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Category Archives: Investment Adviser Regulation

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SEC Brings 13 Settled Enforcement Proceedings for Failure to File Form PF

Posted in Investment Adviser Regulation, SEC Enforcement

On June 1, 2018 the SEC announced that it entered into settled enforcement proceedings with 13 registered investment advisers. According to the settled orders, the advisers failed to file and update Form PF over multi-year periods, in violation of Rule 204(b)-1 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  Each of the advisers agreed to a… Read More

Retail Client Confusion Regarding Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers: Call Me by Your Name

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

In a speech on May 2, 2018 regarding the SEC’s recent proposed broker-dealer standard of conduct, Jay Clayton, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), commented as follows on retail investor confusion over whether their financial service providers are investment advisers or broker-dealers: “‘Financial advisor,’ ‘financial consultant,’‘wealth manager.’  Your financial professional may have any… Read More

SEC Proposes Simplified Relationship Summary for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers to Use with Retail Investors

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

In the third release comprising part of the package of proposed rules and forms related to broker-dealers’ and investment advisers’ standards of conduct, the SEC proposed a new disclosure document to be used by registered broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, and dual registrants. The new client relationship summary, or “Form CRS,” would provide certain basic disclosures… Read More

Enforcement Issues FAQs on the Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative

Posted in Enforcement, Investment Adviser Regulation, SEC Enforcement

On May 1, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement issued a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to its Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative (“SCSD Initiative”). The SCSD Initiative, which was originally announced February 12, 2018, provides that the Enforcement Division will agree to recommend to the Commission standardized, favorable settlement terms for investment advisers who… Read More

The SEC’s Standard of Conduct Proposals Would Raise the Bar on Investment Advisers

Posted in Investment Adviser Regulation

According to the SEC, its April 18, 2018 release proposing an interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers is intended to “reaffirm – and in some cases clarify – certain aspects of the fiduciary duty that an investment adviser owes to its clients under section 206” of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940…. Read More

Broker-Dealer Standard of Care: The SEC Enters the Fray

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

At an open meeting held earlier today, the SEC voted 4-1 to propose a package of rules, forms, and guidance designed to define a new “best interest” standard of care for broker-dealers dealing with retail investors. The proposal would also require disclosure designed to help retail investors understand their relationship with their investment professionals, and… Read More

OCIE Risk Alert Identifies Key Advisory Fee and Expense Compliance Issues

Posted in Investment Adviser Regulation, SEC Enforcement

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations this week provided investment advisers with a summary of frequent compliance issues related to advisory fees and expenses that the staff is seeing in their examinations of registered investment advisers. The Risk Alert, published April 12, 2018, is the latest in a series of similar alerts published… Read More

Senate Considers Legislation That Would Loosen BDC Restrictions

Posted in Investment Adviser Regulation

On January 18, 2018, the Small Business Credit Availability Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  The Act would amend the Investment Company Act of 1940 to change certain requirements relating to the capital structure of business development companies (BDCs) and direct the Securities… Read More

OCIE Announces Its 2018 Examination Priorities

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Fund Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has published its 2018 examination priorities. Not surprisingly, it will continue to focus on the protection of retail investors and ensuring that registrants are appropriately disclosing or resolving conflicts of interest. In addition, OCIE will pay particular attention to developments in cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). OCIE… Read More

2018: Business As (Un)usual – European Financial & Regulatory Developments into 2018

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Fund Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation, Research

2017 in the UK and the rest of Europe seems to have been primarily a year devoted to implementation – both of political decisions already made and of legislation that had already been enacted.  On the political front, Brexit continued to dominate many conversations around EU financial services.  Theories circulated that EU decisions on various… Read More

10th Annual Structured Products Association Legal, Regulatory & Compliance Update

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Events, Investment Adviser Regulation

Monday, February 5, 2018 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Morrison & Foerster LLP 250 W 55th Street New York, NY 10019 The Structured Products Association and Morrison & Foerster are pleased to host this annual Legal, Regulatory & Compliance Update for friends, clients and members on February 5, 2018. Join us for a timely presentation… Read More

Understanding the Standard of Care for Broker-Dealers and the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

Until recently, broker-dealers operating in the United States weren’t subject to a fiduciary standard when dealing with their retail clients. The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 included a provision enabling the Securities and Exchange Commission to consider and propose a higher standard of care for broker-dealers – something which it has not yet… Read More

SEC Releases Liquidity Rule FAQs

Posted in Fund Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation, SEC Enforcement

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management released this week a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding new Rule 22e-4 (the “Liquidity Rule”). The Liquidity Rule requires non-money market mutual funds and certain exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to adopt and implement a liquidity risk management (LRM) program designed to reduce the risk that… Read More

Treasury Urges Principles-Based Regulation of Money Managers

Posted in Fund Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s report on asset management and insurance recommends, among other things, a delay in implementation of the SEC’s liquidity risk management rule and the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The October 2017 report is the third of four that address the president’s Core Principles to regulate the U.S. financial system,… Read More

SEC Staff Solves Section 28(e)-MiFID II Compliance Conundrum—For Now

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

In a series of three “no-action” letters, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published guidance to address concerns by U.S. broker-dealers and investment advisers about how to comply with Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) rules that limit the use of soft dollars.  Among other things, the Division of Investment Management… Read More

SEC Chairman Clayton Addresses Senate Committee

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation, SEC Enforcement

On September 26, 2017, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton delivered to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs his first testimony as Chairman.  A copy of his prepared remarks may be found here. Mr. Clayton’s testimony was fairly broad in scope, covering a variety of issues of concern to the Committee, from the… Read More

The Fiduciary Rule Poll

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

The US Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary standard rule has been befuddling the financial services industry for the past seven years. In its simplest form, it increases accountability for the brokers, planners and insurance agents that handle US retirement accounts. It introduces measures to ensure they act in the best interest of their clients rather… Read More

Form ADV Amendments: Ready to Go?

Posted in Investment Adviser Regulation

As summer recedes and we head into the autumn, investment advisers are in the home stretch of preparations for Form ADV reporting and disclosure changes that become effective October 1, 2017. The amendments, which were adopted in August 2016, require registered investment advisers to provide additional information regarding separately managed accounts and impose new disclosure… Read More

OCIE Spots Issues and Alerts Registered Advisers on Most Frequent Advertising Compliance Problems

Posted in Investment Adviser Regulation

On September 14, 2017, the National Exam Program of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) published a Risk Alert outlining registered investment adviser compliance issues relating to Rule 206(4)-1 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”).  According to OCIE, these issues were most frequently identified in SEC deficiency letters… Read More

DOL Proposes to Defer Full Implementation of its Fiduciary Rule Until July 1, 2019

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

In April 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a rule that significantly expands the category of persons deemed fiduciaries when providing investment recommendations to most retail retirement accounts (the “Fiduciary Rule”). On August 31, 2017, the DOL published a proposal to defer full implementation of the Fiduciary Rule until July 1, 2019.1  Persons… Read More

OCIE Provides Insight into Issues Identified in Recent Cybersecurity Sweep

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Cybersecurity/Privacy, Fund Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

The National Exam Program of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) recently published its observations from the second generation of its Cybersecurity Initiative. It reported overall improvement in firms’ cybersecurity awareness and preparedness, but said there is plenty of room for improvement. The staff noted that many firms have failed to adopt procedures reasonably… Read More

Division of Investment Management Eases Compliance Deadline for New ADV Filing Requirement

Posted in Investment Adviser Regulation, SEC Enforcement

Currently pending amendments to Form ADV have a compliance date of October 1, 2017 and, as of that date, an adviser filing an initial Form ADV or an amendment to an existing Form ADV must use the revised Form ADV. In an August 2017 “Information Update,” the staff of the Division of Investment Management gave… Read More

The Guide to Social Media and the Securities Laws

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

The growing use of social media has created challenges for federal securities regulators, who must enforce antifraud rules that were written at a time when the prevailing technology was the newspaper. This Guide summarizes how regulation has evolved in the face of the growing use of social media.  Our guide discusses the principal areas of… Read More

Does a Proposal for Further Delay in Implementation of the DOL Fiduciary Rule Suggest Major Changes Are Coming?

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation

On August 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposal to delay until July 1, 2019 the implementation date for those portions of the DOL’s fiduciary rule that are not currently applicable.  The fiduciary rule was originally adopted by the DOL in April 2016,… Read More