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Client Alert: Treasury’s report on asset management and insurance – a positive direction, but questions and concerns remain

The Department of the Treasury recently released a 163-page report on regulation of the asset management and insurance industries (“Treasury Report” or “Report”) pursuant to President Trump’s February Executive Order regarding his “Core Principles” for financial regulation. The Report contains many recommendations that will help undo the damage to economic growth brought about by a deluge of costly financial regulations during the past eight years. Some of the policy reforms endorsed by Treasury, however, do not go far enough, are misguided, or send concerning signals regarding the direction of the forthcoming Treasury report on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”) – a multi-regulator council created by the Dodd-Frank Act (“Dodd-Frank”) – requested by President Trump in April.

Click through to read more of Paul Atkins's analysis.

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Client AlertIanthe Zabel
Patomak CEO’s take on the Treasury capital markets report: a positive step toward reform, some weaknesses still need to be addressed

Today, Patomak Global Partners CEO Paul Atkins released a review of the Department of Treasury’s recently-released report on capital markets regulation. After eight years of anemic economic growth, due largely to increased barriers to small business financing and accelerating regulatory complexity, Treasury’s report sets forth a pragmatic approach to improving capital formation, expanding investor choice, and simplifying regulations. The report was issued in response to a February Executive Order that requires Treasury to identify policies that could advance, or conflict with, the President’s “Core Principles” on financial regulation. These Principles include making regulation efficient, empowering American investors, ending taxpayer-funded bailouts, and improving the regulatory process.  

Overall, the Report should give investors, consumers, workers, small businesses, and the financial industry alike reason for optimism. Its recommendations on expanding access to capital, securitization, and regulatory processes, Atkins writes, neatly align with the President’s objectives. The report’s recommendations on derivatives and equity market structure also largely go in the right direction.

Atkins notes, however, that the report’s section on so-called financial market utilities accepts failed regulatory approaches that are antithetical to the Core Principles. He also writes that some of the report’s recommendations related to derivatives and equity market structure are weak or misguided.

Moving forward, Atkins encourages Treasury to embrace needed reforms to financial market policies that conflict with the President’s Core Principles in its future reports on asset management, insurance, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and OLA. Treasury should announce that it will drop its ongoing appeal of the strong March 2016 MetLife v. FSOC court ruling that limits one of FSOC’s sweeping powers to designate firms “systemically important” – an anti-competitive and costly “too-big-to-fail” label that brings about moral hazard and adds next to nothing to make the financial system more “stable.” Treasury should also endorse Congress’s effort to rein in FSOC’s full suite of designation powers and end taxpayer-funded OLA bailouts.

Click through to read the full analysis.

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Client AlertIanthe Zabel
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."

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Client AlertIanthe 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. 

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Client AlertIanthe Zabel
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