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The Securities Law Crystal Ball

At the beginning of each new year, we find ourselves engaged in discussions of the evolving securities regulatory landscape and the changes that we anticipate may occur. We have done this for many years now. Each January we...more

DOL Updates Guidance on Proxy Voting by Plan Fiduciaries

On December 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (“IB 2016-1”) relating to the voting of proxies on securities held in employee benefit plans. IB 2016-1 withdraws the...more

New Guidance Restores 1994 ERISA Proxy Voting Interpretation

The DOL bulletin also clarifies the ability to consider ESG factors in proxy voting and shareholder engagement. On December 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1),...more

Day 19 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program-Compliance Expertise on the Board [Video]

Every Board of Directors need a true compliance expert sitting on their Board. Almost every Board has a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), former head of Internal Audit or persons with a similar background and often times...more

Day 18 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program-Email Sweeps [Video]

Ongoing monitoring is not limited to the financial component of compliance. The concept is straightforward; at regular intervals you can sweep through your company email database for identified key words that can be flagged...more

Blog: SEC Charges Company With Violations Of The Rules Related To Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The Corp Fin staff have been dropping hints for quite a while about potential enforcement actions in connection with abuses of non-GAAP financial measures, and now one has finally materialized. In an Order released today,...more

Bridging the Week - January 2017 #2

New Records Retention Regime for 21st Century Proposed by CFTC: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed a revised records retention rule that aims to eliminate many existing antiquated requirements and to be...more

Compliance into the Weeds-Episode 25 [Video]

In this episode Matt Kelly and I take a deep dive into a couple of recent SEC enforcement actions. The first involved L-3 Technologies and accounting irregularities. The second involves BlackRock and the continued issues...more

House Acts to Place Additional Limitations on SEC Rulemaking

With its passage of the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act last week, the U.S. House of Representatives has taken action to place additional constraints on future rulemaking by the Securities and Exchange Commission; however,...more

2017 Financial Industry Regulatory Priorities - OCIE and FINRA Announce Examination Areas of Focus

In early January, both the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) and FINRA announced their examination priorities for 2017. As in previous years, both the SEC and FINRA share many examination...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume XII, Issue 2

2017 Examination Priorities Announced by the SEC - On January 12, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released its 2017 examination priorities, which seek to...more

Day 15 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program-Post Training Evaluation [Video]

What if you want to take you post-training analysis to a higher level and begin to consider the effectiveness through your return on investment (ROI)? Joel Smith, the founder of Inhouse Owl, a training services provider,...more

This Week in FCPA-Episode 35-the Friday the 13th edition [Video]

Show Notes for Episode 35, week ending January 13, the Friday the 13th edition   1.       Hernandez and Beech FCPA guilty pleas. 2.       VW guilty plea in emissions-testing scandal. 3.       VW executive Oliver...more

Day 13 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program, create a data action plan [Video]

You should work to create an action plan to use your data. But never forget you need to get your digital information right. That means several sources of data to help you choose the best course of action. Earlier this year,...more

Day 12 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program, creating a culture of data in compliance [Video]

You should work to create a culture of data in your compliance program. This comes from an understanding that data is a product, which you can consume internally in the compliance function. Your data is a corporate asset so...more

OCIE 2017 Exam Priorities: Focus on Retail, Elderly and Retirement Investors; Market Risks

The SEC’s National Examination Program (NEA) of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced that its examination priorities in 2017 will focus on three general areas: retail investors, risks...more

European Commission Reports on Diversity of Bank and Investment Firm Management Bodies

The European Commission published a report on benchmarking of diversity practices under the Capital Requirements Directive. The CRD requires banks and investment firms to ensure that the composition of management bodies is...more

Regulatory Update and Recent SEC Enforcement Actions

FINRA Bar Results from Assertion of Fifth Amendment Right against Self-Incrimination in Criminal Action - On October 5, 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) barred an indicted investment adviser,...more

Compliance into the Weeds-Episode 24 [Video]

In this episode Matt Kelly and myself take a deep dive into the compliance weeds by looking at a paper written by then SEC General Counsel James Doty (later head of the PCAOB) in 2007 where he proposes a regulatory scheme for...more

Day 10 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program, Mergers and Acquisitions [Video]

A company that does not perform adequate due diligence prior to a merger or acquisition may face both legal and business risks. Perhaps, most commonly, inadequate due diligence can allow a course of bribery to continue - with...more

Loss of Foreign Fund Private Placement Exemptions in the UAE

In August 2016, the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the federal securities regulator of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), adopted new investment funds regulations (the 2016 Fund Regulations), which repealed...more

Bridging the Week - January 2017

Jon Corzine Agrees to US $5 Million Fine and Registration Ban to Settle CFTC Charges Related to Collapse of MF Global; Edith O’Brien to Pay US $500,000: Jon Corzine agreed to resolve charges brought by the Commodity Futures...more

Five Gnostic Exemptions From The Qualification Requirements Of The Corporate Securities Law

When looking for exemptions from the qualification requirements of the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968, a good place to start is Chapter 1, Part 2, Division 1 of Title 4 of the Corporations Code. Cal. Corp. Code...more

Blog: Is There A Fix For Short-Termism?

Much has been written about the problems associated with the prevalence of short-term thinking in corporate America. As noted in a post from The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, a...more

Day 8 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program, Reporting and Investigations [Video]

The FCPA Guidance has about as clear, concise and short a statement about hotlines than any other Tenet of an Effective Compliance Program. It states, “An effective compliance program should include a mechanism for an...more

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