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The Final Rule: DOL Issues Fourth Set of FAQs

On August 3, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a fourth set of FAQs related to its new “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions (Final Rule), which became applicable on June 9. Like the May ...more

The Final Rule: June 9 is the Launch Date After All

With its announcements of May 22, 2017, starting with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, the Department of Labor confirmed that, absent last-minute action in the courts or by Congress, its new “investment advice” fiduciary...more

The Final Rule: Delayed But (Perhaps) Not Denied

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor released its final rule postponing the applicability date of its new “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions. This extension, which was published in the April...more

The Final Rule: BICE on Ice? Status of the DOL Fiduciary Rule

With recent developments in all three branches of government bearing on the authority and timing of the new Department of Labor (DOL) final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for...more

The Final Rule: DOL Releases Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee...more

Don’t Hail the CAB – Why FINRA’s Capital Acquisition Broker Rule Set Will Not Get Private Funds to their Destination

For many years, the private fund industry and the securities bar have called for a limited rule set to govern broker-dealers solely engaged in raising capital for private funds or other issuers of unregistered securities or...more

FinCEN Customer Due Diligence Final Rules

On May 5, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued final rules (the Final Rules) on customer due diligence requirements for banks, securities broker-dealers, mutual funds, and...more

New York’s Insurance Regulator Announces Results of Cybersecurity Survey and Previews New Regulatory Initiatives

On February 9, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) released a Report on Cyber Security in the Insurance Sector (Report), summarizing the results of a survey completed by 43 insurers about their cybersecurity...more

SEC Releases Results of 2014 Cybersecurity Exam Sweep

On February 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a Risk Alert prepared by its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) that summarizes the results of a sweep of more than 100 broker-dealers...more

Broker-Dealers Face Unique Challenges Under Unclaimed Property Laws, Says New SIFMA White Paper

On January 23, 2015, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) released a new white paper outlining the unique and varied challenges broker-dealers face when complying with state unclaimed property...more

Legal Alert: SEC and PCAOB Address Independence Requirements in Audits Related to Broker-Dealers’ Financial Statements

Confirming that auditor independence continues to be a regulatory priority, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued orders on December 8,...more

Ten Items to Consider as FINRA’s Consolidated Supervision Rules Take Effect

On December 1, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Consolidated Supervision Rules will take effect. The Consolidated Supervision Rules, which were approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

11/25/2014  /  FINRA , Regulatory Standards , SEC

What Does It Take to Make the SEC Happy? SEC Criticism of Broker-Dealers’ Due Diligence for Sales of Unregistered Securities...

To ensure that broker-dealers (BDs) do not inadvertently facilitate an unlawful distribution of securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission has long required BDs to conduct a “reasonable inquiry” into the circumstances...more

FINRA Provides New Carve-Out Provisions to Include in Settlement and Confidentiality Agreements

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Member Firms have new language to include in their settlement and confidentiality agreements. On October 9, FINRA released Regulatory Notice (RN) 14-40, warning that firms are...more

Florida Legislature Relaxes Agency Licensing Requirements for Broker-Dealer Branch Offices Selling Insurance Products but Creates...

Under current Florida insurance laws, branch offices of broker-dealers selling insurance products in Florida are required to either “license” or “register” as agency branches (in addition to satisfying insurance producer...more

FinCEN Customer Due Diligence Rule Proposal

On July 30, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued proposed rules (the “Proposed Rules”) to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence requirements for banks, securities...more

SEC Approves Rule Preventing Barters for Expungement Cooperation – What You Can Do to Ensure Compliance

On July 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) proposed Rule 2081, which prevents firms or associated persons from conditioning settlement or...more

SEC Issues $875,000 Whistleblower Award

On June 3, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a whistleblower award to two individuals who had provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The whistleblower...more

FINRA’s Consolidated Supervision Rules and Regulatory Notice 14-10

On December 23, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved proposed changes to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) supervision rules. On March 19, 2014, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice...more

4/28/2014  /  Compliance , FINRA , SEC

M&A Brokers Exempt from SEC Broker-Dealer Registration Requirements

On January 31, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Trading and Markets issued a No-Action Letter (Letter)1 that allows a private business broker (M&A Broker) to receive transaction-based...more

SEC’s Examination Program Issues a Risk Alert on Investment Adviser Due Diligence Processes

On January 28, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a Risk Alert entitled: Investment Adviser Due Diligence Processes for Selecting...more

SEC and FINRA Publish 2014 Examination Priorities for Broker-Dealers

On January 9, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published its 2014 examination priorities (SEC Letter), just one week after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published its 2014...more

1/20/2014  /  Broker-Dealer , FINRA , SEC

SEC Publishes 2014 Examination Priorities for Investment Advisers

On January 9, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published its 2014 examination priorities letter (“SEC Letter”) for its National Examination Program (NEP). The NEP covers all markets and entities...more

Ready or Not: Lost Securityholders, Uncashed Checks and Dormant Accounts

In the dog days of August, it would be tempting to put aside challenges created by new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. But we all know that would be a mistake. Instead, attention needs to be paid now to new...more

Legal Alert: Private Offerings: The SEC Lifts Ban on General Solicitation But Proposes a Hefty Regulatory Burden in Return

During an open meeting of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) on July 10, 2013, the SEC adopted a rule that lifts the ban on general solicitation of unregistered securities offerings and paves the way for...more

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