broker-Dealer Compliance Cybersecurity FINRA Investment Adviser Investors

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