FINRA CEO Ketchum Speaks on Strengthening Three Key Aspects of Markets

In his testimony before the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investments in the United States Senate on March 3, 2016, FINRA Chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum spoke about three key aspects of the markets that securities market participants and regulators alike should continually strive to strengthen: market fairness, market transparency, and market liquidity.  Chairman Ketchum … More FINRA CEO Ketchum Speaks on Strengthening Three Key Aspects of Markets

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

SEC Staff May Begin Routine Inspections of Exempt Reporting Advisers

On November 20, 2015, the Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) stated in a speech that OCIE would begin conducting routine examinations of “exempt reporting advisers” that file with the SEC.  These remarks were made in a speech to the ABA Hedge Fund Sub-Committee during the ABA’s Business Law Section … More SEC Staff May Begin Routine Inspections of Exempt Reporting Advisers

The SEC Staff Issued Guidance on Outsourcing Compliance Functions – 5 Questions to Ask

In response to an increase in the number of registered investment advisers outsourcing their compliance function to unaffiliated third parties, the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) created an Outsourced CCO Initiative and conducted 20 inspections of advisers specifically focused on identifying areas of concern and weakness in such arrangements.  On November 9, … More The SEC Staff Issued Guidance on Outsourcing Compliance Functions – 5 Questions to Ask

SEC’s Director of Enforcement Provides Guidance on CCO Liability

On November 4, 2015, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement discussed the Division’s perspective on the role of a registered investment adviser’s chief compliance officer (CCO) and how the Division determines whether to charge a CCO in connection with wrongdoing or compliance failures by his or her firm.  This speech is a “must … More SEC’s Director of Enforcement Provides Guidance on CCO Liability

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