General Business Securities

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Panel Offers Insights on Doing Business in Colombia

As Colombia moves toward a peace agreement with FARC rebels and works to accomplish reforms necessary for OECD accession, the nation stands poised at the threshold of significant growth and transformation. Such was the...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

Serious Fraud Office Closes Forex Investigation

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) recently announced that it had closed its criminal investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the foreign exchange (FX) market. The SFO began its investigation in July 2014...more

Regulation S-K Concept Release: Will the SEC Reform the Norm for Corporate Disclosures?

On April 13, 2016, the SEC published a concept release discussing and seeking public comment on modernizing certain business and financial disclosures required by Regulation S-K, which lays out reporting requirements for...more

DOJ’s New FCPA “Pilot Program” Targets Corporate Officers and Other Individuals

For years, FCPA observers have predicted that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) will increase its prosecutions of corporate officers and employees for FCPA violations. These predictions have so far proven disputable, as the...more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - April 2016 #23

PSR reviews competition in the payments sector - Carole Begent, PSR Head of Legal, has given a review of competition in the payments sector. She discussed the three ways in which concurrency can be approached, namely the...more

SEC Eyes Mutual Fund Transfer Agents

The SEC’s December advance notice of proposed rulemaking, concept release and request for comment (ANPR) concerning its transfer agent rules, may foreshadow significant changes for mutual fund transfer agents. Even though...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

SEC’s Division of Investment Management Issues Letter Regarding Independent Verification Required by Rule 206(4)-2 Under the...

On April 25, 2016, the Staff of the Division of Investment Management of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a no-action letter that provides that it would not recommend enforcement action to the Commission under...more

Second Circuit Issues Amended Order Affirming Dismissal in Transocean

On April 29, the United States Court of Appeals entered an amended order (previously decided on March 17, 2016) that affirmed the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in DeKalb...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

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 5

Electronic Structured Product Systems and FINRA’s Robo-Advisor Report - In a prior issue of this publication, we wrote about electronic structured note issuance platforms, and how these might be affected by U.S....more

Asia Region Funds Passport – Memorandum of Cooperation Signed

Representatives from Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand have this week signed the final Memorandum of Cooperation (Memorandum) setting out the internationally agreed rules and cooperation mechanisms for the Asia...more

First Crowdfunding Portal Application Appears on EDGAR

CFS, LLC became the first crowdfunding portal application available on EDGAR. Actually, the initial application and two amendments are available. The company will conduct business under the name uFundingPortal and its website...more

TN COA Tosses Fraud & Securities Claims Over “Crazy” Scam

Tennessee fraudulent misrepresentation claims – and “investment contract” claims under the State’s Blue Sky Law – fail the “reasonable reliance” requirement, where the plaintiff himself asserts it’s a fraud because nobody...more

"Bad Boy" Guarantys

The term “bad boy” guaranty is used in certain circumstances to describe a guaranty to be provided – usually by an individual, not an entity – in connection with, most often, real estate financing. The original intent of...more

Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 Passes Muster in U.S. House of Representatives

On April 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representative passed the Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 (H.R. 5019) by a vote of 411 to 6. This bill directs the SEC to amend its regulations under the Securities Act of...more

Partnerships Must Respond to New Audit Rules

The recently-enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 includes a far-reaching overhaul of the rules applicable to IRS partnership audits and tax adjustments. This will be significant for partnerships and limited liability...more

Will SEC Heed its Own Compliance Outsourcing Advice?

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) recently issued a compliance alert warning financial advisers about the dangers of outsourcing compliance functions to third-party providers. The alert, which...more

FERC Proposes to Pierce the Corporate Veil and Impose $216 Million in Fines in Alleged Natural Gas Market Manipulation Scheme

On April 28, 2016, FERC issued an order directing Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (Total Gas), two of its traders, its ultimate corporate parent, Total S.A. (Total) and an affiliate Total Gas & Power, LTD (TGPL) to show...more

FAST Relief from Some Securities Law Requirements

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which became law in December 2015, contained important federal securities law changes. - Among other changes, it further reduced the burdens on emerging growth...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume XI, Issue 17

BROKER-DEALER - SEC Modifies and Extends Pilot Program for NMS Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility - The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an order that modifies and extends the National...more

SEC Waivers with Strings Attached: the Wave of the Future?

The SEC recently attached potentially precedent-setting conditions to a waiver from certain automatic disqualifications under the federal securities laws. Without such waivers, defendants that settle securities law...more

Campaigning for Self-Reporting and Calculation of Incentives (Part I of II)

Just to add to the cacophony of voices campaigning during this primary season, DOJ, SEC, FINRA, and CFTC officials launched their own campaign promoting recent initiatives to increase corporate self-reporting of potential...more

SEC Proposes New Limits on Funds’ Use of Derivatives

The SEC recently proposed a new rule (Rule 18f-4) to govern the use of derivatives by mutual funds, ETFs, and closed-end funds (including BDCs). The proposed rule would subject funds that use derivatives to new leverage...more

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