The SEC Really Means It About Pretaliation Severance Agreements

In case you were not clear that the Securities and Exchange Commission is serious about enforcing Rule 21F-17, BlackRock is the latest to run the perp walk. The SEC accused the money management giant of improperly using separation agreements that forced employees to waive their ability to obtain whistleblower awards. The SEC adopted Rule 21F-17, which provides in […]

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SEC’s 2017 Exam Priorities

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission issued the 2017 priorities for the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. There are five main items on the list, plus some others. Private funds are still on the list. Retail Investors – Roboadvisers wrap fee programs ETFs – redemption and sales practices Never-before examined Recidivist Multi-branch -(Are […]

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A New Level of Compliance Officer Concern: Getting Arrested

Oliver Schmidt is the former top emissions compliance manager for Volkswagen in the United States. The FBI arrested him on Saturday as part of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. He was denied bail, pending a court appearance later this week. Perhaps, the case is not one of a compliance officer missing a problem, but a compliance […]

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Clayton, Jay
Sullivan & Cromwell

The New Administration’s Pick for the Chair of the SEC

Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton is slotted to head the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Trump administration. This is a big change from Chair White whose background was in prosecution. Chair White had a long list of prosecutions from serving a decade as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. (She […]

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The Latest Word on the SEC’s Administrative Judges

There have been several challenges to the constitutionality of the in-house administrative judges at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The problem is that the judges are appointed by an internal panel instead of by the President or the SEC Commissioners. The SEC has fended off attacks. Now there is break in wall. The 10th Circuit found […]

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Draining the Swamp?

One of the rallying cries for President-elect Trump was to drain the swamp of corruption. Compliance professionals could think of many things that could happen to remove conflicts or the appearance of conflicts. Personally, as a compliance professional and a voter, I was disappointed to learn that Hillary Clinton did a poor job of walling […]

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holiday 2016

Happy Holidays from Compliance Building

I hope you are having a happy and joyous holiday season. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, Feast of Winter Veil, Saturnalia, or New Year’s Eve, I hope you get to spend some extra time with friends and family during this last week of 2016. Doug    

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Return of the Whistleblower

It’s been a busy week for whistleblower cases. The latest is a case against SandRidge Energy for using severance agreements that impeded employees from contacting the Securities and Exchange Commission. In response to Dodd-Frank, the SEC adopted Rule 21F-17 in August 2011, which provides: (a) No person may take any action to impede an individual […]

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Whistle blower

The SEC Strikes Back Again on Whistleblower Pretaliation

Compliance officers need to take a look at severance agreements. The Securities and Exchange has blown up another company for including provisions in its severance agreements that may have impeded employees from communicating information to the SEC. NeuStar Inc. used severance agreements that contained a broad non-disparagement clause forbidding former employees from engaging “in any communication […]

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custody and private funds

Co-investments and Conflicts

I have seen a few indications from the Securities and Exchange Commission showing that examiners are concerned about co-investments. I have yet to see a large over-arching activity in the industry that has been identified as problematic. I saw an action last week for a fund advisor related to co-investments so it caught my eye. Upon […]

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