Compliance Bricks and Mortar for October 27

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

SEC Names Peter B. Driscoll as Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations

Mr. Driscoll was named as OCIE’s first Chief Risk and Strategy Officer in March 2016 after previously serving as OCIE’s Managing Executive from February 2013 through February 2016. He first joined the Commission as a summer legal intern in the Chicago Regional Office in 2000. He rejoined the SEC in 2001 as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement and was later a Branch Chief and Assistant Regional Director in OCIE’s Investment Adviser and Investment Company examination program. [More…]

It’s Nasdaq now; no longer NASDAQ.

  • References to “NASDAQ” will be changed to “Nasdaq”
  •  References to “The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC” or “NASDAQ Stock Market LLC” will be changed to “The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC”

President Trump Signs Bill Directing SEC to Expand Safe Harbor for Certain Investment Fund Research Reports

The amended Rule will expand the safe harbor for research reports that are not deemed to be “offers” for purposes of Section 5 of the 1933 Act, or prohibited activities for purposes of Rule 101 of Regulation M, to include the publication or distribution of research reports relating to “covered investment funds.” Covered investment funds include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), exchange-traded managed funds (ETMFs) and publicly traded commodity pools that invest primarily in commodities, currencies, or derivative instruments that reference commodities or currencies. [More…]

Congress Is Doing A Huge Favor For BofA While No One Else Watches by Zach Carter and Ben Walsh

House and Senate committees will consider an obscure bill called the “Fair Access to Investment Research Act” on Thursday. It will not be a major media event. The bill, which will likely sail through Congress, will not cause a new financial crisis, bar millions from accessing health insurance or undermine any foreign policy alliances. But it will help one company — Bank of America — make money by avoiding lawsuits. [More…]

Senate votes to repeal CFPB arbitration rule in win for financial institutions by Ian McKendry

The rule, which was released in July, would have prevented banks, credit unions and other lenders from requiring customers use the arbitration process to resolve disputes, stopping them from filing class-action lawsuits. To overturn it, Senate Republicans used an obscure legislative process called the Congressional Review Act which allows lawmakers to overturn a recently finalized rule by a majority vote. Even then, however, the vote was close.[more…]

Congress Makes It Harder to Sue the Financial Industry by Andrew Ackerman and Yuka Hayashi

The 51-50 vote handed the financial industry its most significant legislative victory since President Donald Trump took office and was a rebuke of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, who pressed ahead with his agenda in defiance of Republicans. [More…]

SEC Announces Measures to Facilitate Cross-Border Implementation of the European Union’s MiFID II’s Research Provisions

The no-action relief provides a path for market participants to comply with the research requirements of MiFID II in a manner that is consistent with the U.S. federal securities laws. More specifically, and subject to various terms and conditions: (1) broker-dealers, on a temporary basis, may receive research payments from money managers in hard dollars or from advisory clients’ research payment accounts; (2) money managers may continue to aggregate orders for mutual funds and other clients; and (3) money managers may continue to rely on an existing safe harbor when paying broker-dealers for research and brokerage. [More…]

The 10 Most Popular M&A Project Names of 2016

There is nothing more obvious and trite than using Phoenix for your restructuring or bankruptcy project, though I’m sure all of those companies will undoubtedly ‘rise from the ashes,’ thanks to the magic of their advisory team. Everyone must realize there are plenty more deal names in the sea. Let’s try and break the pattern of using the same colors, birds, rare stones and mythic beasts. You can use our M&A project name generator to help you. [More…]

Admissions in SEC Enforcement Cases: The Revolution that Wasn’t By David Rosenfeld

Four years on, it’s safe to say that the critics’ worst fears have failed to materialize. The SEC’s enforcement program remains robust, and the agency continues to report record enforcement numbers. But the success of the admissions policy is open to question for several reasons. First, the SEC has actually obtained admissions in only a very small number of cases. Consistent with what the SEC stated at the outset – that admissions would only be required in egregious cases and no-admit/no-deny would otherwise continue to be the norm – the policy of requiring admissions has been used sparingly. There are various metrics for assessing the admissions ratio, but even under the most generous measures, since inception of the policy, admissions have been obtained in settlements with well under 3 percent of the individuals and entities charged over that period, and by other measures the figure drops to well under 2 percent. Most SEC cases continue to settle (rather than go to trial), and the overwhelming majority of those cases are still settled on a no-admit/no-deny basis. [More…]