Morrison & Foerster LLP - Broker-Dealer Compliance + Regulation

FINRA Proposes Amendments to its New Debt Research Rule

On May 24, 2016, FINRA proposed amendments to its new debt research rule (Rule 2422). The amendments are intended to clarify Rule 2422 in four respects: (1) the consent requirement for institutional debt research reports…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, International Law & Trade, Securities Law

“It’s Not a Culture War” – Yet?

On May 23, 2016, at FINRA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Richard Ketchum, FINRA’s chairman and CEO, delivered a speech that shed a little light on FINRA’s recent sweep letter relating to firm culture…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Approves FINRA’s Educational Communication Rule

The SEC recently approved FINRA’s new Rule 2273 (Educational Communication Related to Recruitment Practices and Account Transfers), which requires delivery of an educational communication prepared by FINRA to customers of a…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Consumer Protection, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

DOL Releases Final Fiduciary Duty Rule

Today, the US Department of Labor released the final fiduciary duty rule.  The DOL has posted the rule text and the text of the exemptions on its site.  Here are links directly to the text of the rules and exemptions..…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

CFTC Announces Its Largest Whistleblower Award to Date

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) yesterday announced by far its largest whistleblower award to date, agreeing to pay “more than $10 million” to a whistleblower who provided key information leading to a…more
| Business Organizations, Securities Law

FINRA Reports on Robo-Advisors

In response to the emerging growth and use of so-called “robo-advisors,” including coverage in the media, FINRA released a report in March 2016 relating to these digital investment tools…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Imposes Fine for Improper Research Report

In March 2016, the SEC entered into a settlement agreement with a U.S. broker-dealer, which initiated research coverage of an issuer after being invited by the issuer to participate as an underwriter for that issuer’s planned…more
| Business Torts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

FINRA and T+2: The Rule Roll-Out Begins

As the U.S. financial markets commence their move towards a T+2 settlement period, FINRA has introduced a proposed set of rule changes designed to support this change. The current timetable contemplates that the changes would…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

FINRA Approves Price Disclosure Proposal for Debt Securities

On February 26, 2016, FINRA issued a press release (http://www.finra.org/newsroom/2016/finra-approves-enhanced-price-disclosure-retail-investors-fixed-income-securities) announcing that its Board of Governors approved the…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

“Tell Us About Your Culture” – FINRA Commences Sweep

In its January 2016 annual exam priorities letter, FINRA announced that it would examine the “compliance culture” at member firms. In furtherance of that goal, in February 2016, FINRA issued a “sweep letter” to members…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

NASAA Adopts Model Act on the Prevention of Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults

On January 22, 2016, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) adopted a model act, entitled “An Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation.” This act seeks to facilitate coordination…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

FINRA Proposes to Delay the Implementation Date of its New Debt Research Rule

On February 16, 2016, FINRA proposed delaying the implementation date of its new debt research rule (Rule 2422) until April 22, 2016. Currently, Rule 2422 is set to take effect on February 22, 2016. We will monitor…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Sanctions Alt Fund Asset Manager for Fee Overcharges and Misleading Investors

On January 19, 2016, the SEC settled proceedings against a Denver-based asset manager for material misstatements made in the offer and sale of units of a publicly-registered managed futures fund. The SEC found that the manager…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

OCIE Publishes Exam Priorities for 2016

The National Exam Program of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its examination priorities for 2016 this week. Much like last year’s letter, this year’s letter is organized around three…more
| Consumer Protection, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

FINRA Releases Proposed Rule to Reduce the Regulatory Burdens on Boutique Investment Banks

FINRA has filed with the SEC a proposed rule which would reduce the regulatory burden for broker-dealers that limit their activities to M&A and certain corporate financing transactions. The proposed rule would create a new…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities Law
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