October 26, 2017
SEC STAFF RELEASES GUIDANCE FOR U.S. MARKET PARTICIPANTS REGARDING U.S. REGULATED ACTIVITIES AND COMPLIANCE WITH MIFID II
The U.S. regulatory framework has presented challenges to market participants that must also structure their practices to comply with the implementation of Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending Directive 2002/92/EC and Directive 2011/61/EU ("MiFID II"), which takes effect on January 3, 2018. On October 26, 2017, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued three related no-action letters that are designed to provide market participants with greater certainty regarding their U.S. regulated activities as they engage in efforts to comply with the MiFID II.
October 24, 2017
In May 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued final rules under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence requirements. These new rules generally apply to financial institutions, including brokers or dealers in securities and mutual funds. The rules explicitly require certain due diligence efforts, as well as require the identification and verification of the identity of all beneficial owners of legal entity customers, subject to certain exceptions.
October 24, 2017
September 27, 2017
In a no-action letter dated September 22, 2017 (the "September 2017 Letter"), the Office of Chief Counsel of the SEC's Division of Investment Management (the "Staff") extended the temporary assurances it previously provided to a fund group (the "fund"), where in response to the fund's request in June 2016, the Staff stated that it would not recommend enforcement action against the fund if it continued to fulfill its regulatory requirements by using the audit services of a non-compliant auditing firm under the circumstances represented by the fund.
September 15, 2017
Risk Alert on the Most Frequent Advertising Rule Compliance Issues Identified in OCIE Examinations of Investment Advisers
The SEC has released a Risk Alert on those compliance issues that were most frequently identified in deficiency letters recently sent to SEC-registered investment advisers. The Risk Alert is also based on findings from the SEC’s 2016 Touting Initiative, which examined the adequacy of disclosures that advisers provided to their clients when touting awards, promoting ranking lists, and/or identifying professional designations (“accolades”) in their marketing materials, and which was launched in response to the regularity with which the Staff had encountered advisers that advertised these accolades without disclosing material facts about them.
September 5, 2017
In order to review and possibly revise the advice fiduciary rule, the Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed extending the existing transition period under the rule's exemptions until July 1, 2019.
September 4, 2017
Dalia Blass has been named Director of the Division of Investment Management. The Division oversees and regulates the multi-trillion dollar investment management industry. It is responsible for the regulation of investment companies, variable insurance products, and federally registered investment advisers.
August 25, 2017
As a reminder, an investment adviser registered or required to be registered with the SEC (each, an "Adviser") filing an initial Form ADV or an amendment to an existing Form ADV on or after October 1, 2017, will be required to use an amended Form ADV (the "Amended Form"), as further described in our Memorandum entitled "SEC Adopts Rules to Enhance Information Reported by Investment Advisers." In anticipation of the effective date, highlighted below are certain considerations presented by the Amended Form:
August 23, 2017
August 18, 2017
The SEC has created a landing page for “Cybersecurity” on its website. This webpage provides a general overview of the steps that the SEC is taking to address cyber threats. Importantly, the webpage provides resources concerning the applicable regulations that address cybersecurity practices for the following respective market participants: Investors Issuers / Public Companies Investment Advisers / Investment Companies Brokers and Dealers Self-Regulatory Organizations