General Business Labor & Employment Securities

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Your Daily Dose of Financial News

8 years after returning as CEO, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz is again planning to step down, turning over the barista apron to current president and COO Kevin Johnson. Schultz will continue to work on Sbux social issues and the...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

Loyal Starwood pointers have been waiting anxiously to hear what the hotel brand’s merger with Marriott will mean for their coveted reward system. They’ll have to wait a bit longer, but here are a lot of answers to other...more

The Battle Over the New Fiduciary Rule

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final rule expanding the definition of the “investment advice fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and modifying the...more

Employers Beware: SEC Continues Offensive on Employment Agreements That Inhibit Whistleblowers

Risk Alert (literally)! Standard provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements and policies may run afoul of the SEC’s whistleblower regulations. In the wake of several highly publicized enforcement actions by the...more

NY Law Journal Report: Trump And The Future Of The SEC Whistleblower Program

As reported by Ryan Barber of the National Law Journal, the Trump administration could change the trajectory of the SEC whistleblower office, potentially halting the SEC’s recent strict scrutiny of potential impediments for...more

The Trump Administration: Change By Appointment

The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, along with the Republican control of the majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, will likely result in significant changes in...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 11

Structured Products Legal and Regulatory Conference: November 2016 - In November 2016, Morrison & Foerster LLP sponsored Risk magazine’s annual structured products legal and regulatory conference in Washington, D.C. ...more

The DOL Issues “Investment Advice” FAQs – Continues to Try to Find an Ideal Balance for the Brave New Fiduciary World

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released its first set of FAQs (the “FAQs”) regarding the DOL’s recently finalized “investment advice” regulation and various related exemptions (collectively, the “Final Rules”) on...more

"Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Conflicts of Interest Rule"

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance on the Conflicts of Interest Rule it released earlier this year. The guidance, issued on October 27, 2016, is in the form of answers to frequently asked questions, which...more

SEC to Focus on Firms Hiring Those with Disciplinary History

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has recently issued a risk alert to registered investment advisers indicating their intent to focus on compliance oversight and controls with respect to the...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week In Review

Financial Industry Developments - SEC Adopts Final Rules to Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities Offerings - On October 26, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules designed to modernize...more

Employees of Start-Ups May Get A Break with Stock Options

In some circumstances, stock options may seem like a win-win for startups: they provide new companies with a means of compensating their employees during the company’s low-revenue, early days; meanwhile, they may incentivize...more

Financial Services Weekly News - November 2016

Editor's Note Voting Matters. Next week, we head to the polls to elect a new president of the United States and other government representatives. Voting is important because it allows registered citizens to cast their...more

OCIE Staff to Examine Registered Advisers' Policies and Agreements for Whistleblower Rule Compliance

On October 24, 2016, OCIE published a risk alert noting that the SEC exam staff intends to examine registrants' compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act's whistleblower provisions. The alert noted recent enforcement actions...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower...more

Investment Management Update - October 2016

Investment Adviser AXA Wins Excessive Fee Trial - A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled in favor of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Funds Management...more

Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries – Fall-Out from DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement

Mutual fund sales and distribution arrangements are once again under review. It has been reported that fund intermediaries are re-examining their practices relating to sales charges, share class structures and product...more

Additional SEC Guidance on Pay Ratio Disclosure

As issuers prepare for the pay ratio disclosures that will be required with respect to fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, the Division of Corporation Finance issued new Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations...more

Transactions Update: Purchase Price or Compensation

Purchase Price v. Compensation - ..Companies are choosing to stay private significantly longer than the vesting period for stock options ..Recent proposals by private companies to buy back stock from current and...more

SEC’s 2016 Activity Breaks Enforcement and Whistleblower Records

Earlier this month, the SEC (the “Agency”) announced that it initiated a record-breaking 868 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2016. This figure – along with other milestones – reflect the Agency’s commitment to expanding...more

SEC Exams Looking for Whistleblower Violations

SEC staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations are examining compliance with key whistleblower provisions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The staff is...more

Countries at a Glance 2016: United States - Employee Stock Purchase Plans

EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS - EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS: EMPLOYMENT - Labor Concerns - A claim for breach of contract could arise where a Plan is amended or discontinued. It is recommended that Plan...more

"SEC Staff Issues Interpretive Guidance on Pay Ratio Rules"

On October 18, 2016, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (Staff) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued interpretive guidance on the pay ratio disclosure requirements in Item 402(u) of...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

For a start-up looking to unseat Bloomberg as the go-to insider source for financial news [other than this blog, of course], there’s a surefire way to gain some instant credibility: hire one of Bloomberg’s former top execs,...more

SEC directs specific communication to employees regarding whistleblowing

In many investigations, whether internal or in response to government inquiries, employers may take action to terminate employees. A recent US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) resolution in the context of the US...more

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