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Jacko Law Group Blog

SEC Speech Emphasizes Cooperation and Importance of Compliance Programs

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Chairwoman Mary Jo White caused a stir within the advisory industry when she issued a speech stating that the SEC will begin zeroing in on “minor infractions” of investment advisers. This past week, Ms. White spoke at the National Society of Compliance Professionals (“NSCP”) National Membership Meeting focusing on how the SEC will approach compliance officers. Ms. White stated that she envisions the SEC to work with compliance officers “to support [compliance officer’s] efforts to create a comprehensive compliance environment within [their] firms,” and that the SEC is “far more interested in helping [compliance officers] succeed before an examination, than we are in catching…a violation in the course of an examination.”

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States Toughening Up and Cracking Down on RIAs

In 2012, states expanded their oversight of registered investment advisers (“RIAs”) from those with $25 million in assets, to those with $100 million or less. Prior to 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) had been responsible for overseeing these RIAs.

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States Weigh In on Identity Theft Protections

In April 2013, the SEC and the CFTC jointly issued their final rules and guidelines for entities regulated by each of the respective agencies under Regulation S-ID – Identity Theft Red Flags Rules (the “Rule” or “Regulation S-ID”). The new regulation became effective on May 20, 2013 and requires all affected firms to have policies and procedures in place by November 20, 2013. Regulation S-ID requires that all “financial institutions” (as that term is defined in the Rule) develop policies and procedures to prevent, identify and mitigate identify theft.

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Benefit Corporation Legislation – A New Corporate Entity

In April 2010, the State of Maryland became the first U.S. state to pass “Benefit Corporation” legislation, thus permitting the formation of a new type of corporate entity structure in that state. Since that time, several other states – including California, New York and Delaware – have either passed or are considering similar legislation. Benefit corporations share many of the traits of traditional for-profit corporations. However, while the main goal of traditional for-profit corporations is to maximize financial returns for their investors, benefit corporations are expressly permitted to consider and prioritize the social and environmental impacts of their corporate decision-making, in tandem with maximizing financial returns for investors. This blog will discuss the purpose, transparency and accountability of Benefit Corporations.

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