Category: Dodd-Frank Act

Dodd-Frank Act: The SEC Penalties Act continues a trend to deter securities law violations through regulations and stronger enforcement including the SEC Broken Windows policy, increased Dodd-Frank whistleblower activity and reward payments, and increased bad actor prohibitions…

Apr142015

SEC Congressional Testimony- Part I

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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On three occasions recently representatives of the SEC have given testimony to Congress.  On March 24, 2015, SEC Chair Mary Jo White testified on “Examining the SEC’s Agenda, Operations and FY 2016 Budget Request”; on March 19, 2015, Andrew Ceresny, Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement, testified to Congress on the “Oversight of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement”; and on March 10, 2015, Stephen Luparello, Director of the Division of Trading and Markets, testified on “Venture Exchanges and Small-Cap Companies.”  In a series of blogs, I will summarize the three testimonies.  This first blog in the series summarizes the testimony of Mary Jo White.

Mary Jo White Testimony

On March 24, 2015, SEC Chair Mary Jo White gave testimony before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services.  The testimony was titled “Examining the SEC’s Agenda, Operations and FY 2016 Budget Request.”  As can be gleaned from the title, Mary

May062014

Say-On-Pay for Smaller Reporting Companies

Effective April 4, 2011, the SEC adopted final rules implementing shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”).  Upon enactment smaller reporting companies were given a two-year exemption from the compliance requirements.  Smaller reporting companies are defined as entities which, as of the last business day of their second fiscal quarter, have a public float of less than $75 million.  Beginning in 2013, that exemption expired and now these smaller reporting companies are required to include say-on-pay voting.  Although smaller reporting companies have been subject to the rules for a year now, I still encounter questions from the entities as to their obligations and requirements under the rules.

The say-on-pay rules were implemented by adding Section 14A, which requires companies to conduct a separate shareholder advisory vote to approve the compensation of executives, which pay is disclosed pursuant to Item 402 (the “say-on-pay” vote).

Dec172013

SEC Guidance on Rules Disqualifying Bad Actors from Participating in Rule 506 Offerings

On December 4, 2013, the SEC updated its Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DI’s”) including new guidance on the rules disqualifying bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings.

Background

The Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to implement rules which disqualify certain Rule 506 offerings based on the individuals involved in the Issuer and related parties.  On July 10, 2013, the SEC adopted such rules by amending portions of Rules 501 and 506 of Regulation D, promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933.  The new rules went into effect on September 23, 2013.  The new rule disqualifies the use of Rule 506 as a result of certain convictions, cease and desist orders, suspensions and bars (“disqualifying events”) that occur on or after September 23, 2013, and adds disclosure obligation in Rule 506(e) for disqualifying events that occurred prior to September 23, 2013.

Rule 506 provides that disqualifying events committed by a list of specified “covered persons” affiliated with the Issuer or

Sep172013

An Overview of Exemptions for Hedge Fund Advisors: Exemptions for Advisors to Venture Capital Funds, Private Fund Advisors with Less Than $150 Million in Assets Under Management, and Foreign Private Advisors – Part IV

The JOBS Act is not the only recent congressional act to change the landscape of hedge funds; the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) made significant changes as well.

In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act eliminated the oft relied upon exemption from registration for private hedge fund advisors for those advisors with fewer than 15 clients.  While eliminating the private advisor exemption, Dodd-Frank created three new exemptions, which are the operable hedge fund advisor exemptions today.  These exemptions are for:

                (1) Advisors solely to venture capital funds;

                (2) Advisors solely to private funds with less than $150 million in assets under management in the U.S.; and

                (3) Certain foreign advisers without a place of business in the U.S.

Moreover, the

Sep032013

Will FINRA Rule Changes Related to Private Placement Further Deter Broker Dealers From Placing the Securities of Small Businesses?

On August 19, 2013, FINRA published Regulatory Notice 13-26 about the updated Private Placement Form that firms must file with FINRA when acting as a placement agent for the private placement of securities.  A copy of the form is included with the regulatory notice at www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@reg/@notice/documents/notices/p325359.pdf.  The Form went effective on July 1, 2013.  FINRA has also updated the FAQs relating to the Private Placement Form.  The updated Private Placement Form has six new questions:

  • Is this a contingency offering?
  • Does the issuer have
Read More »
Aug072013

An Overview of Exemptions for Hedge Fund Advisors: Exemptions for Advisors to Venture Capital Funds, Private Fund Advisers with Less Than $150 Million in Assets Under Management, and Foreign Private Advisers – Part III

As the rules that will allow general solicitation and advertising for Rule 506(c) and 144A offerings near effectiveness, our firm has noticed a spike in inquiries related to small hedge funds and feeder funds.  The JOBS Act is not the only recent congressional act to change the landscape of hedge funds; the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) made significant changes as well.

In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act eliminated the oft relied upon exemption from registration for private hedge fund advisors for those advisors with fewer than 15 clients.  While eliminating the private advisor exemption, Dodd-Frank created three new exemptions, which are the operable hedge fund advisor exemptions today.  These exemptions are for:

                (1) Advisors

Jul312013

SEC has Finalized Rules Disqualifying Felons and Other “Bad Actors” from Rule 506 Offerings

On July 10, 2013, the same day the SEC has adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act, the SEC adopted new rules disqualifying felons and other bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings as required by Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Background

The Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to implement rules which disqualify certain Rule 506 offerings based on the individuals involved in the

May212013

An Overview of Exemptions for Hedge Fund Advisors: Exemptions for Advisors to Venture Capital Funds, Private Fund Advisers with Less Than $150 Million in Assets Under Management, and Foreign Private Advisers – Part II

As the delayed JOBS Act rule changes become imminent, our firm has noticed a spike in inquiries related to small hedge funds and feeder funds.The JOBS Act is not the only recent congressional act to change the landscape of hedge funds; the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) made significant changes as well.

In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act eliminated the oft relied upon exemption from registration for private hedge fund advisors for those advisors with fewer than 15 clients.While eliminating the private advisor exemption, Dodd-Frank created three new exemptions, which are the operable hedge fund advisor exemptions today.These exemptions are for:

(1) Advisors solely to venture capital funds;

(2) Advisors solely to private funds with less than $150 million in assets under management in the U.S.; and

(3) Certain foreign advisers without a place of business in the U.S.

Moreover, the Dodd-Frank Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2010 (the “Advisers Act“) imposed

May162013

An Overview of Exemptions for Hedge Fund Advisers: Exemptions for Advisers to Venture Capital Funds, Private Fund Advisers with Less Than $150 Million in Assets Under Management, and Foreign Private Advisers – Part I

As I have blogged about in the past, the JOBS Act will have a significant impact on hedge funds, and in particular smaller hedge funds. As the delayed rule changes become imminent, our firm has noticed a spike in inquiries related to small hedge funds and feeder funds. The JOBS Act is not the only recent congressional act to change the landscape of hedge funds; the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) made a significant impact as well.

In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act eliminated the oft-relied upon exemption from registration for private hedge fund advisers for those advisers with fewer than 15 clients. While eliminating the private adviser exemption, the Dodd-Frank created three new exemptions, which are the operable hedge fund adviser exemptions today. These exemptions are for:

(1) Advisers solely to venture capital funds;

(2) Advisers solely to private funds with less than $150 million in assets under management in the U.S.; and

(3) Certain

Nov142012

COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF TITLE I OF THE JOBS ACT AS RELATED TO EMERGING GROWTH COMPANIES

On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) into law.  The JOBS Act was passed on a bipartisan basis by overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate.  The Act seeks to remove impediments to raising capital for emerging growth public companies by relaxing disclosure, governance and accounting requirements, easing the restrictions on analyst communications and analyst participation in the public offering process, and permitting companies to “test the waters” for public offerings.   The following is an in-depth review of Title I of the JOBS Act related to Emerging Growth Companies.

Introduction – What is an Emerging Growth Company?

The JOBS Act created a new category of company: an “Emerging Growth Company” (EGC).  An EGC is defined as a company with annual gross revenues of less than $1 billion that first sells equity in a registered offering after December 8, 2011.  In addition, an EGC loses its EGC status on the earlier