Fiduciary Duty Conflicts of Interest

News & Analysis as of

Corporate Law & Governance Update - August 2016

The Hershey Governance Settlement - On Friday, July 29, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Hershey Trust Company and the Milton Hershey School, entered into a written settlement resolving an investigation conducted...more

ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we take a look at the plaintiffs' past successes in fee litigations, and the influx of such lawsuits seeking to impose heightened fiduciary standards for 401(k) plans. Regardless of the...more

SEC Approves Nasdaq “Golden Leash” Disclosure Rule

On July 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved Nasdaq’s proposal for a “golden leash” disclosure rule (Rule 5250(b)(3)) requiring listed companies to publicly disclose benefits given by investors or other...more

SEC Examiners Focused on Fund Share Class Conflicts of Interest

OCIE recently published a Risk Alert announcing that it will examine the potential conflict of interest created by registered investment advisers being financially incentivized to recommend certain share classes to clients....more

Homeowners Associations – Business Judgment Rule

Palm Springs Villa II Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Erna Parth - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (June 21, 2016) - The “business judgment rule” refers to a judicial policy of deference to the business...more

Financial Services Weekly News - July 2016 #3

Regulatory Developments - SEC Proposes Amendments to Update and Simplify Disclosure Requirements as Part of Overall Disclosure Effectiveness Review - On July 13, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed...more

Private Investment Fund Managers and Other Investment Advisers May Be Affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary...

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the...more

OCIE Gives Advisers a Heads-Up About Its Latest Sweep Examination Initiative

Last week, OCIE published a National Exam Program Risk Alert highlighting the staff’s focus on advisers’ responsibility to act consistently with their clients’ best interests. According to OCIE, its latest sweep examination,...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: Amendments to Prohibited Transaction...

This post continues our examination of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. Our previous posts discussed the newly expanded definition of “investment advice fiduciary”; the...more

New York Appellate Division Strongly Supports In-House Law Firm Privilege Claim

In Stock v. Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, 2016 WL 3556655 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016), the First Judicial Department of the New York Appellate Division upheld, in a case involving a former law firm client seeking to sue the...more

Employee Benefits Innovators Roundtable: Fiduciary Update and the DOL Fiduciary Rule

The US Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule is aimed at financial advisors, including brokers, who provide retirement plan services. However, the new rule will impact compliance obligations and potentially, costs for plan...more

The Ever-Increasing Importance of the Shareholder Vote: Delaware Chancery Court Extends Corwin to Two-Step Mergers under DGCL §...

On June 30, 2016, the Delaware Chancery Court extended the Supreme Court’s holding in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, 125 A.3d 304 (Del. 2015), to two-step mergers under DGCL § 251(h). The Chancery Court concluded that...more

Court Affirms Order Denying An Administrator’s Attorney’s Fees

In In re Estate of Williams, attorney Don Ford was appointed an administrator of an estate and hired himself as an attorney for the estate. No. 05-15-00392-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5990 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....more

The Cold Comfort of the Best Interest Contract Exemption

The BIC Exemption to the new DOL Fiduciary Rule offers some relief, but at a potentially prohibitive cost. The US Department of Labor (the DOL) recently forced the most significant change to the investment community...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: The Principal Transactions Exemption

This post continues our examination of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. Our prior posts discussed the newly expanded definition of “investment advice fiduciary” and the...more

Lawsuits Filed Challenging The USDOL’s Final Fiduciary Rules

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Rule addressing when a person providing services to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement account (IRA) is considered to be providing investment...more

It Is All About The Disclosures

The SEC recently commenced an enforcement action against an investment advisory firm and its principal in connection with the failure to disclose material conflicts of interest in connection with new mutual funds that the...more

Perspectives - June 2016

In April 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of the fiduciary rule. The final rule was six years in the making and impacts retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, and the employer who offer...more

The DOL’s New Fiduciary Rule: Capturing the Apparent Conflict at the “Moment of Rollover”

The US Department of Labor’s final fiduciary rule captures rollover, transfer and distribution recommendations to retirement investors. In essence, under the rule, a financial organization or adviser is acting as a fiduciary...more

“Call to Action” May Create Fiduciary Liability under ERISA

Traditional investment advisers, as well as broker-dealers, insurance brokers, banks, and employers, are abuzz with questions and concerns relating to the final regulation issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 8,...more

A Compilation of Non-Enforcement and Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Mutual Fund Directors Must Be Vigilant in Addressing Risks - In remarks to the Mutual Fund Directors Forum, SEC Chair Mary Jo White outlined some of the risks and challenges that mutual fund...more

The Brave New Fiduciary World Has Arrived – The DOL Tries to Find a More Ideal Balance in the Final “Investment Advice” Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 6, 2016 released the final version of its “investment advice” regulation and accompanying prohibited transaction exemptions, a highly-anticipated milestone that is the...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rule: The Best Interest Contract Exemption

Last month the U.S. Department of Labor published a suite of final regulations governing the fiduciary status of, and prescribing conflict of interest rules that apply to, persons who provide investment advice to...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule Re-Makes Retail IRA Advice

Congress voted this week to de-rail the Department of Labor’s sweeping fiduciary-duty suite of rule-making, but doesn’t have the votes to override the President’s threatened veto....more

DOL Rules that Target Fiduciary Conflict of Interests May Impact Employee Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

“Middle class economics means that Americans should be able to retire with dignity after a lifetime of hard work. But loopholes in the retirement advice rules have allowed some brokers and other advisers to recommend products...more

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