March 28, 2017
Client Alert: SEC Adopts T+2 Settlement Cycle for Securities Transactions
On March 22, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted an amendment to Rule 15c6-1(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), shortening the standard settlement cycle (i.e., the length of time between trade execution and delivery of cash and securities to the seller and buyer) for…
May 27, 2016
FINRA Proposes Immediately Effective Clarifications to the Debt Research Rule
FINRA proposed amendments (SR-FINRA-2016-017) to the debt research rule (FINRA Rule 2242 – Debt Research Analysts and Debt Research Reports), which addresses conflicts of interest relating to the publication and distribution of debt research reports. The proposed amendments clarify the application of the rule in four respects: (1) The consent requirement for institutional debt research reports distributed to non-U.S. investors by non-U.S. affiliates of broker-dealers; (2) The consent requirement for institutional debt research reports distributed to specified persons for informational purposes unrelated to investing in debt securities; (3) The scope of the institutional debt research report exemption when distributing third-party debt research reports to eligible institutional investors; and (4) The disclosure requirements for debt research analysts in public appearances.
July 27, 2015
FINRA Comments on DOL Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Proposals
On July 17, 2015, FINRA submitted comments on the DOL’s April 14, 2015 proposals, which included amendments to the definition of “fiduciary,” a proposed best interest contract exemption, and a proposed exemption for principal transactions in certain debt securities. FINRA’s comments support the implementation of a best interest standard for…
July 7, 2015
SIFMA Proposes “Best Interests of the Customer” Standard for Broker-Dealers
On June 3, 2015, SIFMA proposed a “best interestsof the customer” standard that would apply to broker-dealers and therecommendations issued to any of their individual retail customers about anybrokerage accounts. SIFMA’s proposal wasin response to an April 14, 2015 definition proposal by the Department of Labor(“DOL”) about who is considered a fiduciary under ERISA, and the DOL’s carve-outfrom their proposed definition for broker-dealers who service IRA accounts. SIFMA’sstandard articulates its support for a move toward a uniform “Best Interests ofthe Customer” standard for broker-dealers.
June 12, 2015
FINRA Seeks Comment on Concept Proposal to Restructure Qualification Examination Program
On May 27, 2015, FINRA issued a request for comment on a concept proposal to restructure the current representative-level qualification examination program. In an effort to reduce the content overlap across the representative-level examinations and requirements for individuals in various segments of the industry, the new format would consist of a general knowledge examination (the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or “SIE”) and an appropriate specialized examination to reflect each particular registered role.
October 7, 2014
NYSE GROUP TO REENGAGE ITS SURVEILLANCE, INVESTIGATION AND ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
On October 6, 2014, the NYSE Group announced that it will not renew its contract with FINRA for the surveillance, investigations and enforcement program related to its exchanges. The contract with FINRA expires on December 31, 2015.
October 3, 2014
FINRA BOARD BUSY AT SEPTEMBER MEETING—FOCUS ON HFT
The September Board meeting of FINRA had a full agenda. The primary focus was on high frequency trading and equity market transparency. One of the more controversial proposal is a new series of registration for persons who set algorithmic strategies. Also on the docket was a new recruiting proposal which…
July 29, 2014
FINRA Bars Broker for Alleged Insider Trading of Japanese Stock
FINRA has barred former equity trader Kenneth Ronald Allen from associating with any FINRA member for allegedly selling short Japanese stock based on inside information. FINRA alleged that Allen, a former equity trader with First New York Securities LLC, acted on a tip containing material, non-public information received from a corporate insider when he traded Japanese securities in September 2010.
July 21, 2014
Sneak Peek at 2015 Exam Priorities
At a recent luncheon with securities industry compliance and legal professionals, the National Associate Director of the SEC’s broker-dealer examination program, Kevin Goodman, reportedly provided a “sneak peek” on areas of focus for the SEC’s upcoming examination priorities for the year 2015.
May 1, 2014
SEC Charges NYSE
On May 1, 2014, the SEC announced an enforcement action against the New York Stock Exchange, two affiliated exchanges and the New York Stock Exchange’s affiliated routing broker, Archipelago Securities. The exchanges and Archipelago Securities are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. From 2008 to 2012, the exchanges failed to…