Kelley A. Howes

Kelley A. Howes

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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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

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

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

Year-End CFTC Reporting Requirements for Fund Advisers

The National Futures Association (NFA) reminded fund advisers claiming an exemption from registering as a commodity pool operator (CPO) that they must confirm by March 3, 2014 that will continue to rely on the exemption....more

12/12/2013 - CFTC CPO Exemptions Investment Adviser NFA Reporting Requirements Year-End Planning

SEC Staff Elaborates on Venture Capital Adviser Exemption

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management provided advisers to venture capital funds with guidance on fund structures that do not jeopardize an adviser’s ability to rely on the exemption from registration provided by...more

12/5/2013 - Exemptions Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Registration Reporting Requirements SEC Venture Capital

SEC’s Recent Actions Against Two Investment Advisers Raise Important Lessons for All Investment Advisers

Recently announced cases against two registered investment advisers and certain of their executives serve as timely reminders of where the SEC is focusing its attention. Although the SEC’s actions are based on alleged...more

12/3/2013 - Compliance Enforcement Actions Investment Adviser SEC

SEC Grants Rare Exemptive Relief from Pay-to-Play “Time-Out” Provision

In what may be a case of first impression, the SEC recently granted exemptive relief from Rule 206(4)-5(a)(1) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the “time-out” provision of the pay-to-play rule. In general, Rule...more

11/22/2013 - Exemptive Relief Hedge Funds Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Pay-To-Play 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

SEC Targets More Firms for Custody Rule Violations

On October 28, 2013, the SEC sanctioned three registered investment advisers for, among other things, violating Rule 206(4)-2 under the Advisers Act (the “Custody Rule”). These settled actions, the subject of a special SEC...more

10/31/2013 - Chief Compliance Officers Custody Rule Customer Funds Enforcement Actions Investment Adviser Penalties SEC

SEC Sanctions Three More Investment Advisers for Compliance Violations

The SEC’s Compliance Program Initiative bore more enforcement fruit. SEC today sanctioned three investment advisory firms for repeatedly ignoring compliance problems. The Initiative targets firms that fail to address...more

10/24/2013 - Compliance Investment Adviser Sanctions SEC

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 Enforcement Division to CCOs: We Are in This Together!

Stephen Cohen, the SEC’s Associate Director of Enforcement, tied robust compliance programs to enforcement “credits”. In remarks to compliance and ethics professionals at the annual conference of the Society of...more

10/15/2013 - Chief Compliance Officers Compliance Ethics Foreign Investment Investment Adviser SEC Whistleblowers

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

SEC Staff: Private Stock Certificates May Not Be Subject to Custody Rule

In a recent IM Guidance Update, the SEC’s Division of Investment Management said that it would not object if registered investment advisers (RIAs) to certain private funds do not maintain “private stock certificates” with a...more

8/23/2013 - Custody Rule Investment Adviser SEC Stocks

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

SEC Adviser Exams Find Widespread Violations of Custody Rule

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations reports finding widespread compliance deficiencies related to custody of securities. In its March 4, 2013 National Exam Program Risk Alert, OCIE said that...more

3/8/2013 - Audits Custody Rule Customer Funds Protection Investment Adviser Investors NEP SEC

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

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- February 2013

In This Issue: Regulatory Updates - FINRA overhaul of communications rules becomes effective and ICI and CoC appeal Rule 4.5 ruling. Enforcement + Litigation - Enforcement Division priorities target hedge...more

2/14/2013 - ALJ Brokers CoC Enforcement Fines FINRA Hedge Funds ICI Investment Adviser Investment Funds SEC Stock Repurchases Valuation

MMF Independent Trustees in Crisis: MMF Executives Sue Independent Trustees for Fraud and Waste of Corporate Assets

In a bizarre twist to the case of the money market fund that broke the buck, the investment adviser to the Reserve Primary Fund (Reserve Fund) and its principals sued the fund’s independent trustees, laying the blame for the...more

1/24/2013 - Class Action Derivative Suit Fraud and Waste Investment Adviser Lehman Brothers Money Market Funds SEC Trustees

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

SEC Accuses Fund Directors of Breaching Their Valuation Duties

In a case involving fair valuation of structured notes, the SEC signaled that when investment company fund boards delegate the responsibility to fair value portfolio securities, they must provide “meaningful substantive...more

1/4/2013 - Board of Directors Enforcement Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser SEC Valuation

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