March 31, 2014

SEC Chairman White Speaks About Her Agency’s All-Encompassing Enforcement Efforts

SEC Chairman Mary Jo White spoke at the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society Annual Seminar in Orlando, Florida, about the SEC’s “all-encompassing enforcement” efforts. The three prongs of these efforts are the use of criminal, civil and regulatory tools to enforce the securities laws. Her speech focused on the criminal prong.

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March 31, 2014

SEC’s Division of Investment Management Issues Guidance Update on Testimonial Rule and Social Media

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued guidance, including a list of Q&As, on the testimonial rule and social media in its March 2014 IM Guidance Update. The Guidance Update focuses on an investment adviser’s use of social media and its publication of advertisements that feature public commentary about the adviser that appears on independent, third-party social media sites. It is designed to assist advisers in applying Section 206(4) of the Advisers Act and Rule 206(4)-1(a)(1) thereunder to their use of social media.

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March 17, 2014

Investment Management Director Champ Speaks at ICI Mutual Funds Conference

Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, spoke at the ICI’s 2014 Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference in Orlando, Florida about a variety of topics.

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March 14, 2014

Private Fund Adviser Found to Have Mislead Investors in Connection with Fund Purchases of Pre-IPO Stock

Frank Mazzola, Felix Investments, LLC, a brokerage firm, and Felix Advisors, LLC, an investment adviser, settled fraud charges that were brought by the SEC in a matter involving the purchase shares of Facebook and other technology companies prior to their initial public offerings.

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March 6, 2014

SEC Issues No-Action Letter Addressing Non-Shareholder Approval of a Sub-Advisory Contract

The SEC granted no-action relief under Section 15(a) of the 1940 Act to RS Global Natural Resources Fund, SailingStone Capital Partners LLC (SailingStone) and RS Investment Management Co. LLC. (Adviser) permitting the Adviser to enter into an interim sub-advisory agreement with SailingStone that had not been approved by the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

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March 4, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Expands the Scope of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections

The U. S. Supreme Court in Lawson v. FMR LLC held that the whistleblower protections in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act extend to employees of privately held contractors and sub-contractors of publicly traded companies. In doing so, the Court reversed the holding of a lower court that ruled the Act only applied to direct employees of the publicly-held company.

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March 3, 2014

OCIE Unveils National Exam Analytics Tool

OCIE, the inspection arm of the SEC, recently unveiled its National Exam Analytics Tool or "NEAT."  NEAT was developed by its Quantitative Analytics Unit, which is part of OCIE’s National Exam Program.  With NEAT, OCIE examiners are able to access and systematically analyze massive amounts of trading data from firms in a fraction of the time it has taken in years past. In one recent exam, an exam team used NEAT to analyze in 36 hours literally 17 million transactions executed by one investment adviser.

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