Securities Administrative Agency

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Securities issues written by leading professionals.
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SEC Announces Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Award for Compliance Professional

On Wednesday, April 22nd, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had awarded approximately $1.5 million to a whistleblower who had served as a compliance officer of the company about which he blew the...more

Firm Sanctioned for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Violation of the Compliance Rule

The SEC sanctioned a registered investment adviser for breaching its fiduciary duty by failing to disclose to its clients a conflict of interest created by a portfolio manager’s outside business activity and personal...more

SEC Awards Compliance Officer Whistleblower Bounty of Approximately $1.5 Million

Wednesday, the SEC announced that it would pay an unidentified compliance officer a whistleblower bounty award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. This is the second award that the SEC has made to a whistleblower with internal...more

The SEC Defines “Voting Equity Securities” for Purposes of the Rule 506(d) Bad Actor Disqualification Rules

The SEC is continuing to tie up some loose ends left over from the adoption of the Rule 506(d) bad actor disqualification rules. Certainty regarding these open items will be beneficial for issuers and placement agents of...more

SEC Files Two Offering Fraud Actions Tied To A Horse Farm

The Commission filed two settled offering fraud actions centered in part around an entity engaged in the purchase and sale of thoroughbred horses called Raintree Racing. A second involved an offering of interests in a real...more

Can You Keep a Secret? The SEC Says to Ask Carefully

Employers have a lot to be worried about. Employees are given access to trade secrets, customer lists, financial accounts, and other highly sensitive, confidential information. Most employers attempt to deter improper use of...more

BlackRock, CCO Settle SEC Conflict Charges

Conflicts of interest involving market professionals continue to be a focus of SEC enforcement. In many cases the conflict is uncovered by the inspection staff, OCIE. This time, however, the information came from an article...more

Whistleblowers to be Rewarded, Protected under OSC Proposal

Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has released for public comment a consultation paper on a proposed whistleblower program (Program), under which whistleblowers would be eligible for a financial reward of up to...more

SEC Pursues Another Fractional Interest Company

On April 7, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Pacific West Capital Group, Inc., its owner, and the...more

SEC Takes Aggressive Approach to Fortify Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Rules

On April 1, 2015, the Securities & Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”) fined a public company $130,000 for requiring employees involved in internal investigations to sign a confidentiality agreement that the...more

SDNY Judge Deals Rejects Constitutional Challenge to SEC’s Use of Administrative Proceedings

A former executive of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services has lost an early constitutional challenge to the SEC’s use of administrative proceedings....more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC34886 - State v. Bush - AC35418 - State v. LaFleur - AC36275 - North Star Contracting Corp. v. Albright This case dealt with who is the proper party to bring a shareholder derivative action. A...more

MSRB Files Proposed Municipal-Advisor Conduct Rule with SEC

The MSRB filed its Municipal-Advisor conduct rule proposal with the SEC on April 15. The Rule G-42 proposal has been around the block twice, since the Board first floated it in January last year (Reg. Notice 2014-01). The...more

Will California Require Notice Filings For Regulation A Offerings?

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to Regulation A as required by Section 3(b)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, which was added by Section 401 of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS)...more

SEC Adopts Updated EDGAR Filer Manual

On April 13, the SEC adopted revisions to EDGAR Filer Manual and related rules to reflect updates to the EDGAR system. The updates are being made primarily to support the 2015 US GAAP financial reporting and 2015 EXCH...more

DOJ Emphasizes Role of Criminal Prosecution in Addition to Regulatory Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Assistant Attorney General in charge of its Criminal Division, spoke forcefully on Tuesday regarding “the role of criminal law enforcement in prosecuting conduct that may also be...more

New UAE Commercial Companies Law: A Move Towards Global Standards

On 1 April 2015, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, enacted Federal Law No 2 of 2015 (the Commercial Companies Law, or Law). The Law brings to a close several years of...more

SEC Applies Whistleblower Protections to Confidentiality Arrangements

Public companies should review their confidentiality arrangements for any provisions that may result in unintended violations of the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protections....more

SEC Targets Confidentiality Agreements That Stifle Whistle-Blowing

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its first enforcement action and settlement against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

SEC Files Financial Fraud Action Against Japan Based Controller

The Commission filed a financial fraud action against a former senior accounting officer and controller of Molex Japan Co., Ltd., the Japanese based subsidiary of publically traded Molex Inc. The scheme, which took place in...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries....more

SEC Secures Victory on Fraud Allegations Against Technology Executive

The US District Court for the District of Columbia took the unusual step of granting summary judgment against a technology company executive who the Securities and Exchange Commission accused of various violations of the...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

Expanding Oversight of Active, Proprietary Trading Firms: SEC Proposes Amendments to Rule 15b9-1

Overview - On March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC" or "Commission") proposed an amendment to Rule 15b9-1 (the “Proposal”) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") that, if...more

SEC Announces Key Departures

This week, the SEC announced two key senior management departures. On April 7, the securities regulator announced that Andrew Bowden, its current director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), will...more

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