Brokers

News & Analysis as of

Broker-Dealer Beat - September 2014

The SEC recently settled an enforcement action against brokerage firm Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. ("MCH") for deficient insider trading procedures. This case is an important reminder of some key elements of effective insider...more

Weeding Out Bad Actors: The Rule 506 Bad Actor Provisions and Capital Markets Practice – One Year Later

As we approach the anniversary of the effectiveness of the Rule 506 bad actor provisions (if you don’t happen to have it marked on your calendar, the new rules went into effect on September 23, 2013), it is a good time to...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission prevailed on summary judgment in an action against a broker which alleged he misappropriated client funds. The agency also filed actions centered on: an audit failure; the EB-5 immigration program; undisclosed...more

DOL Requests Information Regarding Use of Brokerage Windows and Similar Arrangements in Participant-Directed Defined Contribution...

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a request for information (the “RFI”) regarding the use of brokerage windows, self-directed brokerage accounts, and similar arrangements (collectively referred to in this article...more

Unregistered Brokers: Watch out for Shortcuts

One of the things I’ve learned since returning to private practice three years ago is that people like to raise money for profitable enterprises when they can. And why not? It can be lucrative. And if the people raising...more

Securities Litigation Update

The summer may feel like a more leisurely time of year, but not in securities litigation news. Here are some of the more significant headlines...more

Foreign Brokers Doing Business in the United States

Foreign brokers that engage in securities transactions with U.S. investors based in the United States must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). There are two major exceptions to this rule. The...more

FinCEN Proposes Customer Due Diligence Rule

On July 30, FinCEN released a proposed rule that would amend BSA regulations to clarify and add customer due diligence (CDD) obligations for banks and other financial institutions, including brokers or dealers in securities,...more

Fourth Circuit Limits Liability under Maryland Finder’s Fee Act

In two recent opinions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit substantially limited the potential scope of liability under the Maryland Finder’s Fee Act. Applying the plain language of the statute, the Fourth...more

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...more

U.S. Brokers Doing Business Overseas

Recently, regulators have made inquiries about the lawfulness of U.S. brokerage firms soliciting foreign clients. The regulators want to know under what exemptions or rules U.S. firms can do business overseas. This is a new...more

FINRA Targets Brokers’ Routing Of Orders

On July 8, FINRA released a targeted examination letter it sent to 10 firms to assess their compliance with requirements related to order routing and execution quality of customer orders in exchange listed stocks during the...more

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...more

STOA Schemes Face Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

Increased SEC and Justice Department prosecution is bad news for stranger-originated annuity (STOA) schemes. The SEC recently announced that enforcement actions were taken against brokers Michael A. Horowitz of California and...more

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...more

Certain Merger and Acquisition Brokers Escape SEC Registration

The SEC recently issued a no-action letter that allows private company M&A brokers who satisfy specific criteria to avoid registering as broker-dealers with the SEC. Historically, an intermediary in a private M&A transaction...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - June 2014

Insurance Coverage; Professional Services Exclusion; Completed Operations; Duty To Defend: North Counties Engineering, Inc. v. State Farm General Insurance Company (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 902, 169 Cal.Rptr.3d 726...more

Seed Capital Review: Fall 2013 Survey Of Angel Financings

Welcome to the first installment of Seed Capital review, written by members of the entrepreneurial Services Group at Gray plant mooty. this is our first periodic report analyzing seed capital being raised by companies in...more

SIFMA Guidance on Investor Verification

SIFMA has issued a Memorandum intended to provide broker-dealers and advisers with guidance regarding procedures for investor verification in connection with offerings made pursuant to Rule 506(c)....more

FINRA Fines Broker-Dealer for Failing to Apply Class A Sales Charge Waivers for Certain Eligible Customers on its Mutual Fund...

On June 16, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) accepted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (the “AWC”) from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (the “Firm”) regarding an...more

Banking & Finance Litigation Update - Issue 77 (Global)

In This Issue: - Domestic Banking - Domestic General - European Banking - European General - International Banking - International General - Excerpt from International General: 55....more

CFPB Provides Guidance on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule

On June 17, 2014, the CFPB staff and Federal Reserve co-hosted a webinar on the final TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule that will be effective for applications received by creditors or mortgage brokers on or after August...more

Broker, Two Employees Alleged to Violate SEC Market Access Rule

The Commission’s inspection program, conducted by the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations or OCIE, has been the source of a number of enforcement actions. One example is the recently filed case against dark pool...more

Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter #40

We are pleased to present the 40th edition of the Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter. This month, we discuss fee shifting provisions in corporate bylaws, the settlement of high stakes smartphone...more

What A Broker Needs To Know About Suitability Under FINRA Rule 2111

The Financial Industry Regulation Authority (“FINRA”) updated the suitability requirements for brokers in July 2012. FINRA’s goal was to codify principles found in case law and expand language to account for a wide range of...more

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