Securities Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Securities issues written by leading professionals.
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SEC Adopts Changes Impacting Private Fund Advisers

The SEC’s recently-adopted changes to Form ADV and Rule 204-2 of the Investment Adviser Act of 1940, as amended (the so-called “books and records rule”), raise important considerations for many private fund advisers –...more

UK Regulator Bans former Barclays Wealth Management Chief Operating Officer

The Financial Conduct Authority published a Final Notice banning Mr. Andrew James Tinney from the UK financial services industry. Mr. Tinney was the Global Chief Operating Officer of Barclays Wealth and Investment Management,...more

US Hedge Fund Managers: Accessing Capital and Marketing in Europe

Recent regulatory change has made the marketing of hedge funds in the European Economic Area (the “EEA”) more involved, particularly for managers based outside the EEA. This appears to have led some US investment advisors to...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 9.27.16

We learned yesterday that Twitter’s shopping itself around for a buyer. It’s facing one big complication, though—the sizeable amount of stock Twitter has doled out to its employees over the years. Last year, for example,...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

Blockchain and Public Securities: Shedding Light on 'Going Dark'

The application of blockchain technology to the securities market could prove to be a game changer by adding transparency, reducing costs and speeding up settlements. Initially known as the technology underlying the...more

Former SEC Commissioner Louis A. Aguilar Describes Corporate Directors' Cybersecurity Duties

When Louis A. Aguilar was a commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission, he helped organize the SEC’s March 2014 roundtable to discuss the cyber risks facing public companies. The numerous data breaches that have...more

Rating Agency Developments

On September 19, 2016, Moody’s issued a report entitled: Special Assessment / Special Property Tax (Non-Ad Valorem) Debt. Report. On September 15, 2016, Fitch issued a report entitled: Fitch Publishes Updated Insurance...more

SEC Chair Mary Jo White – FCPA Enforcement Remains a Top Priority in the Increasingly Interconnected Global Marketplace

On September 21, 2016, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) spoke at a Legal Practice Division Luncheon at the International Bar Association Annual Conference. She discussed the...more

Merrill Lynch Settles SEC Market Access Charges

The Commission has brought a series of cases under Exchange Act Section 15(c)(3) and Rule 15c3-5, its market access rule. That rule requires that broker-dealers with market access establish risk management controls to prevent...more

Limits on 401(k) Plan Brokerage Windows

Many companies have recently modified their 401(k) plans to add a “brokerage window,” sometimes also known as a “self-directed account” or “self-directed brokerage account.” Rather than limiting participants to specified...more

OSHA Increases Scrutiny of Whistleblower Settlement Agreements

Following the SEC’s lead, OSHA recently announced new guidelines that it will consider when deciding whether to approve settlement agreements reached during OSHA investigations of whistleblower claims....more

DOL Joins SEC in Attack on Severance Agreement Clauses

Companies cannot prohibit their former employees from collecting whistleblower awards, says the DOL in a recently released memo. Moreover, even asking employees to disclaim any knowledge of any legal violations by the...more

It’s Not Just the Response, It’s the Disclosure: SEC Charges Against a Company and Its General Counsel Highlight Importance of...

A recent complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission highlights some important considerations for companies and in-house counsel facing False Claims Act investigations. The action is SEC v. RPM International...more

HM Treasury Consults on Definition of Financial Advice

HM Treasury published a consultation paper on amending the definition of regulated advice under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 to bring it in line with the definition of...more

European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Initial Proposals on the Trading Obligation under MiFIR

The European Securities and Markets Authority published a discussion paper on the trading obligation for derivatives under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. The trading obligation is applicable to classes of...more

The Financial Report, Volume 5, Number 18

The SEC recently adopted new rules that substantially amend Form ADV under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the Advisers Act). Although not as comprehensive as the Form ADV amendments adopted in 2011, the new...more

Why is Anyone Surprised with the SEC Examining Firms with Previously Disciplined Advisors?

On Monday, September 12, 2016, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) announced that a “Supervision Initiative” will take place across the country. OCIE staff will conduct focused RIA...more

New Capital-Raising Initiatives for Alberta-based Start-up Businesses

On July 26, 2016, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) adopted a start-up business exemption (ASC Rule 45-517 Prospectus Exemption for Start-up Businesses), which is designed to be a simpler and less costly capital raising...more

Disclosure of Women on Boards and in Executive Officer Positions in Alberta

On September 14, 2016, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) released for comment its proposed amendments to National Instrument 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices (PDF). The proposed amendments put forward...more

Remember Europe? Harshing My Mellow

Maybe it’s because I have been in Europe this past week (Munich at Octoberfest actually – Men in way-too-short leather shorts, dirndls, beer steins the size of a politician’s ego, the most astonishing amount of drinking, etc....more

Venture Exchange Regulation: Listing Standards, Market Microstructure, and Investor Protection

This summer, the House Financial Services Committee passed the Main Street Growth Act, which calls for legislative changes to promote the formation of venture exchanges. The idea that securities exchanges specially designed...more

Ninth Circuit Holds SOX Gives SEC Power to Cause Executives to Disgorge Incentive Compensation Based on Others' Misconduct

Rule 13a-14 issued under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) requires that Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers certify the accuracy of the public company’s financial statements. Section 304 of SOX states that CEOs...more

Blog: Auditor independence follow-up

As discussed in this PubCo post, last week, the SEC announced settled charges against EY and individual EY auditors (and certain officers at the audit clients involved) with regard to alleged violations of the auditor...more

Alberta’s Prospectus Exemption For Start-Up Businesses

Alberta recently brought in a few rule changes which may be of interest: ASC Rule 45-517 Prospectus Exemption for Start-up Businesses (Start-up Business Exemption – PDF) (effective July 19, 2016) is designed to “facilitate...more

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