General Business Labor & Employment Securities

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The Whistle Blows Again: SEC Pays Second Largest Whistleblower Bounty Award

On June 9, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC”) awarded the second largest whistleblower bounty – $17 million – granted under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules to date. Previously, the highest whistleblower...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: The Principal Transactions Exemption

This post continues our examination of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. Our prior posts discussed the newly expanded definition of “investment advice fiduciary” and the...more

“Call to Action” May Create Fiduciary Liability under ERISA

Traditional investment advisers, as well as broker-dealers, insurance brokers, banks, and employers, are abuzz with questions and concerns relating to the final regulation issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 8,...more

Financial Services Weekly News - June 2016

Regulatory Developments - SEC Staff Updates 2014 Money Market Fund Reform FAQs - On May 23, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management published additional...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 6

Structured Notes Offered on an Agency Basis - In our last issue, we discussed the potential impact of the Department of Labor’s new rules on sales of structured products. In that article, we discussed some of the...more

More Egregious Aggregation Under ERISA in the Sun Capital Partners Case? The District Court Goes Down Yet Another Road

The recent opinion by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in the Sun Capital Partners case may be troubling to private equity funds and...more

Securities Industry Employment Arbitration

In the securities industry, the majority of all employment disputes are resolved through binding arbitration. This mandatory arbitration system is managed through a unique industry forum under the self-regulatory entity...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule Re-Makes Retail IRA Advice

Congress voted this week to de-rail the Department of Labor’s sweeping fiduciary-duty suite of rule-making, but doesn’t have the votes to override the President’s threatened veto....more

Citadel, a $24-Billion Hedge Fund, Seeks Whistleblower Status

Just a few months after announcing the first-ever award to an outside whistleblower, federal authorities may be on the verge of expanding the reach of whistleblower incentives even further. Last week, Citadel, the...more

Here’s a Tip: “Substantial and Important Contributions” to Pre-Existing SEC Investigations Can Pay Off For Whistleblowers

In a move evidencing the SEC’s continued commitment to its whistleblower program, the Commission announced on Friday that it has awarded a whistleblower over $3.5 million for providing information that did not lead to a new...more

Fifth Circuit Decision Includes Important Holdings for ESOP Fiduciaries

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed on May 3, 2016, the holdings of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on numerous issues involving the sale of closely held stock from a...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

Final DOL Fiduciary Rule – Q&As for Employers and Plan Sponsors on Investment Education

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) issued its final rule defining who is a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as a result of giving...more

SEC Probes Retirement Advice

The SEC has been sending lengthy sweep examination letters to many registered investment advisers (RIAs) and broker-dealers, requesting a broad variety of information regarding retirement plan advice. A form of the...more

The Vagueness of the Best Interest Exemption

One of the interesting points of the new fiduciary rule is the best interest exemption that is intended to stop conflicts of interests especially for brokers who need to meet a new fiduciary standard. As long as a broker...more

Dodd-Frank and Executive Compensation – Part 1: Status Update

It’s been over five years since the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act (“Dodd-Frank”) and we are still waiting for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to finalize rules on several provisions...more

Practical Advice for the Business Owner - Avoiding common mistakes when making incentive compensation grants to employees

Incentive compensation (e.g., stock options, restricted stock, bonus plans, phantom stock, stock appreciation rights, etc.) can be a very useful tool for aligning the incentives of employees and shareholders, as well as a...more

Education or Advice: The DOL Final Definition of Fiduciary; Conflict of Interest Rule

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor finally released the long-awaited “Definition of Fiduciary; Conflict of Interest Rule.” This blog post is intended to do two things...more

U.S. Department of Labor Finalizes Fiduciary Definition and Conflict of Interest Rule

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)...more

What Does the Department of Labor's New Fiduciary Rule Mean?

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced its highly anticipated final fiduciary rule, which is intended to help ensure that Americans saving for retirement get investment advice that is in their best...more

DOL issues final fiduciary rule and related exemptions

The final DOL fiduciary regulation (the Final Rule) and other guidance published by the DOL on April 8 will have a significant effect on those who provide investment advice and sell investment products and services to...more

Investment Plus Partnership-in-Fact = Withdrawal Liability

Previously, we wrote about the First Circuit decision that a private equity fund constituted a “trade or business” under ERISA as amended by the Multeimployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (“MPPAA”). That dry description is...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions and Public Commentary Demonstrate the Commission’s Continued Focus on Internal Control Failures

We have previously written about how, over the past few years, the SEC and other regulatory agencies have devoted substantial resources to investigations regarding allegations that public companies have inadequate internal...more

Franchise & Distribution News, Number 2

Ontario Passes New Legislation Governing Tips and Gratuities - Ontario restaurants, bars and other businesses with employees who receive some of their pay through tips and gratuities will face new laws governing how...more

Private Equity Fund Sponsors' Risk for ERISA Unfunded Pension Liability Grows

On March 28, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), two private equity funds (1) were engaged in a trade or business, and (2) had...more

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