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A New Reality for ESOP Fiduciaries - Company Stock Investments for Employee Participants in Retirement Plans of Public and...

For the ESOP fiduciary of a publicly traded employer, the Supreme Court has made clear that non-public insider information is not required to be used in reaching a decision to buy, hold or sell employer securities....more

Omnicare Petitioners and the United States Battle Over the Scope of Liability for Registration Statements

The Petitioners in Omnicare, Inc. v. The Laborers District Council Construction, No. 13-435 came out swinging in their opening merits brief to the Supreme Court, which granted certiorari earlier this year. See Brief of...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 29

In this issue: - SEC Approves FINRA Rule Limiting Expungement - CFTC Issues No-Action Relief from Certain Ownership and Control Reporting Requirements - CFTC Releases Rule Enforcement Review of ICE...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Special "Presumption of Prudence" For Investment in Employer Stock

In the past, fiduciaries of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other defined contribution plans that invest in employer stock generally have been able to rely on a special “presumption of prudence” in court when...more

Hedge Funds and Material Nonpublic Information: The Role of Deception, Duty, Breach, Personal Benefit and Knowledge in Creating...

The last thing hedge funds need is another wake up call about the risks of liability for trading on the basis of material nonpublic information. But if they did, a July 17 article in the Wall Street Journal would provide it....more

What Does the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer Mean for ESOPs and Other Retirement Plan Fiduciaries?

Fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans, including Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), have generally been entitled to a presumption that they have acted prudently in offering employer stock as an investment alternative...more

Citigroup Settles with DOJ for $7 Billion

Citigroup announced last week that it will pay $7 billion to end an investigation by the U.S Department of Justice into misconduct related to its mortgage securitization practices. The blockbuster settlement came days before...more

Better Keep Your Opinions to Yourselves for Now: Second Circuit Doubles Down in Deutsche Bank Ruling in Advance of Supreme Court...

On July 16, 2014, a three-judge Second Circuit panel affirmed the dismissal of a securities class action against Deutsche Bank AG and several underwriters. The case was brought on behalf of investors who purchased...more

Securities Regulation Radar: Top Topics in New York

On July 16, the New York State Bar Association’s Securities Regulation Committee held a meeting to discuss three of the recent developments in securities regulation. The first discussion focused on the Supreme Court’s June...more

U.S. Supreme Court Changes Fiduciary Rules for Retirement Plans with Employer Stock

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affects fiduciaries of retirement plans that have investments in employer stock. In the decision, the Supreme Court held that a retirement plan fiduciary is not entitled to a presumption...more

What Should the Trustee of a Private ESOP Do?

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently entered into an agreement with GreatBanc Trust Company settling claims relating to its service as trustee of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) holding stock of a private company....more

Microcap Fraud: An FBI Controlled Shell Company

Five men came together to plan the manipulation of an over-the-counter traded shell. What they did not know was that the shell was controlled by the FBI. SEC v. Affa, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-12959 (D. Mass. Filed July 11,...more

Employee Benefits Update: Unanimous Supreme Court Issues ERISA Fiduciary Duty Opinion

On June 25, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, which is likely to change the future of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) stock drop litigation. ...more

Supreme Court Refocuses the 11th Circuit in its Review of an ESOP Fiduciary's Duty of Prudence.

Two years ago, when called upon to address an ESOP fiduciary’s duty of prudence in the context of a motion to dismiss, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals followed a long line of cases: “We join our five sister circuits in...more

Three Thoughts about FINRA’s Weird Japanese Insider Trading Case

One of the things you’re not supposed to do if you’re in the securities business – or any business, really – is buy and sell securities on the basis of material, nonpublic information in breach of a duty not to do so. The...more

SEC Resolves First Case Under New Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

On July 8, 2014, the SEC announced that it had settled charges that a school district in California misled bond investors about its failure to comply with its continuing disclosure obligations under Rule 15c2-12 of the...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 27

In this issue: - SEC Publishes Guidance for Investment Advisers and Proxy Advisory Firms Regarding Proxy Voting and Solicitation - SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues C&DIs Relating to Accredited Investor...more

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption for ERISA Fiduciaries, But Makes Clear Stock-Drop Claims Are Difficult to Sustain

What you need to know: In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, et al., decided earlier this month, the Supreme Court seemingly handed a victory to the plaintiff’s bar, striking down a presumption of prudence that ERISA...more

U.S. Supreme Court Abolishes the Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock Drop Cases

A recurring scenario in ERISA litigation involves claims against fiduciaries of 401(k) retirement plans who are alleged to have breached their fiduciary duty by failing to discontinue investment in employer stock following a...more

Reverse Churning: Don't Fall Asleep at the Wheel

It is obvious that broker-dealers and their registered representatives, and investment advisors, must be careful in making recommendations to clients. But the recent increase in regulatory interest relating to inaction in a...more

Second Circuit Doubles Down on Rule Preventing Non-Settling Parties from Objecting to Class Settlement

The robustness of the rule preventing non-settling defendants from objecting to a class settlement has received a boost from the Second Circuit. The class settlement at issue involved the claims of investors against a hedge...more

FINRA Sanctions a Broker for Violating Japanese Insider Trading Law

On July 2, 2014, FINRA announced that it barred a former equity trader from the securities industry based on its finding that he violated Japanese insider trading law by trading in the securities of a Japanese company listed...more

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoffer, declared that no “presumption of prudence” applied to fiduciaries of “employee stock ownership plans” (ESOPs). ...more

Supreme Court Axes "Presumption of Prudence" in ESOP Stock-Drop Cases

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that gives comfort to "stock-drop" plaintiffs and may cause shockwaves among employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciary committees. In Fifth Third Bancorp v....more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence,” Adopts New Pleading Standards in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its highly anticipated decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751. In an opinion written by Justice Breyer for a unanimous court, the Supreme Court held...more

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