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By SIFMA urged the SEC to allow brokerage firms to conduct branch inspections remotely in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry group on a by FINRA to allow member firms until March 31, 2021, to complete their calendar year 2020 inspections. According to SIFMA, this deadline is "virtually impossible" with the pandemic itself likely to extend into next year, and members should instead be permitted to rely on remote branch inspections for the duration of the pandemic. FINRA’s proposal would adopt a new rule extending the deadline for calendar 2020 inspections to March 31, 2021. The proposal specifically "emphasizes that this extension of time does not relieve firms from the onsite inspection requirement currently prescribed by
By In its 2020 interactions with broker-dealers and investment advisers, the SEC’s Office of Compliance and Inspections (OCIE) has observed a number of operational, technological, and other challenges brought on by the pandemic. OCIE has issued a risk alert in which it outlines many of those issues and offers recommendations on how firms can begin to address them. The staff observations concern the protection of investors’ assets, supervision of personnel, and practices relating to fees, expenses, and financial transactions. The also addresses investment fraud, business continuity, and the protection of investor and other sensitive information. Protection of investor assets. OCIE noted that each firm must ensure the safety of its investors’
By A district court found that a complaint adequately pleaded that omissions in Uber's IPO documents created an impression of a state of affairs materially different from what actually existed. Uber admitted that it had made missteps in the past concerning its business model and passenger safety but asserted that it was heading down a new path. The court found that the complaint adequately pleaded that the company omitted facts showing that, on the contrary, the company was, in large part, continuing down the same old path. Uber's motion to dismiss was accordingly denied Uber IPO. Ride-sharing giant Uber Technologies, Inc. conducted an IPO on May 10, 2019. The company sold 180 million shares of common stock at $45 per share, generating near.
By McDonald’s Corporation filed suit in Delaware state court to recover severance it paid to former CEO Steve Easterbrook after it fired him "without cause" due to his inappropriate relationship with an employee. Easterbrook had insisted that his only personal relationship with an employee was a single, non-physical relationship occurring via texts and video calls, but recent evidence reveals that Easterbrook had multiple physical sexual relationships with employees while he was CEO. The complaint alleges that had Easterbrook not lied, McDonald’s would have terminated him for cause, and he would not have been entitled to any severance (, August 10, 2020). The McDonald’s board fired Easterbrook in November 2019 after an investigation confirm.
By The CFTC has brought 19 enforcement actions against various virtual currency market participants, including traders, issuers, exchanges, and service providers from January 2015 through June 2020. In a report titled , Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consulting firm, provides various metrics about the agency’s enforcement activities. The Cornerstone report of CFTC’s enforcement actions includes a detailed analysis of the legal theories asserted by the Commission in its cryptocurrency related litigation, as well as a review of venue and case durations. Legal theories and allegations. The report noted that the majority of legal actions brought by the CFTC involved charges of fraudulent schemes, with 14 out of the 19 of those
By Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) urged in a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton that the SEC investigate the issuance of company stock, lack of Regulation FD disclosure, and other unusual trading patterns in the stock of Eastman Kodak Co. The unusual trading patterns allegedly occurred during a time period in which Kodak was about to be awarded a $765 million loan by the Trump Administration under the Defense Production Act related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By , Aronberg Goldgehn A data breach shortly before or just after the closing of an M&A transaction can be very costly, as evidenced by recent deals by Verizon Communications, Marriott International, and Spirit AeroSystems. Alan Wernick, Of Counsel at Aronberg Goldgehn, examines the circumstances of those transactions and poses questions buyers and sellers should ask themselves to be better prepared for a cybersecurity incident. He believes proactive planning around cybersecurity is critical to mitigating the potential costs introduced by waiting to address these issues until after a deal is underway. He offers some due diligence considerations, including advice on what outside resources a company might consider to be prepared for potential.
By Several investor advocacy groups have sent a letter to the SEC urging it to reject proposed changes to the SEC’s shareholder proposal rules. In addition to reiterating earlier objections to the proposal relating to its impact on smaller investors and a lack of substantive economic analysis in the proposing release, the letter cites several shareholder proposals from the 2020 proxy season that would have been excluded had the proposed rule been in effect. The is signed by representatives from the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), Ceres, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the Shareholder Rights Group, the AFL-CIO, and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Scaling back shareholder proposals. In Novemb.
By In recent remarks, Division of Investment Management Director Dalia Blass reviewed key 2020 developments and noted that stakeholders and investors can expect more to come. Amid the plethora of changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the division continues to work to improve efficiencies and enhance monitoring efforts, the director . Pandemic response. COVID-19 has tested regulators, business processes, and market structures, Blass noted, but the SEC staff and market participants have shown resilience and adaptability. The director stated that the IM division has remained fully functional and even taken on additional work to accommodate outreach and emergency work efforts, extensive monitoring, and domestic and international coord.
By Pershing Square Tontine Holdings dominated IPO headlines last week with its $4 billion offering. It was the largest IPO ever by a blank check company (SIC 6770), as well as the biggest new issue of 2020 to date. Of particular note was that the company’s units priced at $20, bucking the long tradition of blank check new issuers selling at $10 per unit. Pershing’s offering was one of five SIC 6770 IPOs in a week that also saw deals by Ascendant Digital Acquisition, East Resources Acquisition, Property Solutions Acquisition, and Greencity Acquisition. JPMorgan led offerings by biotech/pharma industry new issuers Annexon, Nurix Therapeutics, and iTeos Therapeutics. The industry has produced 36 percent of JPMorgan's completed lead manager ass.
By The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee in support of the Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019. H.R. 5084, which the House 281-135 in November 2019, would mandate issuer disclosures about boardroom and C-suite diversity and inclusion efforts. It would also direct the SEC to publish best practices and study how to improve gender, racial, and ethnic diversity on boards. The coalition cited a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey finding that board directors overwhelmingly believe a diverse board brings unique perspectives, enhances board performance, improves relationships with investors, and enhances the company’s performance. The letter says that the pen.
By At the first of two consecutive CFTC open meetings held via , the to approve a final rule regarding new capital requirements for swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs). the rule as promoting certainty, customer protection, and reducing systematic risk. Tarbert also noted that the adoption of the rule marked the completion of the CFTC’s required rulemakings under Section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Act. For his part, the CFTC’s progress made under Dodd-Frank was now under threat. Moreover, he vigorously opposed the final rule noting it was not based upon the risks of uncleared swaps, as the law requires, but rather on existing capital requirements for FCMs and banks. Berkovitz also pointed to the Commission’s acknowledgement that.
By In a virtual reunion marking the Dodd-Frank Act’s 10th anniversary, the Act’s chief architects gathered in home offices and living rooms to celebrate successes, reflect on the current economic crisis, and mull remaining areas of reform. Former President Barack Obama himself welcomed prominent Dodd-Frank alumni to the event, which was co-hosted by Better Markets and the George Washington University Law School’s Business and Finance Law Program. Christopher Dodd, former Senator and chair of the Senate Banking Committee, and Barney Frank, former Representative and chair of the House Financial Services Committee, shared stories of midnight negotiations in a high-pressure marathon session where every vote was needed. The former lawmakers agre.
By A Seventh Circuit panel has remanded an order granting class certification, while providing guidance on how to approach the issue of price impact. In this interlocutory appeal, the panel read three recent Supreme Court opinions concerning the Basic presumption together and reached the conclusion that the district court was in error when it avoided a price impact defense at the class certification stage as being too closely tied to the merits. The panel then provided guidance for remand about how to analyze the issue without paying attention to the implications for the merits (, July 16, 2020, Hamilton, D.). Loosened underwriting. The case arose out of Allstate Corporation's 2013 announcement of a strategy to attract new customers that in.
By The sixth meeting of the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC), held by teleconference, featured a addressing a variety of issues that are top-of-mind for the Commission and U.S. derivatives market participants. Commissioner Brian Quintenz, who also serves as the TAC sponsor, noting the topics to be explored. These included cybersecurity lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, a discussion of the Commission’s recently proposed rule on electronic trading risk principles, an update on the resiliency and scalability of distributed ledger technology (DLT) systems and potential use-cases, and an overview of central bank digital currencies and their place in the derivatives regulatory landscape. The TAC’s various subcommittees led eac.
By Representatives from firms that use technology to improve customer experiences in investing touted these platforms at a recent of the SEC’s Asset Management Advisory Committee. Innovations in technology have not only improved the access of investment advice to customers, they have also been instrumental in allowing customers to shape their portfolios through customization and targeting individual goal objectives. Motif. Hardeep Walia, senior vice president at Schwab Asset Management Solutions, spoke about his experience as founder and CEO of Motif, an investing firm that uses data science and automation to develop financial products for individual investors, financial institutions, and investment advisers. Motif was an early pioneer in t.
By , , and , Milbank LLP The Supreme Court’s decision in Liu v. SEC curtailed the SEC’s authority to obtain disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as a remedy in enforcement actions, and left unanswered many consequential questions surrounding disgorgement, according to Milbank’s Antonia Apps, George S. Canellos, and Tawfiq Rangwala. In their view, the ruling threatens the SEC’s ability to obtain disgorgement in common categories of cases such as insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, and cases arising under rules for the general protection of markets and investors. After reviewing the ruling, they consider the many open questions posed by the Supreme Court’s position in Liu which they believe will have to be answered through cas.

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