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Bridging the Week - August 2016 #3

Another Publicly Traded Firm Sanctioned by SEC For Allegedly Undercutting Whistleblower Protections Through Severance Agreements: Health Net, Inc., a formerly publicly traded company whose securities were registered with the...more

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #3

Editor's Note - MetLife Fights On. MetLife continued to fight its designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) this week as the insurer filed its reply brief in the Financial Stability...more

Yates, Whistleblowers and FCPA Pilot Project: Re-Examining Your Internal investigation Protocols

Companies face an ever-changing constellation of risks, enforcement priorities and demands for internal controls and compliance program elements. As more resources are poured into government enforcement programs, companies...more

IRS Makes Filing an 83(b) Election Easier

On July 25, 2016, the IRS finalized regulations under Section 83 of the tax code that removes a procedural step in the process of filing an 83(b) election....more

Colleges and Universities Targeted in Class Action Lawsuits over Operation of Retirement Plans

Multiple class action lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages were filed last week against eight nonprofit universities challenging the administration of their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits, which were all...more

SEC Whistleblower Enforcement Settlement Reminds Private Fund Sponsors to Review Organizational Policies and Procedures for...

A recent SEC settlement of whistleblower charges should serve as a useful reminder for private fund sponsors to conduct a comprehensive review of their policies and procedures. On August 10, 2016, the SEC announced that...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 8

Brexit and Structured Products: A Framework for Considering Disclosures - The U.K.’s recent referendum to withdraw from the European Union has affected virtually all segments of the financial industry. The structured...more

SEC Penalizes Company For Severance Language Purportedly Impeding Complaints

On August 10, 2016, the SEC announced that BlueLinx Holdings Inc. (Company) is settling charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by requiring outgoing employees to waive whistleblower bounty awards in connection with severance...more

Severance Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Provisions

The SEC has a robust whistleblower program which is considered an important adjunct to its enforcement efforts. To that end the Commission has participated in whistleblower cases as an amicus and brought actions regarding...more

Focus on Incentive Pay Practices?: A Message from the Regulators

Incentive pay is an important part of compensation packages. It allows employers to reward those employees who perform well (and show those employees who do not that under-performing will have negative consequences). ...more

Acquired Fund Fee Expenses and Business Development Companies

The requirement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for registered open-end funds to disclose “acquired fund fees and expenses” (“AFFE”) of other funds they invest in, including business development...more

SEC Approves Nasdaq Rule Requiring Disclosure of Third-Party Payments to Directors

New Nasdaq Rule 5250(b)(3) is a result of increased activist shareholder efforts to place representatives on public company boards of directors. During the past several years, activist shareholders have sought to nominate...more

SEC Approves NASDAQ “Golden Leash” Rules

Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) approved NASDAQ’s new Rule 5250(b)(3), which requires NASDAQ-listed companies to publicly disclose any cash or non-cash payments made by third parties to any...more

Case Note: Court Rules In Favor Of Fidelity And Holds That Float Income Is Not A Plan Asset

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that float income is not a plan asset and therefore is not subject to fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. The decision was written by former Justice Souter...more

Impact of DOL’s Final Rule on Business Development Companies

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its final rule defining who is a fiduciary in connection with investment advice that is provided to benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income...more

Section 83(b) Election Procedures Changed

On July 25, 2016, IRS finalized new regulations that eliminate the requirement for a taxpayer to file a copy of a Section 83(b) election with the taxpayer’s individual income tax return...more

SEC Approves Nasdaq’s Proposed Rule on Third Party Payments to Directors and Director Nominees – The “Golden Leash” Disclosure

On July 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) approved, on an accelerated basis, proposed amendments to the listing rules of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) to require Nasdaq-listed companies to...more

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty...more

Nasdaq Rule Requiring Disclosure of Director “Golden Leash” Compensation Goes into Effect August 1, 2016

A new requirement that Nasdaq-listed companies disclose certain payments made to directors by third parties is scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2016. The new rule targets so-called “golden leash” payments made to...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 7.28.16

A pair of whistleblowers is seeking discovery-related sanctions against Wells Fargo for allegedly concealing “crucial evidence” for their False Claims Act claims over fees added to government-backed mortgages....more

Defend Trade Secrets Act — Implications for Private Funds

On May 11, 2016, the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) became law. The DTSA provides trade-secret protections on the federal level that are similar to those available through the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA)...more

SEC Approves Nasdaq Rule Requiring Public Disclosure of Payments to Directors by Third Parties

In March 2016, the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) proposed new rules regarding disclosure of third-party compensation of directors. This third-party compensation, which may not be publicly disclosed, arises when a party...more

SEC Examiners Focused on Fund Share Class Conflicts of Interest

OCIE recently published a Risk Alert announcing that it will examine the potential conflict of interest created by registered investment advisers being financially incentivized to recommend certain share classes to clients....more

Pension Income Stream Products Worry FINRA

Some SEC-registered broker-dealers connect individuals wishing to cash in on their future pension payments with potential investors in such income streams. In April, the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA)...more

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