Running a Broker-Dealer Firm: What’s Culture Got To Do With It?

FINRA has placed a renewed focus on “firm culture” and its “profound influence on how a broker-dealer conducts its business,” as stated in its February targeted exam letter, titled “Establishing, Communicating and Implementing Cultural Values.” The letter aligns with FINRA’s 2016 Regulatory Examinations and Priority Letter, which states that “firm culture, ethics and conflicts of … More Running a Broker-Dealer Firm: What’s Culture Got To Do With It?

Can parties expect changes to FINRA Arbitration? Arbitrators can.

On December 16th, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) posted the final report prepared by FINRA’s Arbitration Task Force, which was assigned the responsibility of reviewing FINRA’s arbitration and mediation forum for areas of improvement. The task force, formed in July 2014, consisted of 13 individuals from the public and industry sectors who met regularly … More Can parties expect changes to FINRA Arbitration? Arbitrators can.

Happy Anniversary Newman – Part II

When does a friendship give rise to personal benefit? S.E.C. v. McGinnis – order denying Defendants’ MSJ entered on Sept. 23, 2015 The SEC alleges that McGinnis, the tipper, received a personal benefit from Pugatch, the tippee, because Pugatch provided McGinnis “with a number of benefits in exchange for material nonpublic information including his friendship, … More Happy Anniversary Newman – Part II

Happy Anniversary Newman! Part I

In December 2014, the Second Circuit’s decision in U.S. v. Newman addressed two major issues that have changed the analysis in insider trading cases.  773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir. 2014).  First, it substantially reduced the potential liability of remote tippees by holding that a tippee cannot be convicted unless the tippee “knows of the personal benefit received … More Happy Anniversary Newman! Part I

Top 10 Things to Know About the SEC’s Equity Crowdfunding Rules

Last week the SEC approved Title III, thereby giving non-accredited investors (those who have a net worth of less than $1 million, including spouse, and those who earned less than $200,000 annually or $300,000 with spouse in the last two years) the opportunity to invest in start-up companies in early 2016. Ideally, opening the gates to non-accredited investors will … More Top 10 Things to Know About the SEC’s Equity Crowdfunding Rules

It’s Time to Open the Gates for Equity Crowdfunding

On October 26, 2015, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will consider whether to adopt rules and forms under Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, what has become known as the “Crowdfund Act.” Three years ago, President Obama signed into law the JOBS Act, which is comprised of seven … More It’s Time to Open the Gates for Equity Crowdfunding

SEC Proposes Rule to Help 90 Million Mutual Fund Investors Cash Out Under Market Stress

On September 22nd, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to propose a “comprehensive package of rule reforms designed to enhance effective liquidity risk management by open-end funds, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.” The SEC’s plan aims to supplement the limited regulatory regime over fund liquidity by outlining disclosure requirements for portfolio liquidity and limits … More SEC Proposes Rule to Help 90 Million Mutual Fund Investors Cash Out Under Market Stress

FINRA’s 6 “Smart” Questions for Smart Beta

On September 23, 2015, FINRA issued an investor alert about smart beta indexes, “essentially any index that is based on measures other than weighting by market capitalization.”  Unlike the most widely known indexes, such as S&P 500, which use a company’s market capitalization to establish an index, smart beta indexes rely on alternative methodologies, such … More FINRA’s 6 “Smart” Questions for Smart Beta