Morrison & Foerster LLP - Broker-Dealer Compliance + Regulation

SEC Commissioner: Don’t Hold CCOs Accountable for Misdeeds of Advisers

SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher, in a speech on June 25, 2015, said that a perceived trend by the SEC toward “strict liability” for chief compliance officers (CCOs) is “sending a troubling message.” The statement…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Staff Provides Guidance to Clarify Application of Rule Requiring Reporting of Personal Securities Transactions by Investment Adviser Personnel

In a June 2015 Guidance Update, the staff of the Division of Investment Management clarified how the code of ethics reporting rules apply to investment advisers. Current rules require certain advisory personnel who have…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

OCIE Launches Sweep Examination of BD/IA Retirement Investments

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is launching a sweep examination that will target the retirement-based savings activities of broker-dealers and investment advisers. The multi-year…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Solicits Comments on Exchange-Traded Products

Citing significant growth in the size and scope of exchange-traded products (ETPs), on June 12, 2015, the SEC focused its attention on ETPs, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), non-1940 Act pooled investment vehicles, and…more
| Administrative Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

FINRA is Apparently Holding its CARDS

Broker-dealers appear to have succeeded, at least for now, in beating back FINRA’s proposal to capture extensive amounts of data through electronic means…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

OCIE Targets Never-Before-Examined Investment Companies for Compliance Exams

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations in a Risk Alert dated April 20, 2015, announced a program targeting investment companies that have never been examined for focused, risk-based compliance examinations. …more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Firm Sanctioned for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Violation of the Compliance Rule

The SEC sanctioned a registered investment adviser for breaching its fiduciary duty by failing to disclose to its clients a conflict of interest created by a portfolio manager’s outside business activity and personal…more
| Administrative Law, Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Business Torts, Securities Law

No-Action Relief Granted for Three-Tier Fund Structure

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management on April 3, 2015, said that it will not recommend enforcement proceedings against an investment adviser that structures a three-tier fund allowing certain funds to invest in a “Central…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Division of Investment Management Cautions Advisers on Acceptance of Gifts and Entertainment

Fund compliance policies and procedures should address the receipt of gifts or entertainment by fund advisory personnel, according to guidance published by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Coming Soon: Regulations for Uniform Fiduciary Standard

In testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services on March 24, 2015, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said that she supports a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisers that provide…more
| Finance & Banking, Consumer Protection, Securities Law

FINRA Issues its Cybersecurity Report, Providing Tools and Encouragement to Broker-Dealers

FINRA recently issued a Report on Cybersecurity Practices (“Report”), growing out of its targeted examination of firms last year. To issue the Report, FINRA gave careful consideration to the needs of many broker-dealers for…more
| Consumer Protection, Finance & Banking, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology, Securities Law

The Administration Proposes Imposing a Fiduciary Standard on Retirement Advisers

Yesterday, the Obama administration called on the Department of Labor to draft rules that, in effect, would require brokers who provide retirement advice to abide by a fiduciary standard. In a speech at an event hosted by the…more
| Finance & Banking, Insurance, Securities Law

SEC Charges Alt Fund Adviser with Custody Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission on February 12, 2015, entered findings against an investment adviser to several alternative mutual funds for maintaining $247 million in cash collateral at broker-dealer counterparties…more
| Administrative Law, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Reports the Result of its Cybersecurity Sweep of Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers

An SEC cybersecurity sweep examination by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) found that 88 percent of the broker-dealers (BDs) and 74 percent of the registered investment advisers (RIAs) they…more
| Consumer Protection, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology, Securities Law

FINRA Issues a Packed Priorities Letter for 2015

FINRA opened 2015 with a lengthy and ambitious agenda of regulatory priorities. This year’s Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter is much longer than those issued the last two years, and repeats many of those years’…more
| Administrative Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law
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