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Morrison & Foerster is a firm of exceptional credentials. Our name is synonymous with a commitment to client service that informs everything that we…
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 28 Jan 2020

2019 SEC regulatory summary: advisers and funds

To mark the new year, registered investment advisers and funds should take a look back at the activity undertaken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its staff during 2019 and carefully consider steps to be taken to implement new and amended regulations adopted by the SEC throughout the year. The start of a new year is also a good time to evaluate what remains on the SEC's......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 21 Jan 2020

FINRA: suitability and sales practices remain an issue

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released its 2019 Report on Examination Findings and Observations. The report intends to reflect key findings and observations identified in FINRA's recent examinations of broker-dealers. The report also describes practices that FINRA has deemed to be effective and that could help firms to improve their compliance and risk......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 14 Jan 2020

SEC charges Switzerland-based dealer for selling US investors unregistered SBS for bitcoins

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a Switzerland-based securities dealer for offering and selling unregistered security-based swaps to US investors using bitcoins and for failing to transact its swaps on a registered national exchange. This case illustrates that the use of new technology and terminology does not exempt investment-product dealers from having to comply with......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 3 Dec 2019

Supreme Court will decide courts' authority to order disgorgement in SEC enforcement cases

The Supreme Court recently granted a writ of certiorari to address whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may obtain disgorgement in civil injunctive actions filed in the federal courts. How the court resolves this question may have a significant impact not only on the SEC's enforcement programme, but also on a wide array of other federal regulators that rely on courts invoking......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 19 Nov 2019

FINRA fines broker-dealer for unsuitable sale of complex securities

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recently censured and fined a Florida-based broker-dealer, including for failing to reasonably supervise sales of complex securities such as structured products and leveraged, inverse and inverse-leveraged exchange-traded funds. This case illustrates the need for broker-dealers to establish and enforce proper surveillance systems and written......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 12 Nov 2019

NASAA issues report on broker-dealer policies and procedures for leveraged or inverse ETFs

The North American Securities Administrators Association recently issued a report that provided a warning as to the risks of leveraged or inverse exchange-traded funds. The report urges broker-dealers to tailor their supervisory procedures if they allow exchange-traded fund (ETF) transactions in these products. Among other things, the report concludes that broker-dealers should carefully......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 10 Sep 2019

SEC proposes changes to business, legal proceeding and risk factor disclosure requirements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed amendments to the description of business, legal proceeding and risk factor disclosures that are required pursuant to Regulation S-K. While the SEC's concept release dealt with a wide variety of topics, these latest proposals represent a more measured approach towards modernising and simplifying such disclosure requirements.
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 30 Jul 2019

First token offering qualified by SEC under Regulation A

Blockstack Token LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delaware public benefit corporation Blockstack PBC, recently became the first company to have an offering of digital assets qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission under Regulation A. Although Blockstack's is the first Regulation A token offering to be qualified, it demonstrates the potential for other blockchain-based companies......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 23 Jul 2019

SEC requests comment on securities offering exemptions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently requested public comment on ways to simplify, harmonise and improve the registration exemptions under the Securities Act. In its concept release, the SEC identified numerous topics to be addressed, such as evaluating the framework and coverage of existing registration exemptions. Any developments in this area will be of interest to the......
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Morrison & Foerster LLP | 16 Jul 2019

SEC clarifies investment adviser standard of conduct

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued an interpretive release designed to reaffirm, and in some cases clarify, the standard of conduct that investment advisers owe to their clients. While the interpretive release includes no new regulation, it clarifies the type of disclosure, policies and procedures that advisers should adopt to ensure that they continue to operate in a......
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