News & Analysis as of

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Financial Industry Developments - OCC Discusses Marketplace Lending - On September 13, 2016, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry discussed marketplace lending's risks and associated policy questions. He...more

U.S. House of Representatives Pass the Accelerating Access to Capital Act

Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Accelerating Access to Capital Act aimed at facilitating the formation of capital for U.S. small businesses. The measure is a package of three bills: H.R. 4850 –...more

Common Deficiencies Noted in Exams of Minnesota Registered Investment Advisers

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently conducted a series of routine exams of investment adviser firms registered in Minnesota to analyze their compliance with certain regulations applicable to investment advisers. ...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

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Financial Industry Developments - CFTC Announces Measures to Enhance Protection of Customer Funds - On August 8, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced three separate enhancements...more

SEC Increases Performance Fee Net Worth Threshold for Qualified Clients

Effective August 15, 2016, the net worth threshold for qualified clients under Rule 205-3 is increased from $2 million to $2.1 million. If you have advisory agreements or subscription agreements that require a client or...more

The SEC Retains its House Advantage During Administrative Proceedings

Amendments to the Rules of Practice Do Little to Address Criticism that the Deck is Stacked - Facing pressure from industry practitioners and in the wake of constitutional challenges in multiple jurisdictions, the...more

SEC & MSRB’s Pay-to-Play Rule: “Governing Games - Mocking, Part 2”

This SRO gamesmanship is making a mockery of governing. The latest is the SEC’s position that it didn’t take any action on the new MSRB Rules extending pay-to-play prohibitions to municipal advisors, so it can’t be sued...more

CFTC Considers Blockchain Technology

The disruptive effects of blockchain technology on the financial system may take several years to materialize. Nevertheless, in preparation, regulators are increasingly focused on understanding potential uses of blockchain...more

Can There Be Too Much Disclosure?

In an effort to provide transparency, the Dodd-Frank Act has previously formed an Investor Advisory Committee to assist the SEC on various issues including regulatory priorities, the regulation of securities products, trading...more

Financial Services Weekly News - June 2016 #3

Regulatory Developments - OFAC Updates Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Lifting Sanctions on Iran - On June 8, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (OFAC) updated its...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

Blog: SEC Reduces Fee Rates For Fiscal 2016

The SEC has announced that the fee for registration of securities and certain other transactions in fiscal 2016 will be $100.70 per million dollars. Under Dodd-Frank, the annual rate changes must take effect on the first day...more

Glossary of Important Securities Regulation Terms and Definitions

This Glossary is designed to provide law students taking Securities Regulation with a tool that will assist them in learning the basic language of securities law and achieve a working knowledge of the fundamental principles...more

SEC Enforcement Defendants Descend on Georgia for Judicial Relief from the SEC’s Allegedly Unconstitutional In-House Tribunal

It is often hot in Georgia this time of year. In one particular Georgia federal court, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been feeling some of that heat on an issue of significant interest to subjects of...more

SEC Announces First Wave of MCDC Underwriter Sanctions

The Securities Exchange Commission announced June 18 the first major wave of underwriter sanctions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) Initiative. The SEC sanctioned 36 municipal underwriting...more

Still Threatened: Arbitration Clauses in Securities Customer Agreements

In a report to Congress released in March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) takes aim at consumer agreements that require disputes to be resolved by arbitration. The CFPB generally does not have...more

SEC Staff Ready to Recommend Variable Annuity Summary Prospectus

William Kotapish, an Assistant Director in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, recently stated that the SEC staff is prepared to recommend that the Commission adopt rules and forms authorizing a variable annuity...more

Federal Regulation of Fixed Equity Indexed Annuities Redux?

When SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar recently cited "the need for the Commission and state regulators to focus on combatting fraud involving complex securities" including "equity-indexed annuities," he did not discuss...more

SEC Says Fantasy Stock Trading Violates Securities Laws; Charges Others for Selling Illegal Security-Based Swaps

The SEC issued an Investor Alert which says fantasy stock trading for small amounts of money can violate provisions of securities laws implemented by the Dodd-Frank Act. I bet the Congressional drafters of these provisions...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Unregistered Broker-Dealers

A New York man has agreed to pay almost $4.5 million to settle charges by the SEC that he violated Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act by acting as an unregistered broker-dealer. According to the SEC, starting in 2010 Joshua A....more

California District Court Holds that Internal Tipsters Are Protected Under Dodd-Frank

On May 5, 2015, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No. C-14-5180, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that an internal complaint of an alleged securities law violation is sufficient to...more

Pay-Versus-Performance: SEC's Proposed Rules

On April 29, the SEC proposed rules that would require most publicly traded companies to describe in detail the relationship between their financial performance and executive compensation actually paid. HIGHLIGHTS...more

Having it Both Ways: Does the SEC’s Enforcement Division Guidance on Forum Selection Do Anything More Than Foreshadow Increased...

Earlier this month, the SEC’s Enforcement Division issued its “Approach to Forum Selection in Contested Actions.” This guidance comes at a time of heightened criticism regarding the SEC’s increasing reliance on administrative...more

Pay Versus Performance Rules Proposed by Securities and Exchange Commission

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued another proposed rule under the Dodd-Frank Act, this time with respect to the pay versus performance requirements of Section 953(a) of the Act. ...more

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