Conflicts of Interest

News & Analysis as of

Firm Sanctioned for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Violation of the Compliance Rule

The SEC sanctioned a registered investment adviser for breaching its fiduciary duty by failing to disclose to its clients a conflict of interest created by a portfolio manager’s outside business activity and personal...more

The DOL Seeks an Ideal Balance in a Brave New World of “Investment Advice” Under ERISA

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 14, 2015 issued the long-awaited re-proposal (the “2015 Proposed Regulations”) of the regulations defining “investment advice” in connection with the “fiduciary” rules under...more

BlackRock, CCO Settle SEC Conflict Charges

Conflicts of interest involving market professionals continue to be a focus of SEC enforcement. In many cases the conflict is uncovered by the inspection staff, OCIE. This time, however, the information came from an article...more

Entire In-House Legal Department Disqualified Following Lateral Hire - A Closer Look at Dynamic 3D Geosolutions, LLC v....

This court opinion demonstrates that in-house legal departments can and will be treated the same as traditional law firms when it comes to imputation of conflicts and the resulting potential for...more

DOL Proposes New Fiduciary Rule

Maybe it wasn’t Moses speaking from Mount Sinai, but the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new fiduciary rule that will change how retirement plan providers give advice. This is a re-proposal of a rule that was previously...more

Labor Department Proposes Fiduciary Conflict of Interest Rules — Again

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued the long-awaited re-proposal of its regulation expanding the definition of "fiduciary" under the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and...more

California Legislators Seek to Mandate More Transparency and Accountability in Government

In the wake of various investigative reports and public scandals, three California lawmakers have proposed reform legislation aimed at providing greater transparency and accountability in government. Three separate bills, now...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries....more

Department of Labor Proposes New Regulations on Fiduciary Advice

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reissued long-awaited proposed regulations describing the circumstances in which a person who provides investment advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015 #3

DOL Fiduciary Standard Proposal. The Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking including a definition of the term “fiduciary,” a conflict of interest rule for retirement investments, new exemptions and...more

NLRB’s Do’s and Don’ts of Employer Handbooks: Part 3 Trademarks and Logos, Photography and Workplace Recording, Leaving Work,...

On March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel released a 30-page memorandum providing guidance on employer rules and handbooks....more

Multitudes, Multitudes: The SEC’s Asset Management Unit Delivers Important Messages for Investment Advisers

The SEC signals continued scrutiny of asset management firms for all manner of violations — including technical violations first identified in exams. On February 26, Julie Riewe, the Co-Chief of the SEC’s Asset...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

RMBS Claims Against Ratings Agencies Dismissed as Time-Barred - On March 27, Judge John Robert Blakely of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted Standard & Poor's Financial Services, LLC's...more

Procurement Pulse - March 2015: Update 2

Guidance to be read in conjunction with the Public Contracts Regulations, 2015 (PCR'15) is being issued thick and fast. We reported the new requirements for advertising below threshold contracts on Contracts Finder in the...more

The Importance of Conflicts of Interest Compliance

A company’s character includes avoiding the appearance of, or actual, conflicts of interest. Compliance professionals need to pay more attention to conflicts of interest. In some instances, companies have not even adopted...more

A mere reservation or rights by an insurer does not require the insurer to supply independent counsel to its insured

A bill recently introduced in the Illinois State Senate known as the Insureds Independent Counsel Act, while, if enacted, will only apply in that State, is instructive as to when an insurance company must supply independent...more

Use it or lose it: French courts reject procedural objections not raised at the earliest opportunity

The Paris Court of Appeal has issued a stark warning to litigants who fail to raise procedural objections at the earliest opportunity, denying parties the right to raise those objections in a subsequent challenge to the...more

Proposed Legislation Would Toughen Economic Disclosure Requirements for California Officials

In the wake of various investigative reports and public scandals, California lawmakers have proposed reform legislation aimed at providing greater transparency and accountability in government. Three separate bills are now...more

The Financial Report - Volume 4, No. 6 • March 2015 (Global)

OSC Investor Advisory Panel annual report. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) Investor Advisory Panel submitted its 2013-14 annual report. The report summarizes the Panel’s current activities and priorities as well...more

Removal of Arbitrator for Impartiality Doubts under English Arb Act

In Sierra Fishing Company and others v Hasan Said Farran and others [2015] EWHC 140 (Comm), the English Court removed an arbitrator under section 24 of the Arbitration Act 1996. Under that provision, a party to an arbitration...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The broken windows approach to enforcement continued this week. The Commission bundled together eight settled administrative proceedings centered on going private transactions in which the Respondents failed to update their...more

SEC Highlights Priorities and Reminds Private Funds that the AMU is Enforcing Rules on Anniversary

Marking the fifth anniversary of the formation of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit (the 'AMU'), unit co-chief, Julie Riewe, highlighted the AMU's enforcement priorities for 2015 and reiterated that...more

OSC Affirms Breadth of Inter-Jurisdictional Enforcement Power, Limits on Sanctions in Conrad Black Case

The recent decision in Re Conrad M. Black et al. illustrates how the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will use its inter-jurisdictional enforcement authority to impose sanctions relating to conduct in other jurisdictions...more

SEC Continues to Focus on Conflicts By Advisers

Recently Julie M. Rieve, Co-chief, Asset Management delivered remarks titled Conflicts, Conflicts Everywhere to the IA Watch 17th Annual IA Watch Compliance Watch Conference (Feb. 26, 2015)(here). Conflicts are in fact the...more

FCA Imposes £17.6 Million Fine on Investment Adviser for Mismanagement of Conflicts of Interest

On February 24, 2015, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed a £17.6 million fine on a UK institutional investment adviser (UK Adviser) for failing to fairly manage conflicts of interest among the UK Adviser's...more

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