Compliance Bricks and Mortar for May 5

These are some of the compliance-related stories that recently caught my attention.

House Panel Approves Plan to Undo Parts of Dodd-Frank Financial Law by Rachel Witkowski

The House Financial Services Committee launched a Republican-supported rollback of Obama-era financial regulations, voting 34-26 along party lines Thursday for a plan to undo significant parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

The committee vote sent the Financial Choice Act to the full House, where it likely will be approved in the coming weeks. [More…]

SEC Staff Reports On “Real Estate Funds”, But What Exactly Are They? by Keith Paul Bishop

The SEC gathers the data from Form PFs.  You are required to file a Form PF if, among other things, you manage a “private fund”.  The Form PF does require disclosures from “real estate funds” and it defines these as “any private fund that is not a hedge fund, that does not provide investors with redemption rights in the ordinary course and that invests primarily in real estate and real estate related assets.”  A “private fund” is defined as “Any issuer that would be an investment company as defined in section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 but for section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of that Act.”  Notably missing from the definition of “private fund” is a fund that relies on the exclusion in section 3(c)(5) of the ICA but not either section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7).   [More…]

SEC Probes Solar Companies Over Disclosure of Customer Cancellations by Kirsten Grind

The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining whether San Francisco-based Sunrun Inc. RUN -0.63% and Elon Musk’s San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity Corp. have adequately disclosed how many customers have canceled contracts after signing up for a home solar-energy system, the person said. Investors use that cancellation metric as one way to gauge the companies’ health. Companies typically give customers a few days after signing a contract, or even up until the time of installation, to back out of a deal. [More…]

Trump Pick for SEC Chairman Assembling Top Agency Staff by Dave Michaels

Mr. Clayton has considered at least two well-known defense attorneys for enforcement director, typically the SEC’s highest-profile staff position. The lawyers include Steven Peikin, a former prosecutor who works with Mr. Clayton at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Mr. Peikin represented Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in its dealings with prosecutors and SEC lawyers over claims a former member of its board, Rajat Gupta, had leaked inside information to a hedge-fund manager. . . .Another candidate for the top enforcement job is Matthew Martens, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, who was the SEC’s top trial attorney from 2010 to 2013. [More…]

In S.E.C.’s Streamlined Court, Penalty Exerts a Lasting Grip by Gretchen Morgensen

A money manager settled his case with the S.E.C. thinking he could go back to work in a year. Nearly five years later, he is still waiting.

Mr. Wanger, who now calls himself the $2,200 Man on a website he has created, said his experience with the S.E.C.’s in-house court system did not feel like he was in America. “I’ve spent the last seven years fighting for the right to defend myself in a real court in front of a real judge,” he said. “Constitutional rights have no meaning unless you’re willing to extend them to people you don’t necessarily like. [More..]