Securities & Exchange Commission Broker-Dealer

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission was created in 1934 in response to the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Commission was created to protect investors, ensure fairness in the market, and... more +
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission was created in 1934 in response to the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Commission was created to protect investors, ensure fairness in the market, and encourage capital formation. The Commission is headed by five presidentially-appointed Commissioners who oversee the Commission’s five divisions: Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Enforcement, Division of Investment Management, and the Division of Risk, Strategy and Financial Information.  less -
News & Analysis as of

SEC Probes Retirement Advice

The SEC has been sending lengthy sweep examination letters to many registered investment advisers (RIAs) and broker-dealers, requesting a broad variety of information regarding retirement plan advice. A form of the...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 5

Electronic Structured Product Systems and FINRA’s Robo-Advisor Report - In a prior issue of this publication, we wrote about electronic structured note issuance platforms, and how these might be affected by U.S....more

Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 Passes Muster in U.S. House of Representatives

On April 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representative passed the Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 (H.R. 5019) by a vote of 411 to 6. This bill directs the SEC to amend its regulations under the Securities Act of...more

Joint Notice: MSRB and FINRA Increasing Scrutiny of Private Bank Placements

Direct lending by banks has proliferated in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market as states, local governments and non-profits find that they can borrow, in the form of direct loans, at interest rates comparable to those on...more

House of Representatives Passes the HALOS Act; Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 is Introduced

On April 27, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups Act (H.R. 4498) (the “HALOS Act”), which was first introduced on April 16, 2015. The HALOS Act directs the SEC to amend Regulation D...more

Broker Compensation-Disclosure Rule Approved by the SEC

It is not uncommon for registered representatives to change broker-dealers over the course of their career. In most cases, their customers will typically switch firms as well, as they follow their representative to wherever...more

FINRA Targets AML Programs and “Culture of Compliance” as 2016 Enforcement Priority, Particularly for High-Risk Broker/Dealers

Under Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) authorization, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) is “responsible for regulating (1) all securities firms that do business with the public[,]” (2) key stock...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update - April 2016

Regulation - Department of Labor Issues Fiduciary Regulations Under ERISA - The Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-anticipated final regulation (the “Regulation”) defining who is a fiduciary as a result of...more

SEC Brings Enforcement Action Against a Broker-Dealer for Weak Cybersecurity Controls

On April 12, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continued its enforcement of reasonable cybersecurity controls, announcing cease and desist proceedings against a broker-dealer and two of its principals...more

U.S. Department of Labor Finalizes Fiduciary Definition and Conflict of Interest Rule

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)...more

"SEC Extends Comment Period on Proposed FINRA Pay-to-Play Rule "

On March 29, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an order instituting proceedings (the Order) intended to determine whether to approve or disapprove Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)...more

Shopping for Startups – SEC Offers Additional Guidance for Intermediary Crowdfunding Portals

I previously wrote about the new rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) allowing startups to utilize crowdfunding platforms to sell an equity stake in their business to investors in exchange for working...more

SEC Files Another In A Series of Actions Tied to Secret Commissions

The Commission brought another in a series of actions centered on ConvergEx Execution Solutions LLC and its affiliates. As with the prior actions, this one centered on secretly adding substantial commissions to transactions...more

SEC and FDIC Propose Dodd-Frank Broker-Dealer Resolution Rules

Troubled financial institutions, some with substantial broker dealer operations, played a prominent role in the 2008 financial crisis. In an effort to protect the financial system from serious threats posed by significant...more

OTC Markets Group Inc. on Rule 15c2-11, the “Piggyback” Exception and Secondary Trading Markets

OTC Markets Group Inc. (“OTC Markets Group”) operates the OTCQX® Best, OTCQB® Venture and Pink® Open markets for 10,000 securities. Our wholly-owned subsidiary, OTC Link LLC, operates OTC Link® ATS, an SEC regulated...more

Financial Services Weekly News - April 2016

Regulatory Developments - DOL Issues Final Fiduciary Rule - On April 6, the Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled its pre-publication final version of the long-awaited fiduciary rule (the Final Rule). Some of the more...more

Private Secondary Markets and Rule 15c2-11

SEC Concerns with the “Piggyback” Exception of Rule 15c2-11 - Rule 15c2-11 (“Rule 15c2-11”) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), sets forth procedures for the submission and...more

FinCEN Proposes Amendments to Bank Secrecy Act to Cover Crowdfunding Portals

FinCEN, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, has proposed amendments to the definitions of “broker or dealer in securities” and “broker-dealer” under the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act. This rulemaking...more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 4.4.16

It appears that Alaska Airlines has won in the pursuit of Virgin America’s operations, beating out rival JetBlue for the former Richard Branson venture. Alaska announced this morning that “had agreed to acquire Virgin America...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 4

Structured Product Sales at Bank Branches: Networking- Arrangement Rules - Many broker-dealers engaged in the structured products industry are affiliates of large U.S. banks, which have a significant customer footprint. ...more

SEC Pumps the Breaks on the Adoption of FINRA’s Proposed Pay-to-Play Rule

We’ve all been there before – charging headlong down the interstate at a few (or more than a few) miles per hour over the speed limit, when we suddenly come upon a speed trap conveniently tucked into a service road in the...more

Thirteen Observations About the SEC’s Enforcement Program

Over the last two months, the SEC issued two reports that provide useful perspectives on its enforcement program. In February, it issued the combined 136-page “FY 2017 Congressional Justification & FY 2015 Annual Performance...more

SEC Imposes Fine for Improper Research Report

In March 2016, the SEC entered into a settlement agreement with a U.S. broker-dealer, which initiated research coverage of an issuer after being invited by the issuer to participate as an underwriter for that issuer’s planned...more

FINRA Reports on Digital Investment Advice

On March 15, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (commonly referred to as “FINRA”) issued a Report that emphasizes that offerings of digital investment advice requires sound governance and supervision, including...more

SEC Settles Charges Tied to Conflicts with AIG Affiliates

The SEC’s examination staff has, in recent years, become very aggressive. Some claim it is the front edge of enforcement. Regardless of your view, it is typically beneficial to follow their suggestions. ...more

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