Grant Vingoe

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The Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be holding its first meeting starting at 9:30 am Eastern Time on May 13, 2015 to discuss the impact of SEC Rule 611 of Regulation NMS — the SEC’s “order protection” or “trade-through” Rule — on US equity market structure. The SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets has prepared, and made publicly available,  a background memorandum on the history and effects of Rule 611.…
On May 6, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a joint plan to be entered into by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the US exchanges for implementing a pilot test to analyze the effects of wider minimum quotation increments on market quality for stocks of smaller companies. The tick test pilot will begin within one year – by May 6, 2016, and will last two years (originally proposed to be one year).…
On April 14th, the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a release requesting comment on a proposed rule designed to mitigate the effects of conflicts of interest by advisers to IRA and 401(k) accounts — the principal types of US self-directed retirement plans. The comment period for the proposal ends on July 6, 2015, and a hearing is contemplated within 30 days after the close of the comment period. If implemented, many retirement advisers, including…
On February 23, 2015, the White House announced that President Obama has directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to move forward with proposed rulemaking to require advisers, including broker-dealers, that provide advice regarding retirement plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), to observe a fiduciary standard in rendering advice. Drawing a comparison to mortgage abuses during the financial crisis leading to the establishment of the…
On January 13, 2015, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its 2015 examination priorities. OCIE’s priorities are grouped in three primary categories: 1. Retail investors and savings for retirement Fee selection and reverse churning. For investment advisers and firms registered as both broker-dealers and investment advisers, recommendations of account types and fee arrangements at the inception of the relationship and on a continuing basis,…
On January 13, 2015, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its 2015 examination priorities: OCIE’s priorities are grouped in three primary categories: 1. Retail investors and savings for retirement Fee selection and reverse churning. For investment advisers and firms registered as both broker-dealers and investment advisers, recommendations of account types and fee arrangements at the inception of the relationship and on a continuing basis,…
On November 18, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued Release No. 34-73622 requesting comment on amendments to NASD Rule 2711 governing equity research analysts and research reports. The proposal creates a new section entitled “Identifying and Managing Conflicts of Interest” containing an overarching provision that: requires members to establish, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and effectively manage conflicts of interest related to the preparation, content and distribution…
On November 18, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued Release No. 34-73623 requesting comment on proposed Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 2242 addressing conflicts of interest and disclosure obligations relating to the publication and distribution of debt research reports.  The purpose of the proposed rule is to provide retail recipients of debt research with conflict of interest protections and disclosures generally similar to those mandated for equity research under current and proposed…
On November 19, 2014, the SEC adopted Regulation SCI – Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity, to require: national securities exchanges alternative trading systems that exceed defined volume thresholds (but excluding ATSs limited to municipal securities and corporate debt) registered clearing agencies quotation and last sale reporting processors, and certain exempt clearing agencies whose exemptions were conditioned on compliance with the SEC’s Automation Review Policy, which was superseded by this Regulation The purpose of Regulation SCI…
Non-US marketplaces have struggled with how, in an electronic trading environment, to adequately ensure that securities transactions taking place outside of the US comply with applicable exemptions from registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (1933 Act). Regulation S under the 1933 Act provides a conditional “safe harbor” establishing conditions under which offshore offers and sales will not trigger US registration requirements. One of the requirements for Category 1 transactions under Regulation S is that…