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Your Daily Dose of Financial News

For a start-up looking to unseat Bloomberg as the go-to insider source for financial news [other than this blog, of course], there’s a surefire way to gain some instant credibility: hire one of Bloomberg’s former top execs,...more

Merrill’s End of Commission IRAs is going to be a game changer

In a move that will shake the broker-dealer and retirement plan industries, Merrill Lynch’s decided to end its commission individual retirement account (IRA) business to comply with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new...more

$300,000 401(k) Plan Sued* (Note Asterisk)

A Florida optometry practice with a 401(k) plan with only $300,000 in assets is the latest plan to be sued for 401(k) mismanagement, with a newly filed lawsuit accusing the practice of over-investing in alleged “patent troll”...more

ISS Survey Results Regarding Pay-for-Performance and Say-on-Pay Frequency

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), the influential proxy advisory firm, recently released their 2016-2017 Global Policy Survey results. These results show some interesting findings related to executive...more

Full Disclosure: FCA Proposes Additional Cost Transparency Obligations for UK Managers

Key Point - Proposed rules require UK firms to identify and disclose all transaction costs incurred for pension fund investors. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a Consultation Paper (CP16/30)...more

UK Regulators Consult on Compensation Guidance

The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority published proposed revised guidance on remuneration, principally to bring their guidance into line with the European Banking Authority's Guidelines on...more

Advisors Advantage - October 2016

The Laurita Rules for 401(k) Plan Providers. Once upon a time in the 401(k) world, I knew a man named Richard A. Laurita. I worked with Rich (as his friends called him) for two different third party administration (TPAs)...more

Issuer Reporting and Disclosure Remains Focus of SEC and Other Regulators

In a recent speech, SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney confirmed the SEC’s continued pursuit of investigations and enforcement actions relating to issuer reporting and disclosure, an area that remains a high priority...more

Cutting Through the Fog: The Applicability of DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule to Financial Advisors

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new Conflicts of Interest rule1 expands the scope of the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA2 and the Code3 to cover more classes of financial advisors. This rule replaces a long-standing...more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely: September 2016 #2

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring. This week’s post includes: the GAO’s latest report on the conflict minerals rule; a civil...more

New DOL fiduciary rule and swaps - ISDA update

The Department of Labor’s final revised fiduciary regulation will become applicable on April 10, 2017. Those affected by the revised regulation will include banks and other financial institutions that negotiate investment...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2016

Editor's Overview - This month, we have re-published an interview of our colleague Seth Safra discussing the Department of Labor’s final regulation concerning fiduciaries and conflicts of interest. In this interview,...more

Your 401(k) Plan "Brokerage Window" May Require An S-8 Registration

New guidance from the Securities Exchange Commission requires issuers to take a fresh look at their 401(k) plans. On September 22, 2016, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance released a Compliance and Disclosure...more

How the DOL’s Impartial Conduct Standard Affects Exemptions Used by Financial Services Companies

In conjunction with its issuance in April 2016 of a new regulation redefining the concept of “investment advice” for purposes of fiduciary status under ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code, the Department of Labor amended a...more

New California Law Requires Increased Private Fund Fee and Expense Disclosure

Recent state legislative developments in California will require disclosure of certain information by private investment fund managers, primarily in the area of fees and expenses incurred by state and local pension and...more

California’s New Fee Disclosure Law For Public Pension Plans Investing In Alternative Investment Vehicles

On September 14, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill intended to provide transparency with respect to fees and expenses paid by California public pension or retirement systems (“PPPs”) to private...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Dudenhoeffer Applicability to Privately Held Stock - Decision Clarifies Burden to Plead ERISA Section 406...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's Aug. 25, 2016, decision in Allen v. GreatBanc Trust Co., No. 15-3569, made it the first court in a published opinion to expressly reject Fifth Third Bancorp v....more

Investment Funds Update - Europe - Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and...

BaFin Plans to Prohibit Retail Distribution of Credit-Linked Notes - BaFin announced on its website that the regulator intends to prohibit the marketing, distribution and sale of credit-linked notes...more

CFTC Proposes Rules to Align with SEC Whistleblower Program

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed amendments last month to the regulations governing its whistleblower bounty program. A number of the changes are aimed at more closely aligning the CFTC’s...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Severance Agreements

Why it matters - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued its efforts against anti-whistleblowing provisions in severance agreements, fining one employer $265,000 for the use of an allegedly illegal clause....more

District Court Rules on ERISA Liability of Board and ESOP Advisory Committee Members in ESOP Transactions

On Sept. 1, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued its decision in the Antioch employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciary litigation. The court held that the Antioch Board of Directors...more

New Nasdaq Rule Requires Disclosure of Third Party Compensation of Directors and Nominees

Effective August 1, 2016, companies listed on Nasdaq are subject to a new rule requiring annual disclosure of the material terms of agreements or arrangements between directors or director nominees and third parties that...more

Broker-Dealers dealing with The New Fiduciary Rule: Some Guidance

I’ve been hired by a couple of broker-dealers in how to develop a plan to comply with the new fiduciary rule. Unlike some of my competitors, all of my fees are based on a flat fee (cheap plug here). I’m often asked how a...more

ESMA Publishes Guidelines for UCITS V Remuneration Policy

The guidelines, which apply from 1 January 2017, seek to clarify the concepts of disclosure, governance, and risk alignment in respect of remuneration; in advance of this date, non-EU investment managers of UCITS should...more

CFTC Proposes Amendments to Whistleblower Awards Process and Anti-Retaliation Authority

The amendments would make the CFTC’s whistleblower awards process more uniform with the SEC’s program and would enable the CFTC to bring enforcement actions against employers that retaliate against whistleblowers....more

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