Kelley A. Howes

Kelley A. Howes

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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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 Issuers 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

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

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

Spreading Sunshine or Shining a Spotlight?

In a recent speech, Andrew Bowden, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) “spread sunshine” on private equity industry practices gathered through so-called “presence exams” of newly...more

5/13/2014 - Compliance Enforcement Actions OCIE Private Funds SEC

Money Market Reform Inches Forward

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) made available its analyses of data and academic literature relevant to pending money market fund reform. DERA said that the analyses could assist the...more

3/26/2014 - Financial Regulatory Reform Money Market Funds SEC

NEP Announces Never-Before-Examined Initiative

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced this week that its National Exam Program (NEP) launched an initiative to “engage with” investment advisers that have never been examined by the SEC....more

2/24/2014 - Dodd-Frank Form ADV NEP OCIE SEC

SEC Staff Offers Roadmap for Alternative Investment Due Diligence Processes

The SEC believes that investment advisers, including pension consultants, are increasingly recommending that their clients invest a portion of their portfolios in private alternative investment funds. In light of that trend,...more

2/12/2014 - Compliance Due Diligence Investors OCIE Risk Management 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

SEC Compliance Outreach Program Reinforces Familiar Themes

Last week, key members of the SEC’s staff reinforced their expectation that CCOs and other gatekeepers should help the SEC with its core mission of protecting investors, promoting fair, orderly and efficient markets and...more

2/5/2014 - Compliance SEC

SEC: Adviser Violated Advisers Act by Charging Performance Fees to Non-Qualified Clients

A recent SEC enforcement action illustrates the challenge of complying with changing regulations, particularly for newly registered advisers. The SEC found that the adviser violated the prohibition against charging...more

1/2/2014 - Compliance Dodd-Frank Fees Investment Advisers Act of 1940 SEC

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

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