Securities Administrative Agency General Business

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Securities issues written by leading professionals.
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Does the SEC Want Issuers to Self-Report Everything?

Andrew Ceresney, Director, SEC Division of Enforcement delivered remarks at a conference where he addressed the SEC’s cooperation program. Much of the focus was on the benefits of self-reporting and cooperation in...more

Must the "Maker" of a False Statement have "Ultimate Authority" over that Statement to be Subject to Liability for Securities...

This case involved a civil enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against certain public relations companies and their principals, alleging violations of—among other things—Section 17(a) of the...more

Compliance Week 2015 Wrap Up

Compliance Week 2015 has ended. This year was the tenth anniversary of the annual conference and in many ways I found it to be the best one yet. Matt Kelly and his team put together a conference and experience, which was...more

SEC Charges Australian Mining Company for FCPA Violations Arising from Its Hospitality Program at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

On May 20, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a $25 million settlement with Australian mining company BHP Billiton (the "Company") to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) charges...more

Financial Regulatory Developments Focus - May 2015 #3

In This Issue: - Application of EU Requirements for Remuneration Policies for Small and Non-Complex Firms Confirmed - US Regulators Issue the Final Interpretation on Forward Contracts with Embedded Volumetric...more

Start-up Crowdfunding Exemption Adopted In Certain Canadian Jurisdictions

The Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) and securities regulators of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (the “participating jurisdictions”), announced on May 14, 2015, the...more

Levi Strauss and Auditing of Third Parties

Today we celebrate innovation. On this day in 1873, a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets was granted. This marked the birth of one of the world’s most famous garments: the blue jeans. Jacob Davis, a...more

No Investor Harm, No Ill-gotten Gains But SEC Fines Insurer $8 Million

Last week the Commission resolved a proceeding involving a life insurance company centered on the pricing of its variable annuity and variable life insurance products. Specifically, the Order alleged violations of Rule 22c-1...more

Expanded Whistleblower Protections Impact Confidentiality Policies and Agreements

All employers should review their confidentiality policies and agreements to ensure adequate protections for whistleblowers in the wake of recent actions by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National...more

SEC Enforcement Division Issues Guidance on Venue Selection

Respondents in SEC enforcement actions increasingly will litigate a wide array of matters in administrative proceedings, rather than having their day in federal district court. In the wake of significant public...more

FINRA Allows Use of Related Performance Information in Communications Regarding Mutual Funds with Financial Intermediaries and...

Overview and Background - On May 12, 2015, the staff of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA staff) issued an interpretive letter to Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC (Hartford Funds) that conditionally...more

Is the SEC a Toothless Watch Dog?

SEC enforcement actions are supposed to halt violations, protect investors and the markets, act as a deterrent and prevent a future repetition of wrongful conduct. To facilitate those goals settlements typically incorporate...more

FINRA’s NAC Strengthens Sanction Guidelines Related to Fraud and Suitability

On May 12, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) revised its Sanction Guidelines to call for tougher sanctions against those who commit fraud or make unsuitable...more

DOJ Criminal Investigations: “Boiling the Ocean” and Other Fish Tales (Part II of IV)

The old maxim – “Justice delayed is justice denied” – is a powerful statement relating to our criminal justice system. A subject of a criminal investigation – corporate or individual — undergoes enormous stress from a...more

SEC Settles Another Market Crisis Financial Fraud Action

The Commission resolved another financial fraud action stemming from the aftermath of the market crisis. This proceeding, initially brought in June 2014, named as a Respondent Thomas Neely, Jr., and E.V. P. of Regions Bank....more

SEC Approves Tick Size Pilot Program

In response to the initial proposal received last August from the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on May 6,...more

SEC Clarifies “Voting Equity Securities” for Purposes of the Bad Actor Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) recently released additional guidance on the definition of “voting equity securities” as applied to the bad actor disqualification rules under Rule 506(d) of the Securities...more

The (Relatively) “New” Model for Corporate Criminal “Investigations” (Part I of IV)

The Justice Department continues to be dogged by questions surrounding its conduct of criminal investigations. These concerns are being raised in the context of extreme cynicism given DOJ’s “failure” to prosecute individuals...more

CFTC Ownership and Control Reports

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the federal agency that regulates trading in futures and other derivatives in the United States, has long maintained and operated a Large Trader Reporting System (“LTRS”) as...more

Further Delays in Transatlantic Clearing Accord

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Timothy Massad, and Jonathan Hill, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, released a joint statement on May 7 relating to the...more

SEC Is Sued Again For Doing Nothing

Thursday, Broc Romanek wrote about a lawsuit filed earlier this week against the Securities and Exchange Commission due to its failure to respond to a petition asking the Commission to adopt political spending disclosure...more

SEC and FINRA to Hold National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers

On May 12, the SEC and FINRA announced the opening of registration for their 2015 National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers. The program is intended to provide an open forum for regulators and industry...more

FINRA Revises Sanction Guidelines

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s disciplinary appellate body (the National Adjudicatory Council or NAC) has revised the Sanction Guidelines used to determine penalties in enforcement cases. The revisions increase...more

FINRA Offers 11.7 Million Reasons To Maintain Adequate Supervisory Controls

As noted previously in this blog, the SEC and other regulatory agencies continue to display an increased interest in the issue of internal and supervisory controls.  The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has...more

SEC Confirms “Looking Glass” Fears About Administrative Forum

The SEC confirmed Friday that it may choose to be prosecutor, judge and jury in novel cases where it thinks it knows best and can urge Chevron deference when others seek judicial review....more

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