United States

Topic: Asset management

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Wyoming to Recognize DAOs as LLCs

On April 21, 2021, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed Bill 38 into law allowing Wyoming to recognize decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) as limited liability companies. The bill was sponsored by Wyoming’s Select Committee on Blockchain, Financial Technology and Digital Innovation Technology and takes effect July 1, 2021. Generally, a DAO is an organization controlled by … Continue Reading

What is an NFT, anyway?

Once relegated to the fringe of the crypto/FinTech communities, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have recently exploded to the forefront of modern pop culture and are taking on an ever increasing number of forms—from collectible digital kittens, to sport highlights, to music albums, to pieces of art auctioned off by Christie’s for US $69.3 million. But what, … Continue Reading

AML Act of 2020: Topics of interest for international banks

The National Defense Authorization Act became law on January 1, 2021, after the U.S. Congress overrode a presidential veto. Division F of the Act is the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020” (AMLA). In her latest The New York Law Journal column, “ AML Act of 2020: Topics of interest for international banks,” Kathleen Scott, Senior … Continue Reading

SEC’s Division of Examinations Releases Risk Alert for Digital Asset Securities

On February 26, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Division of Examinations (the “Division” and formerly known as “OCIE”) released a Risk Alert (the “Risk Alert”) reminding market participants – investment advisers, broker-dealers, exchanges, and transfer agents – of the framework surrounding digital assets that are securities (“Digital Asset Securities”). The Division also set … Continue Reading

SEC Settles with BlueCrest: Algorithmic Trading and AI-Based Strategies Must be Disclosed to Investors

On December 8, 2020, BlueCrest Capital Management Limited (“BlueCrest”), a UK-based investment adviser, agreed to a $170 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to settle charges involving insufficient and misleading disclosures to investors that BlueCrest was also operating a proprietary, internal fund, moving its best traders to such fund and replacing the … Continue Reading

New beneficial ownership requirements should help with AML KYC obligations

When banks and certain other financial institutions open accounts for entities, among other anti-money laundering (AML) customer identification requirements, they must obtain beneficial ownership information on individuals owning 25% or more of the entity and a person with significant control over the entity such as a president or chief executive officer. We have published several … Continue Reading

SEC continues to allow broker-dealers to rely on investment advisers for customer KYC requirements

In a December 9, 2020, letter, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) extended its no-action relief to broker-dealers in securities (“broker-dealers”) that wish to rely on investment advisers to perform the broker-dealer’s obligations under US federal anti-money laundering (“AML”) customer identification program and beneficial owner identification regulations. First provided in 2004 regarding customer identification … Continue Reading

US SEC amends rules to simplify and expand the exempt offering framework

On November 2, 2020, in an effort to harmonize and modernize the exempt offering framework under the Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a final rule entitled “Facilitating Capital Formation and Expanding Investment Opportunities by Improving Access to Capital in Private Markets.” In a new legal … Continue Reading

Important SAFT court opinion; lawyers accepting virtual currency as payment

In a much-anticipated decision with important implications for the cryptocurrency industry, a second New York federal judge has now ruled that an offeror’s use of a two-stage “Simple Agreement for Future Tokens” or “SAFT” structure for issuing cryptocurrency tokens will not suffice to exempt the offering from the reach of US securities law. In this … Continue Reading

US SEC adopts amendments to expand scope of “accredited investor” definition

On August 26, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to expand the scope of the “accredited investor” definition, allowing a greater pool of investors to access the private capital markets. The amendments add new categories of qualified natural persons who meet certain professional knowledge or certification requirements and expand the list … Continue Reading

Global Asset Management Quarterly – 15th edition now available online

The latest issue of Global Asset Management Quarterly is now available here. This issue contains the following articles: Europe •           European update •           EU/UK regulatory roundup United Kingdom •           Climate Financial Risk Forum publishes guide on climate-related financial risk management •           Heightened risk of market abuse in a remote working context? •           Observations on the … Continue Reading

US Banking Regulators Finalize Volcker Rule Covered Funds Revision

On July 31, 2020, the Federal Register published the final Volcker Rule covered funds amendments promulgated in June by the federal financial services regulators (the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission). In her latest … Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition — US banking regulators caution banks on LIBOR transition risks

As noted in previous LIBOR Transition posts, the availability of LIBOR as a reference rate is not guaranteed beyond the end of 2021. On July 1, 2020, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which consists of US federal and state banking regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, issued a Joint Statement highlighting the … Continue Reading

SEC Proposes Amendments to Increase Reporting Threshold for Institutional Investment Managers

On July 10, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed amendments to amend Form 13F to update the reporting threshold for institutional investment managers and certain other changes. This marks the first time that the reporting threshold would be updated since its introduction more than 40 years ago. Pursuant to Section 13(f) of the … Continue Reading

European Commission’s High-Level Forum on Capital Markets Union issues final report

On June 10, 2020, the European Commission’s High-Level Forum (HLF) issued its final report on the Capital Markets Union (CMU), which proposes detailed recommendations for improving and enhancing the capital markets of the European Union (EU). The report’s 17 recommendations are grouped under four larger themes: (i) creating a vibrant and competitive business environment; (ii) … Continue Reading

SEC Proposes New Framework for Fund Valuation Practices

On April 21, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed new Rule 2a-5 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”) to “modernize” the framework for fund valuation practices applicable to mutual funds, business development companies and other “registered investment companies” under the 1940 Act (each, a “fund”). This framework has not … Continue Reading

The other side of the Volcker Rule: Proposed changes to the covered funds provisions

In November 2019, the financial services regulators responsible for the Volcker Rule regulations (the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities and Exchange Commission, collectively, the “Agencies”) issued final rules revising the proprietary … Continue Reading

US financial regulators establish webpages on the COVID-19 pandemic

The US financial regulatory, consumer protection and enforcement supervisors are regularly issuing press releases and statements concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of them has established special links to provide information to the public on its response to the pandemic. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: https://www.federalreserve.gov/covid-19.htm Commodity Futures Trading Commission: https://www.cftc.gov/coronavirus Conference of State … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve establishes Commercial Paper Funding Facility

As part of a comprehensive effort to alleviate strain on the commercial paper markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 17, 2020 the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) announced the creation of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (“CPFF”). Similar to the CPFF program implemented in 2008, which was … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve announces TALF 2.0 to assist asset-backed issuers

On March 23, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) announced a wide array of actions intended to promote economic stability in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including several different credit facilities. The Federal Reserve announced as one of these credit facilities a renewal of the Term Asset-Backed Securities … Continue Reading

FINRA Updates FAQs Related to COVID-19 Regulatory Relief

FINRA has supplemented its FAQs related to COVID-19 regulatory relief. Summaries of the new FAQs are provided below. Helpfully, FINRA has also provided a link to state “shelter-in-place” and “stay-at-home” orders. Impact of Communication Disruptions – Implications for Firms. FINRA states that member firms should consider steps they can take to mitigate risks that may … Continue Reading

SEC provides further COVID-19 relief relating to investment advisers regarding temporary locations and inadvertent adviser custody

On March 16, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management announced additional COVID-19 related relief. This relief is available on the SEC’s COVID-19 page, available here, and summarized below. Operation of Business From Temporary Locations. The conduct of business from temporary locations, such as an employee’s home, as part of a firm’s … Continue Reading

Coronavirus | COVID-19: US SEC provides temporary relief to assist funds and advisers by permitting virtual board meetings and providing reporting relief

On March 13, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced conditional, temporary relief for funds (available here) and both registered and exempt reporting investment advisers (available here) impacted by COVID-19. The relief covers in-person board meetings by fund boards and certain filing and delivery requirements for both advisers and funds. Funds and advisers that … Continue Reading

“Crypto Mom” Proposes 3-Year Safe Harbor for Token Projects

In a speech to the International Blockchain Congress on February 6, 2020, Securities and Exchange (“SEC”) Commissioner Hester Peirce, sometime referred to as “Crypto Mom,” proposed a three-year safe harbor for virtual currency token projects.  The safe harbor would exempt (i) the offer and sale of tokens from the provisions of the Securities Act of … Continue Reading