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The weekly news source for investment management legal and compliance professionals

Topic: SEC Operations and Agenda

SEC Withdraws Two No-Action Letters Regarding Use of Proxy Advisory Firms

September 21, 2018
The SEC on September 13 did something unexpected: It pulled two 2004 Division of Investment Management no-action letters concerning advisersí use of proxy advisory firms in preparation for a planned November roundtable on the subject. What made the move unusual was not that the agency decided to supersede the letters, but that it did so by actually removing them, rather than simply issuing new guidance indicating a change of course.

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New SEC Commissioner Confirmed

September 7, 2018
The Senate on September 5 confirmed the appointment of Elad Roisman as an SEC commissioner by an 85 to 14 vote. His confirmation brings the Commission back up to its full five-member strength.

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The CAT Takes a Step Forward and a Step Back

September 7, 2018
The SEC is finding that its progress in creating a comprehensive electronic blueprint of securities transactions, the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT), is proving as difficult as getting real cats to do what you want. It issued a statement that demonstrates the forward-and-back nature of this project: the arrival of a detailed master plan, but the delay of three key deadlines by a year.

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SEC Cleans Up Disclosure Requirements

August 24, 2018
In an attempt to simplify and update its disclosure requirements, the SEC on August 17 adopted amendments to existing requirements that it said have become duplicative, overlapping, outdated or superseded by new requirements.

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Industry Representatives Seek Changes to SEC’s Proposed Standards of Care

August 10, 2018
Harmonize rules for investment advisers and broker-dealers. Impose federal licensing and education requirements on advisory firms. Require advisers to provide clients with account statements. Codify advisory firmsí fiduciary duty in a rule. If these possibilities from the SECís standards of care package proposed in April give you concern, you can take solace knowing that some major industry heavy hitters share them, and have some other concerns, as well.

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Proxy Advisory Firms Again Come Under the SEC Spotlight

August 3, 2018
Advisersí use of proxy advisory firms, including the degree to which advisers follow proxy advisersí recommendations when they vote, will again come before the SEC, as part of a planned roundtable on the proxy process this fall. Whether any changes will result is another matter.

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Snyder Named OCIE Deputy Director as Jarcho Resigns

July 27, 2018
Kristin Snyder, a 15 year veteran of the SEC, on July 25 was named deputy director of the agencyís Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. She will replace Jane Jarcho, a 28-year SEC veteran who will retire from the agency at the end of August.

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OIG Recommends Seven Changes in SEC Use of External Experts

July 20, 2018
The SEC has had its eye on advisory firm use of external experts and taken enforcement action when it found problems. Now the agency itself is under the spotlight. The OIG recently recommended seven steps it wants the SEC to take in its own use of external experts.

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IM Deputy Director Will Double as Division’s Chief Counsel

July 13, 2018
Paul Cellupica, who has been deputy director of the SECís Division of Investment Management since 2017, will serve as the Divisionís chief counsel while continuing in his deputy director role, the agency announced.

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IM Division Pulls Back the Curtain a Bit on its Disclosure Thinking

July 13, 2018
The SECís Division of Investment Management is perceived by some, fairly or unfairly, as being something of a closed book when it comes to the transparency of some of its fund disclosure requirements. The agency may now be seeking to correct that perception, both through a new web page and through a request for comments.

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SEC Strategic Plan Draft Calls for Cybersecurity, Enforcement, Revisiting Rules

July 6, 2018
The SECís draft five-year strategic plan for 2018 through 2022 Ė the first released by chairman Jay Clayton Ė centers around three high-concept goals: Investors, innovation and performance. Within those three goals, however, are more practical initiatives focusing on a variety of topics, including cybersecurity, enforcement and revisiting existing rules.

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OIG Zeroes In on External Experts and EDGAR in its Latest SEC Report Card

June 15, 2018
Advisers, funds and broker-dealers used to dealing with examinations and investigations from the SEC might find some solace in the fact that the agency itself is continually under investigation by its own Office of the Inspector General. The OIG every six months issues a report card to Congress about the status of these investigations, and the latest, issued June 7, was not short on substance.

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SEC Names Acting DERA Director

June 8, 2018
Dr. Chyhe Kim Becker is the SECís new acting chief economist and acting director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.

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Advertising and Custody Rule Reform on SEC’s Latest Regulatory Agenda

June 8, 2018
Itís beginning to look like the next 12 months may be a period of wish fulfillment for advisers, funds and attorneys who have long called for the SEC to reform some of its existing Advisers Act rules, the Advertising Rule and the Custody Rule among them.

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New Law Reforming Dodd-Frank Affects Advisers and Funds

May 31, 2018
Now that the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) has been signed into law, whatís in it for investment advisers and investment companies? Not a lot, it turns out, but there are key measures that advisory firms and funds should be aware of.

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Enforcement Co-Directors Take Issue with Disgorgement Time Limits

May 31, 2018
The SEC doesnít like having to comply with the statute of limitations when it comes to disgorgement. Division of Enforcement co-directors Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peikin, in testimony before a panel of the House Committee on Financial Services, made clear that, in some cases, five years may not be long enough.

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SEC Should Not Prioritize Enforcement Over Other Parts of its Mission: Peirce

May 18, 2018
SEC enforcement is important and must continue, but has gone too far. While enforcement is necessary, agency staff should use it as a last resort and rein in the kind of enforcement-by-numbers philosophy that the SEC has been using over the past few years.

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Piwowar Plans July Departure

May 11, 2018
Michael Piwowar will be leaving his role as an SEC commissioner on July 7 or the swearing in of his successor, whichever comes first. He sent a letter to President Donald Trump on May 7 announcing his resignation.

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SEC Issues Share Class Initiative FAQs Six Weeks Prior to First Deadline

May 4, 2018
Advisers wishing to take advantage of, or at least learn more about, the SECís Share Class Selection Distribution (SCSD) Initiative will doubtless find the agencyís May 1 set of 19 answers to frequently asked questions of interest Ė particularly since they face an initial reporting date of June 12. Those not planning to self-report under the program may also be interested, if only to learn what they wonít have to do.

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Clayton and Blass Defend and Seek Input on Proposed Standards of Conduct

May 4, 2018
Proposing new standards of conduct may turn out to have been the easy part. The SEC now has to persuade the asset management community to buy into the proposals.

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