United States

Initial coin offerings are still in fashion despite warning from the SEC. 

DealBook reported that start-ups and entrepreneurs continue to raise money by creating and selling their own virtual currencies, in spite of the SEC’s warning from last month that at least some virtual currencies being sold to investors might be considered securities and must follow federal securities laws. (8/7/2017)

Canada Guidance on conflict of interest transactions. 

Securities regulatory authorities in Ontario, Québec, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick announced publication of CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 61-302 Staff Review and Commentary on Multilateral Instrument 61-101 Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions.The notice outlines the approach used to review material conflict of interest transactions, including insider bids, issuer bids, business combinations and related party transactions that give rise to concerns regarding the protection of minority security holders. The notice also advises market participants of the participating jurisdictions’ views on special committees of independent directors and enhanced disclosure requirements. (7/27/2017)

Final amendments to custody and other requirements for dealers, advisers and investment fund managers. 

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced that it has published final amendments to National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations and National Instrument 33-109 Registration Information. The amendments enhance custody requirements for certain registered firms, clarify activities that may be conducted by exempt market dealers, incorporate previously granted relief from certain Client Relationship Model Phase 2 requirements, and provide for certain changes of a housekeeping nature. (7/27/2017)