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Securities and Exchange Commission Staff Provide Guidance to Investment Advisers on Compliance Requirements for Robo-Advisers

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management recently issued guidance for investment advisers about the use of robo-advisers, including suggestions on how to fulfill disclosure, suitability, and compliance requirements under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, “given the unique challenges and opportunities presented by these programs."

Client AlertIanthe Zabel
WSJ: SEC Says Conflict Minerals, Pay Ratio Rules Remain In Force

Wall Street Journal CFO reporter Tatyana Shumsky writes:

Companies must continue to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules on disclosing “conflict minerals” and the ratio comparing executive pay to the median employee, said Shelley Parratt, acting director of the SEC’s division of corporation finance, on Friday.

SEC acting chairman Michael Piwowar in recent weeks has requested public comment on the two provisions of the Dodd-Frank overhaul law. Mr. Piwowar also instructed SEC staff to look at the rule mandate and see if alternate interpretations could offer some relief to companies trying to comply.

In the NewsIanthe Zabel
WSJ: President Trump Is Turning to These 8 CEOs on Key Business Issues

Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Krouse writes: 

President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with a group of chief executives Friday morning to discuss issues including regulation, trade and women in the workforce. Here is the list of the CEOs who are expected to speak about each topic, as circulated by the White House.

Regulation
Paul Atkins, former Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission

In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Securities and Exchange Commission Details Exam Priorities in 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations recently released its 2017 priorities. This year's areas of focus include examining for cybersecurity; investor protection initiatives; and identifying market-wide risks, including money market fund compliance with new rules and systems compliance integrity. Patomak Global Partners has deep expertise in risk management and compliance to help firms evaluate and enhance existing compliance programs. 

Client AlertIanthe Zabel
WSJ: Election Marks Crossroads for SEC

Wall Street Journal Tatyana Shumsky reporter writes: 

The Securities and Exchange Commission is likely to get a new chairman no matter who wins Tuesday's presidential election, raising doubts about the agency's priorities....

...The SEC says it already has completed nearly 80% of the rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, which was enacted in 2010. The agency's remaining tasks under the law include completing rules requiring companies to report how executive pay is linked to performance and to outline their policies on clawback and hedging and how they are enforced...

"A Trump chairman could go look at what's been done and go back and amend things," said Daniel Gallagher, a former Republican SEC Commissioner and now a partner at Washington-based consulting firm Patomak Global Partners LLC. 

In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Forbes op/ed: SEC Must End Mutual Fund Paper Chase

Paul Atkins, Patomak Global Partners CEO, writes in an op/ed in Forbes: Even amidst the rancor and divisiveness that currently blanket Washington, the federal government has a bipartisan opportunity to reduce costs and improve disclosure for investors, while in the process helping the environment, and eliminating expensive, unnecessary papershuffling. Unfortunately, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) struck out on an opportunity to get it done at its public meeting last month. 

In the News, OpinionIanthe Zabel
Business Insider: There's a new 'hot-button' issue on Wall Street, and battle lines are being drawn

Business Insider reporter Matt Turner writes:

"Information wants to be free," the technology activist Steward Brand once said. "Information also wants to be expensive."

That is proving true on Wall Street, where stock exchanges - in particular the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq - both publicly traded and for-profit, stand accused by rivals and some users of unfairly increasing the price of market data. 

The debate centers on whether that data is essential - some customers and rivals say it is, the exchanges say otherwise - and whether there is any competition in the market for that data...

... "My take is that there have been some abusive practices - the flucation, the aribitrariness with which fees have been jacked up, and the monopolistic power that goes behind it - there is a problem," Dan Gallagher, an SEC Commissioner until 2015 who is now president of the consultant Patomak Global Partners, told Business Insider.

In the NewsIanthe Zabel
WSJ: Ex-SEC Official Picked to Monitor Deutsche Bank’s Derivatives Overhaul

Wall Street Journal reporter Telis Demos writes:

A former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official has been appointed to monitor an overhaul of Deutsche Bank AG's systems for reporting trades in its giant derivatives book. 

Paul Atkins was named to the role by a federal judge on Thursday, following a request by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Last year, that agency fined Deutsche Bank $2.5 million for failing to make timely and accurate reports of derivatives trades known as swaps. 

In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Keynote address: broker/dealer regulation and enforcement 2016

Over the last eight years, American businesses, investors, and consumers have been buried under a mountain of costly red tape. Now, I do not need to tell you that the economy is not as good as it could be. One of the major reasons is the growth of legislation and consequent regulation emanating from Washington that has stymied growth. 

SpeechPaul Atkins
Ignites: Slim Chances for Quick Revival of SEC’s Default E-Delivery

Ignites reporter Beagan Wilcox Volz writes:

SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced last week that the proposal for default e-delivery of funds' annual and semi-annual shareholder reports had been dropped from the final fund reporting modernization rule, but said she had instructed the agency's staff to "vigorously evaluate" the investor protection issues it raised and put forth a recommendation by year-end. 

In the NewsIanthe Zabel