Stephen M. Quinlivan

Stephen M. Quinlivan

Stinson Leonard Street

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SEC Grants Exceptions to Family Office Rules

The SEC has previously adopted a rule to define “family offices” that are excluded from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. “Family offices” are entities established by wealthy families to manage their wealth and provide...more

7/31/2014 - Estate Planning Family Offices Investment Advisers Act of 1940 SEC Tax Planning

New Decision Bodes Well for SEC in Conflict Minerals Case

In April 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held the SEC’s conflict minerals rule and statute embodied in Dodd-Frank violate the First Amendment to the extent the statute and rule require...more

7/30/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions First Amendment SEC

Hedge Fund COO Makes Admissions in SEC Settlement

The SEC announced that the former Chief Operating Officer at Harbinger Capital Partners LLC has agreed to settle allegations that he assisted a scheme by the firm and its owner to misappropriate millions of dollars from a...more

7/29/2014 - C-Suite Executives Hedge Funds Income Taxes Misappropriation SEC Settlement

Examples of Social Media in M&A Transactions

In April 2014, the SEC provided guidance on the use of social media in M&A and other contexts. Companies have begun to cautiously make use of the guidance but the flood gates haven’t exactly opened....more

7/21/2014 - Enforcement FCC Popular SEC Social Media

When is a Consultant an Executive Officer? – SEC Brings Another Case

The SEC has instituted administrative proceedings against a registrant and others alleging that two individuals with prior law violations secretly controlled the operational and management decisions of the registrant while...more

7/17/2014 - Consultants Corporate Officers Issuers SEC

FSOC = Firing Squad On Capitalism Says SEC Commissioner

Speaking at a conference, SEC Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar’s opening remarks included “In preparing for this speech, I thought a lot about what moniker I could use to best describe the [Financial Oversight Stability...more

7/16/2014 - FSOC SEC

SEC Provides Guidance to Private Equity on Seller Escrows

The SEC has issued guidance to registered private equity advisers regarding escrow arrangements resulting from the sale of a portfolio company. The guidance revolves around a circumstance involving the sale of a portfolio...more

7/11/2014 - Compliance Escrow Accounts Private Equity SEC

GAO Says Commerce Department Has Not Complied With Conflict Minerals Obligations

The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, has issued a report noting the SEC issued a rule in 2012 requiring certain companies to disclose the source and chain of custody of necessary conflict minerals in their products....more

7/7/2014 - Compliance Conflict Mineral Rules GAO SEC U.S. Commerce Department

SEC Orders Exchanges and FINRA to Submit Tick Size Pilot Program

The SEC has ordered registered securities exchanges and FINRA to submit a tick size pilot program within 60 days. The order specifies that the control group will be quoted at the current tick size increment, $0.01 per share,...more

6/25/2014 - FINRA SEC Securities

SEC: Don’t Ignore the Habitually Wrong Whistleblower

SEC Chair Mary Jo White recently gave a speech on a number of important matters, including the role of directors as gatekeepers, her views of self-reporting of violations and the SEC’s whistleblower program. In the speech...more

6/25/2014 - Board of Directors Directors Mary Jo White SEC Whistleblowers

Integrated Private Equity Firms Charged With Failure to Register and Pay-to-Play Violations

The SEC charged two firms with failing to register as investment advisers because their operations were integrated and charged one of the entities with violating pay-to-play rules....more

6/23/2014 - Enforcement Enforcement Actions Integration Investment Adviser Pay-To-Play SEC

Don’t Ask a Whistleblower to Investigate the Conduct Reported to the SEC

The SEC recently charged a hedge fund advisory firm, which we refer to as the employer, for the first time using its new authority to bring anti-retaliation enforcement actions. The head trader for the employer reported to...more

6/17/2014 - Compliance Enforcement Enforcement Actions Retaliation SEC Whistleblowers

SEC Commissioner Wants Dodd-Frank Wrapped Up

SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein recently gave remarks on the status of required Dodd-Frank rulemakings. The pay ratio, claw back, conflict minerals and resources extraction rules didn’t really seem all that important to her...more

6/16/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules Disclosure Requirements Dodd-Frank Rulemaking Process SEC SEC Commissioner

Report Indicates Armed Groups Cede Control of Conflict Minerals Mines in Congo

A report issued by the organization Enough Project indicates market changes spurred by the Dodd-Frank Act’s provisions on conflict minerals have helped to significantly reduce the involvement of armed groups in eastern...more

6/13/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules Dodd-Frank Mining SEC

SEC Issues FAQs on Volker Rule

The SEC has issued a series of FAQs on its final rule implementing section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (“BHC Act”), commonly referred to as the “Volcker Rule.”...more

6/11/2014 - Bank Holding Company Bank Holding Company Act Banks SEC Volcker Rule

SEC Seeks Rehearing of Conflicts Minerals Decision

The SEC has filed documentation with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals seeking an en banc rehearing of the conflict minerals decision. The original decision found that one piece of the disclosure required by the...more

6/2/2014 - American Meat Institute Conflict Mineral Rules Disclosure Disclosure Requirements En Banc Review SEC USDA

Intel Files Conflict Minerals Report

The holy grail (at least so far) of conflict minerals precedents was filed with the SEC albeit perhaps too late for many issuers to wholesale change course. But still excellent for a final form check. ...more

5/23/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules Intel NAM Reporting Requirements SEC

When Will The SEC Bring An Action Against A Chief Compliance Officer?

In a couple of speeches at Compliance Week 2014, SEC officials spoke of when it would be appropriate to bring an enforcement action against a Chief Compliance officer, or CCO. SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein said “If...more

5/22/2014 - Chief Compliance Officers Compliance Enforcement Actions Personal Liability SEC

CFTC To Make First Whistleblower Award For $240,000 — But Why?

The CFTC has a whistleblower award program that is separate from, but somewhat similar to, the SEC’s whistleblower award program. Both are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFTC has announced that the agency will...more

5/21/2014 - CFTC Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Mary Jo White Explains Enforcement Action Decisions

Mary Jo White, Chair of the SEC, recently explained decisions in enforcement actions to a group of white collar crime lawyers. Ever wonder why some cases draw both criminal and civil charges but others do not? ...more

5/20/2014 - Compliance Enforcement Actions Mary Jo White SEC

SEC Issues Additional FAQs On Engineering Exclusion From Municipal Advisor Rules

We have reviewed prior SEC guidance on the municipal advisor rules, from a view point of structuring a business to avoid a municipal advisory role. The SEC has now issued additional FAQs, including on the engineering...more

5/20/2014 - Construction Contracts Contractors Dodd-Frank Funding Municipal Advisers Municipal Securities Issuers Municipalities SEC Securities

NAM’s Next Move In Conflict Minerals Case

Now that NAM et al’s emergency stay motion in the conflicts minerals case has been denied, the question is what happens next. Clues can be found in the briefing for the unsuccessful emergency stay motion....more

5/16/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules Enforcement Actions First Amendment NAM SEC

NAM Motion For Emergency Stay Denied In Conflict Minerals Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has issued a per curiam order denying NAM’s motion for an emergency stay of the conflict minerals rules. Looked like kind of a moonshot anyway. The order is...more

5/15/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules First Amendment Motion To Stay NAM SEC

NAM Replies To SEC In Conflict Minerals Emergency Stay

NAM et al have filed their reply brief in the conflict minerals emergency stay hearing. Highlights, many of which are not new points, are...more

5/14/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules Motion To Stay NAM SEC

Second Conflict Minerals Report Filed

The second Form SD and related conflicts minerals report has been filed. They are interesting documents but may still not be the holy grail of precedents because of, among other things, the use of terms like “Conflict Free...more

5/13/2014 - Conflict Mineral Rules First Amendment Form SD Manufacturers NAD SEC Supply Chain

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