Morrison & Foerster LLP - Broker-Dealer Compliance + Regulation

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

  • (212) 468-8000
  • (212) 468-7900

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 In its unpublished decision (not to be cited as…more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

SEC Launches Exam Initiative for Newly Registered Municipal Advisors

The SEC is not wasting any time making sure that newly registered municipal advisors are introduced to their regulator. On August 19, 2014, the SEC announced a two-year examination initiative for municipal advisors that…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Lying to Examiners Can Lead Quickly to Criminal Charges

Hell hath no fury like a regulator (allegedly) lied to. This week, the SEC brought civil charges, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York brought criminal charges, against a broker-dealer and its founder for…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Criminal Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Additional Fees on Securities Transactions – FINRA Sees No Justification

In an area of broker-dealer practices with relatively little guidance—the appropriate level of commissions or mark ups on securities trades—FINRA recently brought another in a series of cases that provides insight into the…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Requires Floating NAV for Institutional Money Market Funds; IRS Eases Tax Reporting Burden for Fund Investors

A divided Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted rules that will require floating net asset values (NAVs) for institutional money market funds and give most money market funds the discretion to impose liquidity fees…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law, Taxation

VA Switches: FINRA Disciplinary Action Reminds Firms About the Need for Adequate Supervisory Procedures

In a case involving unsuitable variable annuity (VA) transactions, FINRA found that having good procedures and discovering improper conduct are not enough. A member firm must also ensure that it has adequate supervisory systems…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Consumer Protection, Securities Law

Commissioner Piwowar Slams “Dodd-Frank Politburo” for Overstepping Authority

In a speech on July 15, 2014, SEC Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar expressed his views about the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) operating in secrecy as it tries to expand its regulation of financial institutions and…more
| Elections & Politics, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

PCAOB Issues Guidance to Auditors of Broker-Dealers

On June 24, 2014, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) released staff guidance to help auditors of brokers and dealers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plan and perform audits in…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

FINRA Announces and Publishes Its Sweep of Order Routing Practices

FINRA announced this week that it is conducting a review of its member firms’ order-routing processes and procedures and the execution quality of customer orders in exchange-listed stocks. We previously reported in this blog…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

FINRA Sanctions a Broker for Violating Japanese Insider Trading Law

On July 2, 2014, FINRA announced that it barred a former equity trader from the securities industry based on its finding that he violated Japanese insider trading law by trading in the securities of a Japanese company listed on…more
| Finance & Banking, Business Torts, International Law & Trade, Securities Law

JOBS Act Quick Start - A brief overview of the JOBS Act - 2014 Update

In This Issue: - Introduction - The IPO on-ramp - The IPO Process - Applying Title I to other transactions - Private offerings - Crowdfunding - Regulation A+ - Exchange Act…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Communications & Media Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

U.S. House Votes to Reauthorize the CFTC and Exclude Most RICs from CPO and CTA Requirements

The U.S. House of Representatives on June 24, 2014, passed a version of the CFTC reauthorization bill, H.R. 4413, that would exclude investment advisers to registered investment companies (RICs) from the definitions of commodity…more
| Elections & Politics, Finance & Banking, Securities Law
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