November 12, 2021

SEC Division of Examinations Issues Risk Alert on Investment Adviser Fee Calculations

On November 10, 2021, the staff (Staff) of the SEC’s Division of Examinations (Division) issued a Risk Alert (Risk Alert or 2021 Risk Alert) based on observations from the Division’s recently concluded national initiative (Initiative) that focused on advisory fees charged by registered investment advisers. The Staff conducted…

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November 11, 2021

SEC Division of Examinations Staff Issues Risk Alert for Advisers that Provide Electronic Investment Advice

On November 9, 2021, the staff of the SEC’s Division of Examinations (Staff) issued a risk alert highlighting common compliance issues that it observed while conducting examinations of advisers that provide automated digital investment advisory services, also known as robo-advisory services (Alert). During each exam,…

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September 30, 2021

SEC Approves NYSE Arca Rule Change That Allows Semi-Transparent Active ETFs to Use Custom Baskets

On September 24, 2021, the NYSE Arca, Inc. (Exchange) obtained approval from the SEC to implement a rule change that allows semi-transparent active exchange-traded funds (ST ETFs)1 to use custom baskets of securities, consistent with an ST ETF’s exemptive relief under the Investment Company Act of…

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May 26, 2021

NYSE Arca Receives Approval for Proposed Rule Change to Exempt Funds from Shareholder Approval Requirements in Connection with Certain Acquisitions

On May 14, 2021, the NYSE Arca, Inc. (NYSE Arca) received approval from the SEC to implement a proposed rule change to exclude certain listed funds, including ETFs, from a requirement in NYSE Arca’s corporate governance rules (Rule 5.3-E(d)(9)) to obtain shareholder approvals for the issuance of securities…

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May 20, 2021

SEC Issues Statement on Funds Investing in Bitcoin Futures

In a statement issued on May 11, 2021 (Statement), the staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management (IM) addressed their concerns arising under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder with funds investing in Bitcoin futures.  The IM staff noted its understanding that certain mutual funds are…

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March 15, 2021

Additional Semi-Transparent ETF Sponsor Receives Amended Exemptive Relief to Use “Custom Baskets”

The SEC recently granted amended exemptive relief for Blue Tractor, a sponsor of semi-transparent ETFs (ST ETFs), to permit ST ETFs that rely on Blue Tractor’s relief to create and redeem creation units with authorized participants (APs) in exchange for “custom baskets” (Amended Relief). This relief is similar to amended…

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March 5, 2021

Mutual Fund Sponsor Receives Approval for First Mutual Fund to ETF Conversion

Two mutual funds advised by Guinness-Atkinson, Guinness Atkinson Asia Pacific Dividend Builder Fund and Guinness Atkinson Dividend Builder Fund (Guinness Atkinson Funds), recently received a declaration of effectiveness from the SEC on a Form N-14 registration statement to convert into SmartETFs Asia Pacific Dividend Builder ETF and SmartETFs Dividend Builder…

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February 11, 2021

Two Semi-Transparent ETF Sponsors Receive Amended Exemptive Relief to Use “Custom Baskets”

On February 9, 2021, the SEC granted amended exemptive relief for two sponsors of semi-transparent ETFs (ST ETFs) to permit these ST ETFs to create and redeem creation units with authorized participants (APs) in exchange for “custom baskets” (Amended Relief). ST ETFs are ETFs that generally do not disclose their full portfolio holdings each day before trading begins on the stock exchange where they are listed. The Amended Relief was granted in response to separate applications filed by Invesco and Natixis relates to “proxy portfolio” ST ETFs. Rather than disclosing its entire portfolio, a proxy portfolio ST ETF discloses a portfolio of other securities and assets that are intended to be highly correlated with the ST ETF’s portfolio securities.

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February 8, 2021

Independent Directors Council Submits Comment Letter on Federal Trade Commission’s Proposed Amendments to Premerger Notification Requirements

The Independent Directors Council (IDC) recently submitted a comment letter on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) notice of proposed amendments to the premerger notification rules (Proposed Amendments).  These rules govern premerger notification filings that the FTC uses to determine in advance whether transactions are likely to be anticompetitive under the…

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December 30, 2020

Invesco Receives Relief from the SEC to Launch Semi-Transparent ETFs

Invesco Capital Management LLC (Invesco) recently received exemptive relief from the SEC to launch semi-transparent, actively-managed ETFs registered under the 1940 Act (ST ETFs) that follow a “proxy portfolio” model.  ST ETFs are ETFs that generally do not disclose their full portfolio holdings each day before the open of trading. …

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