Morrison & Foerster LLP - Broker-Dealer Compliance + Regulation

1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104-0050, United States

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  • (212) 468-7900

FINRA Sanctions Member Firm for Failure to Deliver ETF Prospectuses

FINRA recently sanctioned a broker-dealer (the “Firm”) for failure to deliver prospectuses in connection with its sale of ETFs. FINRA also found that the Firm failed to implement a supervisory system reasonably designed to…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

CFTC Staff Grants Family Offices No-Action Relief from Registration as Commodity Trading Advisors

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) recently issued no-action relief for failure to register with the CFTC as a commodity trading advisor (CTA) to any…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC to Require Living Wills and Stress-Testing for Investment Advisers

In a speech on December 11, 2014, SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced three broad “proactive initiatives” to address the risks of “increasingly complex portfolio composition and operations” in the asset management industry…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

SEC and PCAOB Combine Their Focusses on Broker-Dealer Audits and Independence in Settlements with Fifteen Audit Firms

On December 8, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) announced settlements with fifteen audit firms for violating independence rules applicable to auditors of…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

In a December 10, 2014 speech, Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, offered a glimpse at the top 10 industry lessons learned in 2014. While admitting that his Top Ten list “may not be as…more
| Administrative Law, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Chair’s Agenda Provides Glimpse of New Rules to Come

The SEC offered a peek into what new rule proposals we can expect in the coming months. The sneak preview includes some eye openers, like proposed rules to require funds to adopt liquidity management programs and stress-testing…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

New Valuation Guidance: A Reminder of Directors’ Responsibilities

In the December 2014 issue of Fund Directions, Investment Management partner Jay Baris discusses in the “Learning Curve” column challenges faced by mutual fund directors as they struggle to comply with new valuation guidance…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection

On November 6, 2014, FINRA released results from a survey of U.S. investors measuring the demand for additional regulatory protections. The survey polled 1,000 adults and revealed that an overwhelming majority felt that it was…more
| Administrative Law, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Consumer Protection, Securities Law

SEC Gives the Nod to Exchange-Traded Mutual Funds

Barely two weeks after it signaled thumbs-down on two requests to approve non-transparent exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the SEC on November 6, 2014 published a notice of application that would allow the applicant to create…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, International Law & Trade, Securities Law

SEC’s Champ: Staff to Focus on Alt Fund Risk Disclosures

The Division of Investment Management again has turned its attention to alternative mutual funds, this time ensuring that they adequately disclose risks to retail investors…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Consumer Protection, Securities Law

SEC: Non-Transparent ETFs Not Ready for Prime Time

The SEC has given a preliminary thumbs-down to non-transparent exchange traded funds (ETFs). In two separate notices issued on October 21, 2014, the Commission stated that applications to allow actively managed ETFs to withhold…more
| Administrative Law, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Staff Finds that Broker-Dealers Still Are Not Conducting Adequate Section 5 Reviews

The staff of the SEC recently addressed broker-dealers’ obligations when engaging in transactions in unregistered securities by issuing FAQs and a Risk Alert that reported the results of examinations of a number of…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

PCAOB Again Finds Broker-Dealer Audit Deficiencies. Observation: Experience Is the Best Indicator for Choosing an Audit Firm

For the third year in a row, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has found shortcomings in the audits of broker-dealers, a trend that could lead to firms spending more to get their books reviewed. The third…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Ninth Circuit Brookstreet Decision Upholds Control Person Liability

The Ninth Circuit recently found the principal of a broker-dealer liable for the extensive and aggravated sales practice violations of the firm’s registered representatives. In its unpublished decision (not to be cited as…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

The Return of Biotech IPOs

Biotech IPO market activity has recently returned to levels not seen since before the financial crisis. This has been brought about in part by the accommodations afforded issuers under the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Science, Computers, & Technology, Securities Law
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