News & Analysis as of

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

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

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 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

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

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending May 16, 2014)

The Commission got split decisions in court this week. It prevailed in one high profile trial, obtaining a jury verdict in its favor. It lost a significant summary judgment motion regarding the statute of limitations...more

FINRA Proposes Lighter Regulatory Regime for Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently issued a Regulatory Notice (the “Notice”) requesting comment on a Proposed Rule Set for “Limited Corporate Financing Brokers” (“LCFBs”). (The comment period...more

SEC Issues Ground-Breaking Guidance: Pierce Atwood Business Counselor Q1 2014

Historically, subject to only very limited and narrow exceptions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and many state securities regulators, have taken the position that brokers, finders and other intermediaries could not...more

Business Brokers Get “No-Action” Relief from SEC

Business intermediaries who facilitate the purchase or sale of privately-held businesses for a success fee based on the size of the completed acquisition may no longer have to be concerned about registering as broker-dealers...more

SEC Action Targets Unregistered Cross-Border Brokerage, Investment Advisory Services

On February 21, the SEC released an administrative order against a foreign financial institution that provided cross-border securities services to thousands of U.S. clients. The SEC asserted that the institution’s employees...more

FINRA Proposes Significant Changes To Regulatory Regime For Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has issued Regulatory Notice 14-09 soliciting comments on a proposed new regulatory structure for firms that limit their activities to advising companies and private equity funds...more

SEC Provides No-Action Relief for M&A Brokers

SEC staff action may head off congressional action to exempt M&A Brokers from registration. On February 3, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter that permits an M&A broker...more

SEC Intensifies Scrutiny of Fee-Based Accounts and Reverse Churning

The SEC is crunching a lot of data these days, and it apparently intends to use some of that data to identify “reverse churning.” Reverse churning is the practice of placing a client who trades infrequently in a fee-based,...more

Policy, Procedures, and Examinations - Mortgage Brokers

In this article, the first of a two-part series, I am going to provide a chart of certain core policies and procedures that a mortgage broker should obtain and continually update, as regulations change. I will also provide...more

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Clarifies Restrictions on the Payment of Commissions, Rebates and Other Inducements...

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance ("NJDOBI") issued a Bulletin to title insurance companies and producers and to real estate brokers, broker-salespersons and salespersons advising them of the restrictions on...more

NFA Issues Guidance on Bylaw 1101 Compliance for Pending Introducing Brokers

On December 27, National Futures Association issued guidance for NFA members carrying accounts, accepting orders or handling transactions from an introducing broker (IB) whose NFA membership is pending in reliance upon...more

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