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News & Analysis as of

The Municipal Advisor Regulatory Framework - Where We Are and Where to Next

On September 19, 2016, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board ("MSRB") advised Congress that it had "just concluded development of a core regulatory framework for municipal advisors." This by no means signals a significant...more

Regulatory Update and Recent SEC Enforcement Actions

On June 2, 2016, the SEC announced that it hired Christopher R. Hetner, a cybersecurity expert, as the Senior Adviser to the Chair for Cybersecurity Policy. The hire is indicative of the SEC’s focus on cybersecurity measures...more

6th Circuit Orders Pay-to-Play Challenge to Merits Panel

The Sixth Circuit this week declined the SEC’s request to dismiss a Constitutional challenge to the new MSRB pay-to-play rules.  Instead, the Court ordered the case to a merits panel for consideration.  The Republican parties...more

The Federal Securities Pay-to-Play Regulatory Framework is Complete - A Primer for Financial Services Firms

On September 20, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") issued two orders effectively completing the federal pay-to-play regulatory framework for investment advisers, municipal advisors, underwriters of...more

The Few. The Responsible. Those who can serve as Fiduciaries for Brokerage Firms.

Most brokerage firms are staying mum about how they intend to meet their requirements under the new fiduciary rule in 2017, but some have tipped their hands and are going to go the approach that I thought they would....more

Investment Management Update

The Securities and Exchange Commission Adopts Amendments to Form ADV and Investment Adviser Act Rules - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to Form ADV and Investment Advisers Act of 1940...more

Tennessee Securities Division Ramps Up Enforcement

The Securities Division of Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Industry has increased its enforcement activity during 2016. The recent actions include: Final Administrative Orders: Clifton Alexander and

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Enforcement - AXA Prevails in Excessive Fee Trial - Beware of Failing to Properly Disclose Fees and Assess Adequate Penalties - Non-Enforcement - Business Continuity Planning - SEC Rule Designed to...more

SEC Approves FINRA & MSRB (Almost) Pay-to-Play Rules

The SEC announced August 25 that it approved FINRA’s pay-to-play rules governing placement-agent or solicitor broker-dealers and was “prepared” to approve the extension of MSRB Rule G-37 to municipal advisors as well....more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2016

Editor's Overview - This month’s newsletter features an article on the DOL’s recently published interim final rule that increases penalties for notice and disclosure violations, which generally became effective on...more

SEC Approves FINRA Pay-to-Play Rule

This week, on Thursday, August 25, 2016, the SEC approved FINRA Proposed Rules 2030 and 4580 (the Proposed Rules) as they had been proposed by FINRA. The Proposed Rules would impose pay-to-play restrictions and recordkeeping...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

Don’t argue; the client is always right even when they are not

Over the years that I have defended broker-dealers and investment advisors on customer-initiated claims, I have seen many things that would make any compliance officer cringe. One spine tingling (not in the good way) type of...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

Why treating customer complaint with therapeutic neglect always fails

When faced with a customer complaining through a letter or email, it is human nature to try to appease the customer with a conciliatory response or no response at all. I have seen this “human nature” all too often when...more

FinCEN Adopts New Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) has adopted new anti-money laundering (“AML”) regulations that impose additional customer due diligence requirements on certain financial institutions...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

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

Political Contributions to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Campaign Might Adversely Affect Advisers That Have or Are Seeking...

Last week, Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for U.S. president, selected Governor Mike R. Pence of Indiana as his running mate for vice president. The selection of Governor Pence might have implications under the SEC’s...more

Securities Enforcement: 2016 Mid-Year Review

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC or the Commission) brought over 400 enforcement actions in the first half of 2016 and is on pace to surpass its record of 807 enforcements actions in a single fiscal year, which...more

"Contributions to Trump/Pence Campaign Are Subject to Pay-to-Play Rules"

On July 15, 2016, Donald Trump announced that he selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Contributions to the Trump/Pence campaign are now subject to prohibitions and restrictions under the...more

FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture

Speaking at the Brookings Institution this April, FINRA head Richard Ketchum emphasized the importance of a broker-dealer having a "culture" that favors the firm’s customers when their interests conflict with those of the...more

SEC Charges Adviser for Failing to Monitor Consultants

The action underscores the need for investment advisers and broker-dealers to maintain robust policies and controls when utilizing third-party contractors. On May 27, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...more

Regulatory Update and Recent SEC Enforcement Actions

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Hosts National Compliance Outreach Seminar for Investment Companies and Investment Advisers In April 2016, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”), the...more

Elder Abuse Takes Another Twist and Turn

If you thought the SEC and FINRA were serious about elder issues, welcome to the Alabama, Indiana and Vermont. Each has focused on elder abuse issues. These states will have mandatory reporting to state officials in...more

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