Mutual Funds

News & Analysis as of

"Another Mutual Fund Adviser Prevails at Trial in Excessive Fee Litigation"

Following a four-day bench trial, Judge Renee Marie Bumb of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of an adviser on claims brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act by investors...more

Federal Court Issues Trial Ruling in Section 36(b) “Manager of Managers” Lawsuit: Second Consecutive Opinion Finding Plaintiffs...

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey recently issued its post-trial ruling in Kasilag et al. v. Hartford Investment Financial Services, LLC et al. The Hartford ruling is the second post-trial Section 36(b)...more

SEC Issues Guidance to Ease Fund Implementation of “Clean Shares”

In January, we authored a post discussing an SEC no-action letter, dated January 11, 2017, to Capital Group (the “Capital Group Letter”), the parent company of American Funds. In the Capital Group Letter, the SEC agreed that...more

Inline XBRL Proposed Rule and IFRS Taxonomy

On March 1, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) proposed the use of the Inline XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) format for the submission of operating company financial statement...more

SEC Proposes to Require Use of Inline XBRL

In 2009 the SEC adopted rules requiring operating companies to provide the information from the financial statements accompanying their registration statements and periodic and current reports in machine-readable format using...more

Court Rules for Fund Adviser in Excessive Fee Case Against Hartford

On February 28, the court in the mutual fund excessive fee case against Hartford (Kasilag v. Hartford Inv. Fin. Servs., LLC, No. 1:11-cv-01083 (D.N.J.)) issued a 70-page opinion ruling in favor of the fund adviser and against...more

Litigation defending their 401(k) plan is the cost of doing business offering proprietary mutual funds

It’s a favorite topic of mine because it’s fascinating to consider, so many mutual fund companies are being targeted for litigation for offering proprietary mutual funds in their employees’ 401(k) plan....more

2016 Year in Review: Select SEC and FINRA Developments and Enforcement Cases

Executive Summary - The Morgan Lewis Year in Review highlights key US Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC or the Commission) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) enforcement developments and...more

Mutual Funds As Venture Capitalists? Evidence from Unicorns

In a recent paper, authors Sergey Chernenko, Josh Lerner, and Yao Zeng consider investments by mutual funds (“cross over funds”) in 99 unicorn companies. Given the rise in recent years of investments by cross over funds in...more

Efficiency at What Cost? Advantages of a Separate Board for ETFs

Exchange-traded fund (ETF) products and sales have proliferated dramatically in the past five years and the trend promises to continue. It is no surprise then that established mutual fund companies have been eager to enter...more

SEC Staff Clarifies Application of 1940 Act Section 22(d) to Brokers Selling Clean Shares of Mutual Funds

In response to a request for interpretative guidance, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staff (staff) advised on January 11, 2017 that Section 22(d) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 does not prevent a broker...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update – February 2017

REGULATION - DOL Issues Additional Guidance on Fiduciary Rule - On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a second set of guidance on its new fiduciary rules, which are scheduled to become...more

A Fraud By Any Other Name: Seventh Circuit Holds That SLUSA Extends to Class Actions That Could Be Pursued Under Federal...

A divided panel of the Seventh Circuit recently held that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (“SLUSA”) requires any covered class action that “could have been pursued under federal securities law” to be brought...more

Effects of the DOL Fiduciary Rule Reach Mutual Fund Industry

The Department of Labor finalized the so-called “Fiduciary Rule” in April 2016 and announced it would go into effect in April 2017. Since the finalization of the Fiduciary Rule, the annuities, brokerage, and advisory...more

Mutual Funds Come Clean: Brokers Can Set Fund Share Sales Charges

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management effectively allowed brokers to determine the commissions they will charge their customers who buy “Clean Shares” of mutual funds. In a “no-action” letter...more

SEC Staff Allows Brokers to Set Fund Commissions with “Clean Shares”

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued a no-action letter on January 11, 2017 explicitly permitting brokers to set their own commission rates for sales of so-called “clean shares” of mutual funds. Previously, as...more

Investment Management Update

SEC Issues Guidance on Mutual Fund Fee Structure - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management recently issued a guidance update addressing disclosure issues and certain procedural...more

Fiduciary Rule will clear out the Alphabet Soup of Share Classes

When it comes to mutual funds offered under 401(k) plans, I’ve always believed that the multiple share classes was something out of an alphabet soup. I’m not an advisor, so I don’t know how or why there is so many share...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

The emissions cheating scandal that recently cost VW $4.3 billion and a mess of criminal indictments isn’t, it seems, confined to the Germans. We heard months ago about a similar probe into Mitsubishi, and yesterday we...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

The headline a few days ago was the arrest of VW exec Oliver Schmidt during an ill-advised trip to Miami last week. But the DOJ also indicted five other top executives over their role in VW’s emissions cheating scandal. No...more

SEC Adopts Liquidity Risk Programs for Funds

On October 13, the SEC adopted rule reforms designed to improve liquidity risk management by open-end funds. Liquidity Risk Management Programs - Under the reforms, mutual funds (excluding money market funds) and...more

Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks

A recent SEC no-action letter gives broker-dealers more time to perform suitability and other reviews when opening certain customer accounts. The firms requesting the letter were affiliated with three different insurance...more

Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks

A recent SEC no-action letter gives broker-dealers more time to perform suitability and other reviews when opening certain customer accounts. The firms requesting the letter were affiliated with three different insurance...more

FINRA’s 2017 Regulatory & Exam Priorities

On January 4, new President and CEO Richard Cook issued FINRA’s Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter. This year’s list in summary is: New for 2017: Targeted electronic off-site reviews “on select...more

Some Broker-Dealers aren’t in a panic and there is one reason why

While people are predicting gloom and doom for broker-dealers when the new fiduciary rule goes into effect, there is a certain brand of broker-dealers that aren’t going to be in panic mode....more

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