Latest Articles

On January 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a proposed order to improve the governance of National Market System (NMS) data plans that produce consolidated equity market data and disseminate trade and quote data. Currently, the equities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (the Participants) together collect, consolidate and disseminate information regarding trades and quotes in NMS stocks pursuant to three separate national market system plans.…
On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amendments (the Proposal) to the definition of “accredited investor” for purposes of private placements under Regulation D and the definition of “qualified institutional buyer” in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933. The Proposal is intended to update and improve the definitions of those terms in order to more effectively identify both institutional and individual investors with the sophistication to participate in private…
On November 25, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets issued guidance intended to facilitate certain substituted compliance applications submitted by non-US security-based swap dealers and/or major security-based swap participants (Guidance). …
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is requesting public comment on a proposed rule that generally would prohibit registered persons from serving as a customer’s beneficiary, executor or trustee, or holding a power of attorney or similar position for or on behalf of a customer. The proposed rule also would provide two exceptions from this general prohibition, including (1) instances in which the customer is a member of the registered person’s immediate family and (2)…
On November 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission extended temporary no-action relief to firms that are regulated in the United States in connection with their efforts to comply with the research provisions of the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). Under the extension, the SEC staff will not recommend enforcement action under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 against broker-dealers receiving payments in hard dollars or through research payment accounts from…
On October 16, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published its 2019 Report on Examination Findings and Observations (Report). Unlike previous years, the Report delineates between examination “findings” and examination “observations.” “Findings” describe violations of a rule or regulation, whereas “observations” refer to suggestions regarding how firms can improve controls and mitigate risk. The annual Report summarizes various findings and observations from recent examinations of its member firms on a range of topics, including the…
On October 18, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 19-34 (Notice) regarding the annual compliance meeting (ACM) requirement in Rule 3110(a)(7) and corresponding Supplementary Material .04 (SM .04). The rule requires each registered representative and registered principal to participate, at least once per year, in an interview or meeting at which compliance matters relevant to their particular activities are discussed with the firm, ensuring that registered persons remain current on applicable regulatory…