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On July 25, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released groundbreaking materials relating to blockchain tokens. These materials provide significant and welcome insight to the SEC’s and its staff’s thinking in this area, although they leave a number of important questions unanswered. The SEC released a detailed investigative report under Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and accompanying staff statement concluding that the 2016 token sale by The…
This post continues our discussion of the settlement orders that the SEC recently entered into with investment advisory firms based in Chicago (the “First Order”) and Maryland (the “Second Order”).  These cases illustrate that the SEC remains focused on mutual fund distribution issues and teach some hard lessons about the importance of compliance oversight, contracting, and disclosure around distribution and sub-transfer agency (“sub-TA”) payments. The improper payments detailed in the First Order…
In two back-to-back enforcement cases arising from the SEC’s now four-year old distribution sweep exam, a Chicago-based mutual fund adviser has agreed to a $4.5 million civil money penalty and a Maryland-based firm has agreed to pay disgorgement of $17.8 million plus $3.8 million in interest and a $1 million penalty.  Both cases reinforce the importance of compliance oversight, contracting, and disclosure around distribution and sub-transfer agency (“sub-TA”) payments.  This post will review the findings…
Read our new article in The Investment Lawyer to learn more about the legal and regulatory implications of emerging technologies, including blockchain and digital ledger technology, investing in fintech companies, robo-advisers and algorithms, and cybersecurity.…
Fund groups face disruptive developments, as advances in financial technology, often called fintech, continue at an ever more rapid pace. Even as new efficiencies and opportunities blossom, regulators have pushed financial firms to recognize the dangers of technological failures. To help prepare investment management firms for changes ushered in by fintech, we offer our primer on the latest key developments and potential risks.  Read our new article in The Investment Lawyer to learn more about the…
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced an administrative settlement with Apex Fund Services (US) Inc., a firm providing administrative services to private funds, based on its alleged failure to heed red flags and correct faulty accounting by two private equity managers. The SEC alleged that, in carrying out its contractual fund administration functions, Apex missed or ignored clear indications of fraud perpetrated by two private fund managers, making Apex a “cause” of that…