News & Analysis as of

EY Sanctioned For Acting As An Advocate For Audit Clients

Auditor independence is critical. The opinion issued by the audit firm regarding the financial statements of an audit client represents in part that the firm is independent. That judgment is based on an assessment of all the...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

As reported in the May 2014 edition of Legal News: Investment Management Update, the SEC has made cybersecurity readiness a high-priority item to review when it conducts examinations of registered broker-dealers and...more

Red Notice Newsleter

Welcome to the May 2014 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month, on the anticorruption front, Avon Products, Inc. (“Avon”) agrees to pay USD $135 million to settle a...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions - 04/30/14

Enforcement Matters: Improper Calculation of Client Advisory Fees Results in Enforcement Action - In a recent action (In the Matter of Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc., Investment Advisers Act Release No....more

Business News Digest – April 2014

In this issue: - Cybersecurity Assessments – Using the Tool Well - A SOX in the Gut: Supreme Court Vastly Expands Workplace "Whistleblower" Law - SEC to Scrutinize Never-Examined Investment...more

SEC Settles Administrative Proceedings Against CDO Sponsor and Collateral Manager Over Influence of Hedge Fund Firm on Collateral...

The SEC settled public administrative proceedings against Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (the “Sponsor”) relating to the structuring and marketing of three collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) and separately...more

SEC Settles with Adviser Over Discretionary Valuation Practices and Lack of Cross Trade Procedures

The SEC settled public administrative proceedings against a registered investment adviser (the “Adviser”) over (i) its exercise of discretion in valuing securities held by a privately offered fund the Advised managed (the...more

SEC Sanctions Three More Investment Advisers for Compliance Violations

The SEC’s Compliance Program Initiative bore more enforcement fruit. SEC today sanctioned three investment advisory firms for repeatedly ignoring compliance problems. The Initiative targets firms that fail to address...more

SEC Sanctions Adviser, Affiliated Broker-Dealer and Their Owner Over Class A Share Purchases and Commissions Paid on ETF Trades

The SEC settled claims against a registered investment adviser (the “Adviser”), its affiliated broker-dealer (the “Broker-Dealer”), and the founder, owner, and president of each (the “CEO”) that related to (1) investments in...more

SEC Sanctions Investment Adviser for Pushing Class A Shares When Investors Qualified to Buy Institutional Class Shares

The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned an investment adviser and its owner for failing to seek best execution and breaching their fiduciary duty in selecting mutual fund share classes for three advisory...more

SEC Sanctions Adviser Employee for Concealing Personal Securities Transactions and Misleading Chief Compliance Officer

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against the former employee (the “Adviser Employee”) of an adviser for four registered funds (the “Funds”) over his failure to report personal securities transactions as required by...more

Giving the CCO Teeth: SEC Sanctions Portfolio Manager for Misleading CCO

The SEC brought its first action for misleading and obstructing the work of a CCO this week, finding that a portfolio manager deliberately altered documents and misled the firm’s CCO in an attempt to hide violations of the...more

SEC Takes Oddly Aggressive Stance on Payment of Monetary Sanctions

When Mary Jo White was installed as the SEC’s chair in April, I had little doubt she would be well-suited for her new role. She is extremely well regarded in the securities bar, and doubts about “ties to Wall Street”...more

Three Thoughts about Steve Cohen’s Failure-to-Supervise Case

Stanley Sporkin — former SEC Enforcement Director, CIA general counsel, and federal judge – likes to say that an SEC staff attorney ought to be just as happy closing an investigation as one is bringing a public enforcement...more

Joint Ventures: Sanctions and Corruption Risks

Expansion into both new and emerging markets is a continuing trend for companies across many industry sectors. In a number of jurisdictions, local law restricts foreign companies from establishing wholly owned subsidiaries -...more

SEC’s Whistleblower Program Trudges Forward

Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by adding the Securities Whistleblower Incentives and Protection. The new section...more

SEC Awards Second-Ever Whistleblower Bounty

On June 12, 2013, the SEC issued the second-ever whistleblower bounty award pursuant to Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) in connection with SEC v. Andrey C. Hicks and...more

Infobytes - A Weekly In-depth review of news & developments in the financial services industry - June 21, 2013

In This Issue: - FEDERAL ISSUES - STATE ISSUES - COURTS - MISCELLANY - FIRM NEWS - MORTGAGES - BANKING - CONSUMER FINANCE - SECURITIES - PRIVACY/DATA SECURITY - Excerpt from Federal...more

More coming soon? Latest SEC tipster award highlights risk for hedge funds, private equity firms

The SEC has issued its second-ever whistleblower award. The award went to three anonymous individuals, each of whom will receive 5 percent of the monetary sanctions ultimately collected in a case against hedge fund manager...more

Total S.A. FCPA Actions Hearken Back to Time of Tupac Shakur, Beepers

Remember 1995? It was a long time ago, so you can be forgiven for not recalling much of it. To re-orient you: it was President Clinton’s first term; the Oklahoma City bombing happened in April; a jury found O.J. Simpson not...more

SEC Settles with Service Providers and Trustees of two Mutual Fund Trusts for Inaccurate Disclosures Regarding Section 15(c)...

On May 2, 2013, the SEC filed an order instituting settled administrative proceedings against the trustees (“Trustees”) and certain service providers of two “turnkey” open-end series investment companies, Northern Lights Fund...more

SEC Sanctions Fund Trustees for Inadequate Disclosures and Failure to Follow Compliance Policies

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the trustees of two “turnkey” mutual fund trusts with causing untrue or misleading disclosures about their review of the funds’ advisory contracts. The Commission also...more

Whistleblowers: A Dilemma For The Defense

Originally published in Law360 on December 18, 2012. Without a doubt, the advent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower bounty program prompted a drastic increase in the number of individuals...more

Tough New Iran Sanctions Could Impact Automotive Suppliers

Multinational companies in the automotive supply sector could face heightened enforcement risks under new sanctions on Iran. Effective March 8, 2013, U.S. parent companies will become liable for Iran-related sanctions...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Limits SEC’s Ability To Bring Civil Penalty Claims For Conduct Older Than Five Years

In Gabelli v. SEC, a unanimous Supreme Court held that the statute of limitations for “penalty” claims in governmental enforcement actions begins to run from the date of the underlying violation of the law, not when the...more

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