Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

News & Analysis as of

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

Bridging the Week - August 2016 #3

Another Publicly Traded Firm Sanctioned by SEC For Allegedly Undercutting Whistleblower Protections Through Severance Agreements: Health Net, Inc., a formerly publicly traded company whose securities were registered with the...more

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #3

Editor's Note - MetLife Fights On. MetLife continued to fight its designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) this week as the insurer filed its reply brief in the Financial Stability...more

FINRA Relaxes Rules for M&A and Private Placement Brokers

The SEC has approved a series of FINRA rules that are meant to simplify regulation of firms engaged as M&A brokers and those who conduct other limited activities. While the rules may be simpler, it still looks like a...more

Bloomberg Chat Is No Idle Chatter

Gone are the days when brokers or buy-side professionals picked up the phone to make bids and close deals. Instead, they “chat” through their Bloomberg Terminals. The more than 320,000 traders, investors, and other market...more

Trading and Markets Enforcement Report - August 2016

The last several years have seen law enforcement and regulatory bodies sharpen their focus on trading activity in the securities and derivatives markets. This focus has coincided with the advent of new and expanded reporting,...more

FINRA Proposes Revisions to Gifts, Gratuities and Non-Cash Compensation Rules

On August 5, 2016, FINRA in Regulatory-Notice 16–29 proposed revisions to its regulation of broker-dealer gifts, entertainment and non-cash compensation (the “proposal”) and requested comment to the same. The comment period...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 8

Brexit and Structured Products: A Framework for Considering Disclosures - The U.K.’s recent referendum to withdraw from the European Union has affected virtually all segments of the financial industry. The structured...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The D.C. Circuit handed down the first circuit court decision ruling on the Appointments Clause question concerning the retention of SEC ALJs. The court concluded that there was no violation of the Clause....more

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #2

Editor's Note - OATS Reporting Violations and FINRA Enforcement. FINRA’s Order Audit Trail System (OATS), is an integrated audit trail of order, quote and trade information for all NMS stocks and OTC equity securities,...more

FINRA Announces Sweep of Broker-Dealers that Sell Non-Traded BDCs

In a notice published on its website on August 4, 2016, FINRA announced that it is conducting an inquiry with respect to non-traded business development companies (BDCs). FINRA asked that the member broker-dealers send the...more

FINRA Defends Mandatory Arbitrations; Threatens Discipline

In a July 22 Notice, FINRA took umbrage at a growing line of Court decisions suggesting that a later or more-specific forum selection clause in an agreement between the parties may override a prior customer arbitration...more

IRS Announces Fines Paid to FINRA Are Not Deductible

Fines pertaining to violations of federal securities laws and certain FINRA rules may not be deducted. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in low-level advice recently announced its position that certain fines paid to...more

Impact of DOL’s Final Rule on Business Development Companies

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its final rule defining who is a fiduciary in connection with investment advice that is provided to benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income...more

Are Compliance Officers at Financial Institutions Now in the Hot Seat for Fines?

Otherwise reputable Financial Institutions continue being sanctioned for regulatory non-compliance. Well known “household” names continue receiving fines for failing to establish and implement adequate Anti-Money Laundering...more

Financial Services Weekly News - July 2016 #4

Editor's Note - What Exactly Is Bitcoin? In a case featuring a sting operation beginning with meetings in a coffee shop, ice cream store and hotel lobby and ending with the sale of bitcoins to an undercover Miami Beach...more

Prevailing in an Era of Regulatory Enforcement – Balancing Risk and Compliance [Expect Focus – Vol. II, July 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker SECURITIES - - FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture - SEC Seeks Fund Responses to Distribution-In-Guise Guidance...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

Regulatory Musical Chairs for Money

The SEC and FINRA continue to play musical chairs with staff resources allocated to examinations of investment advisers and broker-dealers. According to SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s remarks at an April 16 SEC Compliance...more

Gatekeepers For Preventing Fraud: Educated Investors

The halting of another offering fraud on Friday by the SEC has, unfortunately, become routine. Offering frauds in which promoters take the hard earned dollars of investors and give them rosy dreams and worthless pieces of...more

Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense - July 2016

“Official Acts”—What They Are… and Are Not - Why it matters: On June 27, 2016, the Supreme Court decided McDonnell v. U.S., holding that, for purposes of the federal public corruption statutes, an “official act”...more

Pension Income Stream Products Worry FINRA

Some SEC-registered broker-dealers connect individuals wishing to cash in on their future pension payments with potential investors in such income streams. In April, the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA)...more

Secondary Trading in Regulation A+ Securities; $4.4 Million Committed by Investors Under Regulation Crowdfunding

In connection with the SEC meeting of the Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies, the SEC posted a presentation which deals in part on secondary trading of Regulation A+ securities. Among other things, it includes...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 7.19.16

The Carlyle Group is staring down the barrel of a $1 billion civil lawsuit by the failed Carlyle Capital Corp.’s liquidators over the 2008 collapse of the mortgage-bond fund. The trial’s taking place in Guernsey, a British...more

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