Conflicts of Interest

News & Analysis as of

Annual Review of Federal Securities Regulation - The Business Lawyer, Vol. 70, Iss. 3

This Annual Review (“Review”) was prepared by the Subcommittee on Annual Review of the Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities of the ABA Business Law Section. The Review covers significant developments in federal...more

SEC’s Data-Driven Analysis Identifies Allegedly Improper Trade Allocations by Investment Advisor

Relying on a data-driven statistical analysis conducted by the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA), the SEC recently commenced administrative proceedings against an investment advisor, Welhouse & Associates, Inc.,...more

Gallagher Chides Commission for Sanctioning IA CCO’S

In a strongly-worded public statement last week, SEC Commissioner Gallagher chided the Commission for “cutting off the noses of CCO’s to spite its face.” Explaining his dissent in two recent enforcement actions imposing...more

NLRB Declares “Conflict-of-Interest” Policy to be Unlawful on Its Face

In a controversial decision, the NLRB found that a conflict-of-interest policy in an employee handbook is unlawful on its face. This ruling could deem many current conflict-of-interest policies unenforceable, creating harsh...more

Compliance: It’s All About The Data – It's Time for Compliance to Mature

“The most commonly reported information includes the number of employees trained, hotline statistics and an inventory of compliance risks. This information, while important, does not necessarily help the board and senior...more

SEC Exams to Focus on Sales of Retirement Products

The SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, or OCIE, has launched a multi-year Retirement-Targeted Industry Reviews and Examinations (ReTIRE) Initiative. OCIE is focusing on retirement-based savings in...more

SEC Regulation of Private Equity Funds

What you need to know: The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations recently issued its examination priorities for 2015, many of which impact the private equity...more

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch: Conflict of Interest and Ethics Tips

Recent developments suggest that businesses looking to fill tables to charitable or other functions should take caution when inviting public office holders. This month, Ontario’s Office of the Integrity Commissioner...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Litigation Threat Means Public Companies Should Review Director Compensation Process

Corporate directors are permitted to, and regularly do, set their own compensation. This has not been controversial because boards have typically taken seriously their responsibility to set compensation that is reasonable and...more

Blog: A Hug Before They Both Exit: Commissioners Aguilar And Gallagher Present Joint Recommendations For New Transfer Agent Rules

Here’s a novel pairing: SEC Commissioners Aguilar and Gallagher, both of whom are scheduled to leave their posts at the SEC, issued a joint statement on June 11th about the need to modernize the SEC’s transfer agent rules,...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Arbitration Award Where Arbiter Failed To Make Required Disclosures

In a case involving a dispute between a not-for-profit corporation administering a self-insured group workers’ compensation fund and their investment advisor and broker-dealer, the Supreme Court of Alabama granted the fund’s...more

Blog: Study Shows Decline In Accuracy Of Research Analysts

Here’s an interesting report from Bloomberg on a soon-to-be-published study that concludes that stock analysts are actually worse at predicting corporate earnings now, after a number of regulatory actions to increase...more

Analysis: The Impact of the DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal on Sales of Insurance Products

This paper explains the basis for our conclusions about the impact of the Department of Labor (DOL) proposal to amend the fiduciary investment advice regulation and the prohibited transaction (PT) exemptions for sales of...more

FINRA Publishes Guidance on Research Conflict of Interest Rules

FINRA explains the risk levels associated with communications regarding potential investment banking transactions: from low to high to “unmanageable.” On May 27, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)...more

Will Principles-Based Guidance be Easier to Follow?

Practitioners and market participants often complain that rules and regulations ought to be principles-based rather than prescriptive. In advocating for principles-based regulation, the argument is often made that the...more

Blog: FINRA Issues Seven New FAQs Regarding Research Conflict-Of-Interest Rules

Last week, FINRA released seven new FAQs related to the research conflict of interest rules. In essence, FINRA analyzes the types of facts and circumstances that might be decisive in determining whether certain conduct or...more

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - May 2015

It’s an Absolute Privilege to Meet You! Texas Supreme Court Rules That Internal Investigation Report Provided by Shell Oil to DOJ Enjoys “Absolute Privilege” - Why it matters: On May 15, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court...more

New York State Attorney General Issues Guidance on the Conflict of Interest and Whistleblower Policy Provisions of the New York...

The New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau recently issued written guidance on certain provisions of the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the “Act”), including provisions on audit oversight...more

Conclusory Allegations Held Insufficient to Support Declaratory Relief on Right to Independent Counsel or Allocation of Defense...

In Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (No. E060057, filed 5/22/15), a California Court of Appeal held that a developer’s declaratory relief lawsuit seeking a declaration of the right to independent counsel was...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - May 2015 #3

SEC Proposals to Enhance Investment Company and Investment Adviser Reporting: As we went to press, the SEC commissioners announced that they had voted to approve two proposals. The first was for new and amended rules and...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies That Section 102(b)(7) Charter Provisions May Be Basis For Dismissal At The Pleading Stage In...

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that, even in conflict-of-interest transactions subject to "entire fairness" review, breach of fiduciary duty claims against independent, disinterested directors should be...more

DOL’s Proposal To Expand Fiduciary Definition Would Bring Many Service Providers Into Scope

As we previously reported, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released its reproposed rule “Definition of the Term ‘Fiduciary’; Conflict of Interest Rule—Investment Advice” on April 14. The initial deadline for comments on the...more

Investment Funds Update - Europe: Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and...

Update of the AMF Doctrine on French Professional Specialized Funds - The AMF updated its Instruction n° 2012-06 specifying the rules to be followed (i) for the drafting of the prospectus of a French Professional...more

Asset Management Firm Pays $12 Million in Settlement of SEC Conflict of Interest Case

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is showing new vigor in enforcing conflict of interest cases within asset management firms. Earlier this year, an SEC spokeswoman mentioned that the Commission has...more

New Jersey’s Investment Pay-to-Play Law Remains Unchanged in the Wake of Governor Christie’s Conditional Veto

On Monday, Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed Senate Bill No. 2430, which sought to expand New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws governing State investments. The current law requires external investment managers of State...more

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