News & Analysis as of

SEC Settles Spoofing, Unregistered Broker Charges

High speed trading and its impact on the markets is the topic de jour. Author Michael Lewis claims the markets are “rigged,” a statement which no doubt will help sell his latest book centered on high speed trading. Now the...more

FAQ's on FINRA's Broker Compensation Proposal

On March 10, 2014, FINRA filed proposed Rule 2243 with the SEC. The proposed rule would require firms and registered reps to disclose certain financial incentives offered to reps in connection with a change in employment and...more

SEC Provides Relief for Private Company M&A Brokers

On Jan. 31, 2014, the SEC issued a no-action letter that permits private company M&A brokers to avoid registration with the SEC as broker-dealers under certain circumstances. However, business brokers should understand that...more

Private Company M&A Brokers Exempt from SEC Registration

The SEC has granted relief to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) advisory firms to allow them to facilitate private company M&A transactions and receive transaction-based fees without registering as broker-dealers. It has long...more

M&A Brokers for Private Companies Need Not Register with the SEC

The staff of the SEC recently issued a no-action letter permitting an "M&A Broker" to advise on and be compensated in connection with the purchase and sale of a privately held company without registering as a broker-dealer...more

SEC No-Action Letter Provides Relief for M&A Brokers

On January 31, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a ground-breaking no-action letter (“SEC Letter”) stating that a financial intermediary that limits its business activity to advising privately held companies...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

Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

FINRA published Regulatory Notice 14-09 to solicit comments regarding a series of new rules that would be applicable to firms that perform certain limited functions. FINRA is proposing to establish a new, reduced regulatory...more

SEC No-Action Letter Exempts M&A Brokers from Federal Registration Requirements

On February 3, 2013, the Security and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Trading and Markets publically issued a significant no-action letter advising that M&A brokers do not need to register as broker-dealers to...more

SEC Relief For "M&A Brokers:" Not Required To Register As Broker-Dealers

The Chief Counsel of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets recently issued an important no-enforcement letter regarding the status of a person engaged in effecting transactions in connection with the transfer of ownership...more

A More Practical Approach to Broker-Dealer Registration

Recent SEC no-action letter provides business brokers relief from federal broker-dealer registration requirement. On January 31, 2014, the Division of Trading and Markets of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...more

No-Action Letter Provides Relief to M&A Brokers

On January 31, in a significant no-action letter (Letter), the Staff of the Division of Trading and Markets provided assurances that it would not recommend enforcement action to the Commission under Section 15(a) of the...more

SEC Issues No-action Relief Regarding Registration of M&A Brokers

The Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Trading and Markets (Division) issued no-action relief on January 31, in response to a request from attorneys on behalf of firms effecting securities transactions in...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 6

In this issue: - SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues Guidance on Rule 506(c) Private Placements - SEC Issues No-action Relief Regarding Registration of M&A Brokers - CFTC Issues Guidance on New...more

SEC No-Action Letter Addresses “M&A Brokers”

Martin A. Hewitt alerted me to this no-action letter issued on January 31, 2014 by the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets. The letter was issued in response to a request by six lawyers, including Mr. Hewitt. ...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 Obtains $5.6 Million Judgment Against Stockbroker for Insider Trading of Burger King Stock

Earlier this month, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a $5.6 million judgment in favor of the Securities and Exchange Commission against Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto (Prado), a Brazilian...more

SEC Prevails in Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition for review of an SEC Order upholding fines and sanctions against the firm and three of its employees. The underlying charges were based on alleged violations of Securities...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

New Congressional Bill Would Exempt Business Brokers From Full SEC/FINRA Broker Registration

On November 4, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, by a 57-0 vote, ordered H.R. 2274 to be reported for further consideration. The bill, named the “Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions,...more

Subcommitee Recommends SEC Rules Imposing Fiduciary And Disclosure Duties On Brokers

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission posted two recommendations by the Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee of the Investor Advisory Committee. In general, the Subcommittee recommended...more

FINRA Approves Revamped Broker Compensation Proposal

On September 19, FINRA’s Board of Governors approved a proposal that would require brokers to disclose recruitment compensation paid to them as an incentive to move to a new firm. The original proposal stirred a great deal...more

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