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With Proposed Amendments to Rule 5110, FINRA Looks to Modernize Corporate Finance Regulation

The proposal represents a major step in what promises to be a full-scale overhaul of FINRA’s Capital Formation Rules - On April 12, 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) published Regulatory...more

FINRA Proposes Desk Commentary Safe Harbor

The safe harbor would offer relief from certain requirements of FINRA’s research rules, but significant compliance obligations and questions remain. On April 12, 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc....more

4/28/2017  /  FINRA , NASD , Safe Harbors

What Do the SEC’s Recent Bitcoin Disapproval Orders Really Mean for Investors?

Regulators responded to a narrow question about trading bitcoin-based securities, with orders that should not limit innovation in bitcoin technologies. On March 10, 2017, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...more

FINRA Proposes New Registration and Examination Rules

The proposed consolidated rules bifurcate the representative-level examination program and introduce greater flexibility in obtaining and maintaining registrations. On March 8, 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory...more

FINRA Proposal to Allow Broker-Dealers to Distribute Predictive Illustrations

Amendment to FINRA Communications Rule would put member firms on a more equal footing with investment advisers. In February 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) announced a proposed amendment...more

SEC Approves FINRA Pay-to-Play Rules

Placement agents to private funds who seek investments by state and local pension plans must comply with restrictions on political contributions and related activities. On August 25, 2016, the Securities Exchange...more

SEC Approves FINRA’s Capital Acquisition Broker Rules

While the new rules may provide a measure of relief to certain entities that engage in a limited subset of broker-dealer activities, significant compliance requirements continue to apply. On August 18, 2016, the U.S....more

SEC Charges Adviser for Failing to Monitor Consultants

The action underscores the need for investment advisers and broker-dealers to maintain robust policies and controls when utilizing third-party contractors. On May 27, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...more

SEC Fines Private Equity Adviser for Failing to Register as a Broker-Dealer

The action may have significant implications for PE advisers performing brokerage services; highlights SEC’s focus on advisers receiving transaction-based compensation. On June 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange...more

SEC Announces Customer Protection Rule Initiative

Broker-dealers with historical or ongoing instances of non-compliance with the SEC’s Customer Protection Rule are encouraged to self-report by November 1, 2016. On June 23, 2016, the Securities and Exchange...more

The Cold Comfort of the Best Interest Contract Exemption

The BIC Exemption to the new DOL Fiduciary Rule offers some relief, but at a potentially prohibitive cost. The US Department of Labor (the DOL) recently forced the most significant change to the investment community...more

SEC Publishes Consolidated Audit Trail Plan

The plan would create a single database to enable regulators to track all trading activity in the US equity and options markets. On April 27, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published for public...more

US Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule Introduces a Brave New World

Final rule reflects some concessions, but its broad scope and compliance costs will cause financial services advisers to re-evaluate their business models. On April 6, 2016, the US Department of Labor (the DOL) released...more

Revised Rules on Dodd-Frank Incentive Compensation Requirements for Financial Institutions Proposed

If adopted, the Proposed Rule would have a significant impact on compensation practices at covered institutions. On April 21, 2016, the National Credit Union Administration (the NCUA) issued a proposed rule regarding...more

Cryptocurrency: A Primer

What is cryptocurrency? There is no one standard definition of cryptocurrency. At the most basic level cryptocurrency—or digital currency or virtual currency—is a medium of exchange that functions like money (in that it...more

SEC Approves New Municipal Advisor Fiduciary Duty Rule

The new MSRB rule represents another significant milestone in the MSRB’s development of the comprehensive regulatory framework for municipal advisors mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act. On December 23, 2015, the...more

1/22/2016  /  Fiduciary Duty , MSRB , Municipal Advisers , SEC

Enforcement Trends in Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is on the rise...and so are enforcement actions. In less than a decade, cyptocurrencies have grown from a novelty reserved for those dealing in the illicit into a robust platform embraced by financial...more

SEC Proposes Enhanced Transparency and Oversight of Certain Alternative Trading Systems

The proposal would subject ATSs that effect transactions in listed stocks to significant new disclosure and transparency requirements. On November 18, 2015, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed rules...more

SEC Approves FINRA Rule 2210 Amendment Requiring BrokerCheck Links

The amendments require FINRA members to update their retail websites to include readily apparent references and hyperlinks to BrokerCheck. On October 8, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a...more

Cryptocurrencies Are Commodities: CFTC’s First Bitcoin Enforcement Action

In the absence of specific CFTC regulations regarding Bitcoin, the order helps clarify the CFTC’s positions on cryptocurrency derivatives. On September 17, 2015, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued...more

FINRA’s New Research Rules

The new rules retain many of the current rules’ core requirements, but expand certain obligations and impose requirements on debt research activities for the first time. On August 26, 2015, the Financial Industry...more

SEC Announces Compliance Date for Pay-to-Play Rule

Despite the July 31, 2015 compliance date, the SEC will not enforce the third-party solicitation ban until corresponding FINRA/MSRB Rules take effect. On June 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...more

SEC Adopts Regulation A+ Rules

As amended, Regulation A now provides an exemption from registration for certain issuers offering up to US$50 million of securities in a 12-month period. On March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...more

Private Equity Fund Managers: Annual Compliance Reminders and New Developments

A summary of a private equity firm’s compliance obligations, a discussion of notable developments in 2014 and highlights of the SEC’s examination priorities for 2015. US federal laws and regulations, as well as the...more

To Fix the Technology Glitches, SEC Imposes New Regulation SCI on the Markets

Detailed rules will become effective February 2015, with compliance required by November 2015. On November 19, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) adopted new rules for technology...more

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