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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

The Brave New Fiduciary World Has Arrived – The DOL Tries to Find a More Ideal Balance in the Final “Investment Advice” Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 6, 2016 released the final version of its “investment advice” regulation and accompanying prohibited transaction exemptions, a highly-anticipated milestone that is the...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

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rule: The Best Interest Contract Exemption

Last month the U.S. Department of Labor published a suite of final regulations governing the fiduciary status of, and prescribing conflict of interest rules that apply to, persons who provide investment advice to...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

Financial Services Weekly News - May 2016 #4

Breaking News - Solicitor General Files Brief in Madden v. Midland Funding - On May 24, the U.S Solicitor General (SG) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) in the matter of Madden v. Midland...more

In Case You Missed It: Launch Links - May 2016 #3

Some interesting links we found across the web this week: - Don’t Expect New Crowdfunding Rules to Create a Startup Boom - Equity crowdfunding went live this week under the SEC’s recent rulemaking, but many...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

CFPB Proposes Prohibition on Mandatory Consumer Arbitration Clauses - On May 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued and sought comment on proposed rules prohibiting mandatory arbitration clauses...more

DOL Rules that Target Fiduciary Conflict of Interests May Impact Employee Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

“Middle class economics means that Americans should be able to retire with dignity after a lifetime of hard work. But loopholes in the retirement advice rules have allowed some brokers and other advisers to recommend products...more

Bank Regulators Revive Restrictions on Incentive-Based Compensation

Financial regulators have proposed new rules limiting the incentive pay of employees and other service providers at financial institutions. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 prohibits incentive compensation that encourages...more

Take Two: Incentive-Based Payment Arrangements Rule Reappears

For a second time, federal banking regulators are seeking comment on a jointly proposed rule that would impose restrictions on incentive-based pay arrangements....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

New Proposed Rules on Curbing Wall Street Incentive Compensation

Six federal agencies (the "Agencies") consisting of: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC"), National Credit Union Administration ("NCUA"), Federal Housing Finance Agency ("FHFA"), Office of the Comptroller of the...more

The DOL’s New Fiduciary Rule: The Thin Line Between Education and Advice

Following the release in 2015 of the US Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule, many commentators feared that communications that had previously been characterized as “investment education” would now constitute...more

DOL issues final fiduciary rule defining "investment advice" under erisa and the code

New Rule Introduces Significant Changes to Fiduciary Advice Definition, Revises Existing Prohibited Transaction Exemptions, and Creates New Prohibited Transaction Exemptions. On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of...more

Federal Regulator Issues Proposed Rule Aimed at Incentive Compensation Policies of Banking Organizations

On April 21, 2016, the National Credit Union Administration (collectively, with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,...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

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Special Issue: Implications of the DOL Fiduciary Rule for...

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final conflict of interest regulations, which significantly expand who is considered a fiduciary when dealing with a retirement account. The new regulations,...more

DOL Releases Final Regulations to Expand ERISA ‘Fiduciary’ Definition

In Depth - After more than five years of development and revision, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released final regulations to redefine a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as...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

A Compilation of Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Amendments to the Venture Capital Fund Adviser and Private Fund Adviser Exemptions - Last month the SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued a guidance update (Update) addressing recent...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2016

Stock Drop Case Update: Settlement Reached in Dudenhoeffer Case; Dismissal of Lehman Brothers Lawsuit Upheld. Two recent developments in stock drop litigation are worth noting: Dudenhoeffer Settlement. In Fifth Third...more

Surviving the Strife: How Start-Up Founders Can Ensure That Inevitable Friction and Departures Won't Sink the Company

History is all too often repeated when start-up founders fail to plan for when (not if) they don’t see eye-to-eye. Relationship breakdowns and messy founder departures are common root causes of start-up failures. Common...more

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