Soft Dollars

Blass: SEC Not Ready to Make Research-Related Exemption Permanent

Those looking to the SEC to extend or make permanent a temporary exemption tied to broker-dealers unbundling research costs from execution costs did not hear the best news at a recent industry conference. Thats when agency Division of Investment Management Director Dalia Blass told attendees that the Investment Management staff is not yet prepared to recommend such a course to the Commission.

Soft Dollars and MiFID II: SEC Ponders Post-Relief Course of Action

The asset management industry wants to hear from the SEC, while the SEC wants to hear more from the asset management industry. The issue is what the agency will ultimately decide on the question of how broker-dealer research costs should be paid in light of the European Unions directive requiring that those costs be unbundled from broker-dealer execution costs.

Soft Dollars: Use Them, But Use Them Wisely

Research and brokerage services may be charged to clients through the use of soft dollars. But advisers doing so need to ensure they use them properly.

Cherry Picking and Misuse of Soft Dollars Drive SEC Case Against Firm

An advisory firm that allegedly cherry-picked profitable trades and allocated them to six favored accounts, costing a widow, a profit-sharing plan and a charitable foundation $10.7 million, is now facing SEC action. The same firm is also charged with misusing $1.1 million in soft dollars to meet personal obligations of its founder, including a payment […]

What Can Your Soft Dollars Buy?

Soft dollars have long been used by advisers to avoid the direct payment of certain expenses. Direct payment in hard dollars not only requires cash on hand, but also can affect mutual fund fee disclosures when such payments would increase the advisers annual fee. Shareholders bear the cost either way, but in soft dollar arrangements […]

Richards: What Compliance Officers Should Focus On Now

According to OCIE director Lori Richards, the “most important” thing for compliance officers at advisory firms to do right now is to remind their firms employees about their fiduciary obligations to clients. Beyond that, she suggested a number of specific areas that compliance officers should “pay particular attention to.” SEC examiners, she noted, will be […]

Commenters Ask SEC to Recast Soft Dollar Guidance for Fund Directors

Yes, were in the middle of a market crisis. But life does go on. Last week, a number of industry groups submitted comment letters on the SECs July 2008 proposed guidance on how investment company boards of directors should go about evaluating soft dollar arrangements and other portfolio trading activities of fund advisers. The comments, […]

Goodman on Industry Compliance Survey (Part 2 of 2): Best Ex and Fair Valuation

Heres the second part of our series covering SEC official Kevin Goodmans discussion of findings in the 2008 Investment Management Compliance Testing Survey, which was conducted earlier this year by the Investment Adviser Association, ACA Compliance Group, Old Mutual, and IM Insight. Goodman, who serves as the associate regional director for examinations in the SECs […]

Getting Ready for DOL Form 5500 Schedule C

Whether your ERISA clients know it or not, if they have 100 or more plan participants, they – and you – are facing a looming challenge: Form 5500 Schedule C. Last month, the Department of Labors Employee Benefits Security Administration attempted to ease that challenge by releasing an FAQ providing guidance on how plans and their […]

SECs Soft Dollar Release Gets a Hard Look From Industry

For something that was not intended to change existing law or impose any new requirements on fund boards, the SECs recent soft dollar release sure is generating a lot of industry buzz. “Guidance” or not, the thinking goes, directors are going to be expected to march through the list of discussion items in the release. […]

Audio Interviews

How to Read an SEC Enforcement Action

Stern Tannenbaum law firm partner Aegis Frumento on how to get the most from reading an SEC administrative order or court complaint.

Most Important Supreme Court Decisions for Advisers and Funds

Find out the high court decisions from recent years that are likely to affect how advisers and investment companies work from Debevoise partner Robert Kaplan. 

Top 10 Cybersecurity Steps to Take Now

Sutherland law firm partner Brian Rubin shares the most urgent cybersecurity steps for investment advisers.

Top Marketing Problems … and Solutions

Get solutions for the top marketing challenges that advisers face from ACA Compliance Group managing director Kimberly Daly

Watch Out for 5 Cybersecurity Myths

ACA Aponix Director Pascal Busnel on the most common cybersecurity myths that may cause firms to spend resources where they may not be needed.

The Hidden Costs of Non-Compliance

Proskauer law firm partner and former SEC Division of Investment Management deputy director Robert Plaze on why the costs of non-compliance go way beyond an SEC penalty.

CCO Liability: How to Protect Yourself

Find out from Blue Edge Capital CCO Margaret Fretz what chief compliance officers may be liable for and best practices to make sure you are protected.

Ethics or Compliance: Making the Choice

Find out the difference an ethics, rather than a compliance, perspective makes at an advisory firm from former Ethics and Compliance Officer Association COO Timothy Mazur.