March 4, 2019

SEC Staff Grants No-Action Relief Regarding Board In-Person Voting Requirements

On February 28, 2019, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management (Staff) issued a no-action letter regarding in-person voting requirements for fund boards with respect to certain actions, such as renewing or approving an investment advisory contract or principal underwriting contract, approving an interim advisory contract, selecting an independent public accountant, or renewing or approving a fund’s 12b-1 distribution plan (“Required Approvals”). In this regard, the Staff agreed not to recommend enforcement action to the SEC for violations of Sections 12(b), 15(c) and 32(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”), or Rules 12b-1 or 15a-4(b)(2) under the 1940 Act, if fund boards do not adhere to certain in-person voting requirements in certain circumstances.

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February 15, 2019

SEC’s Division of Investment Management Issues Information Update Regarding Updated Forms

On February 1, 2019, the staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued an Information Update to indicate that several forms (e.g., Forms N-1A, N-2, N-14 and N-CSR) on the SEC website have been updated to reflect amendments recently adopted by the SEC.

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February 15, 2019

Former SEC Economists File Comment Letter Criticizing Economic Analysis Underlying Regulation Best Interest Rule Proposal

On February 6, 2019, a group of 11 former SEC senior economists filed a comment letter criticizing the economic analysis underlying the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest Rule Proposal, which consists of three related rules aimed at reforming the way registered investment advisers and broker-dealers service retail customers.

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February 15, 2019

Federal Court Dismisses Excessive Fee Case Against Blackrock

On February 8, 2019, a U.S. federal court in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2014 alleging that BlackRock breached its fiduciary duty by receiving excessive investment advisory fees from two mutual funds, in violation of Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. The suit by shareholders…

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February 15, 2019

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert Highlighting Risks and Issues Associated With Transfer Agents Also Serving as Paying Agents

On February 13, 2019, the staff of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a Risk Alert that (1) highlights risks and issues associated with paying agent1 activities, (2) identifies significant exam deficiencies related to the safeguarding of funds and securities by paying agents and (3) provides a listing of some common features of robust safeguarding policies, procedures and controls for paying agents

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December 17, 2018

SEC Adopts FAIR Act Rules Promoting Research Reports on Investment Funds

On November 30, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a new rule under the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act), Rule 139b, to extend the current safe harbor under Rule 139 to a “covered investment fund research report.” The SEC adopted Rule 139b to promote research on qualifying investment funds in furtherance of the mandate in the Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017 (FAIR Act), which required the SEC to expand the current safe harbor under Rule 139 to cover research reports on qualifying investment funds.

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November 15, 2018

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert Announcing Examination Initiatives Focused on Registered Investment Companies

On November 8, 2018, the staff of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a Risk Alert indicating that it is conducting a series of examination initiatives focused on matters relevant to certain mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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November 1, 2018

SEC Staff Issues Risk Alert Regarding Investment Adviser Compliance Issues Related to the Cash Solicitation Rule

On October 31, 2018, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) staff issued a Risk Alert regarding Rule 206(4)-3 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Cash Solicitation Rule).

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November 1, 2018

SEC Director of Investment Management Dalia Blass Delivers Keynote Address at the ICI Securities Law Developments Conference

On October 25, 2018, the SEC’s Director of the Division of Investment Management (Division), Dalia Blass, delivered a speech at the Investment Company Institute (ICI) Securities Law Developments Conference.

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November 1, 2018

SEC Director of Investment Management Dalia Blass Delivers Remarks at IDC – 2018 Fund Directors Conference

On October 16, 2018, the SEC’s Director of the Division of Investment Management (Division), Dalia Blass, delivered a speech at the Independent Directors Council (IDC) 2018 Fund Directors Conference.

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