Investment Adviser Securities & Exchange Commission

News & Analysis as of

Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Trends

At a recent Practicing Law Institute panel, several of the regulators, including the Director of the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), spoke about the general priorities and trends in...more

SEC Holds Forum to Discuss Fintech in the Financial Services Industry

On November 14, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held its first public forum to discuss financial technology (“Fintech”) innovation in the financial services industry. The Fintech Forum was divided into four...more

SEC Approves New FINRA and MSRB Mark-Up Disclosure Requirements for Corporate, Agency and Municipal Fixed Income Principal Trades

On November 17, 2016, some 40 years after having first proposed mark-up disclosure requirements for riskless principal securities transactions, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") approved rule changes by the...more

SEC Principal Trading Rule Exemption Set to Expire at Year’s End

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated in August that it intends to permit the expiration of rule 206(3)-3T (Rule) under the Investment Adviser Act of 1940 (Advisers Act). The SEC originally...more

New FINRA Capital Acquisition Broker Rules May Offer Limited Relief to Private Investment Fund Advisers

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently approved a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) proposal to adopt a new regime for the regulation of electing broker-dealer firms that meet the...more

The Commission’s Latest Message Case on Investment Adviser Conflict Disclosure

For any investment adviser who has not lived in a cave the last few years, the SEC’s focus on conflicts of interest in the investment management industry comes as no surprise. More than a half century ago, the Supreme Court...more

SEC to Focus on Firms Hiring Those with Disciplinary History

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has recently issued a risk alert to registered investment advisers indicating their intent to focus on compliance oversight and controls with respect to the...more

SEC Charges Adviser With Misappropriation

It is axiomatic that investment advisers have a fiduciary duty to use investor funds entrusted to them for the benefit of the investors. The duty applies to registered and unregistered investment advisers. The Commission’s...more

SEC Announces Agenda, Panelists for Nov. 14 Fintech Forum

On November 3, 2016, the SEC announced the agenda and the panelists for its first ever fintech forum on November 14th. As noted in the announcement, the session, which will begin at 9 a.m. ET, will be divided into four...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week In Review

Financial Industry Developments - SEC Adopts Final Rules to Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities Offerings - On October 26, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules designed to modernize...more

Looking Forward to 2017: Cybersecurity and the SEC

Fall is upon us and, even in an election year, it's not too early to begin thinking about the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement priorities for 2017. Regarding data protection, we predict that the SEC will...more

SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert on Whistleblower Rule Compliance

On October 24, Staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (the “Staff”) issued a National Exam Program Risk Alert announcing that it is examining registered investment advisers and registered...more

OCIE Publishes Risk Alert on Examinations of Compliance with SEC Whistleblower Rule by Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers

The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a National Exam Program Risk Alert on October 24, 2016 (Risk Alert) regarding examinations of...more

"FINRA Pay-to-Play Rule Effective August 20, 2017"

On October 24, 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced in Regulatory Notice 16-40 that its pay-to-play and related recordkeeping rules, FINRA Rules 2030 and 4580, will take effect on August 20,...more

CFPB Grabs for SEC/CFTC Turf

In May, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a ban on “mandatory arbitration” contract clauses that make financial products consumers waive their right to join class actions. Broker-dealers,...more

OCIE By the Numbers and the Use of Big Data

On October 17, 2016, Marc Wyatt, the Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspection and Examinations, gave a keynote address to the National Society of Compliance Professionals titled: Inside the National Exam Program...more

Investment Management Update - October 2016

Investment Adviser AXA Wins Excessive Fee Trial - A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled in favor of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Funds Management...more

Watching the Detectives: The SEC Launches a Dedicated FINRA Oversight Unit

The SEC has launched a dedicated team to oversee FINRA, according to remarks by Marc Wyatt, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”). Congress has vested the SEC with the power to...more

Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries – Fall-Out from DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement

Mutual fund sales and distribution arrangements are once again under review. It has been reported that fund intermediaries are re-examining their practices relating to sales charges, share class structures and product...more

SEC’s 2016 Activity Breaks Enforcement and Whistleblower Records

Earlier this month, the SEC (the “Agency”) announced that it initiated a record-breaking 868 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2016. This figure – along with other milestones – reflect the Agency’s commitment to expanding...more

SEC Exams Looking for Whistleblower Violations

SEC staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations are examining compliance with key whistleblower provisions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The staff is...more

SEC Approves FINRA Rules Addressing “Pay-to-Play” Practices

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) recently approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) proposal to adopt FINRA Rules 2030 and 4580, which set forth pay-to-play restrictions, and...more

SEC's Focus on Private Equity Firms Continues with Recent Action

A settled enforcement action, announced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 14, 2016, continues the trend of increased SEC scrutiny of private equity advisers concerning the allocation and...more

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

SEC Charges Adviser With Improper Valuation

Sometimes it can be difficult to do the right thing. For example, in the SEC’s latest case involving an investment adviser, a valuation error was discovered. A correction was made. The investors were compensated. The adviser,...more

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