On April 11, 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released three regulatory notices requesting comment on rules related to corporate financing and capital formation. In particular, the regulatory notices propose changes to Rule 5110, which regulates underwriting compensation and prohibits unfair arrangements in connection with the public offerings of securities; Rules 2241 and 2242, which regulate equity and debt research analysts and research reports; and Rule 2310, which relates to public offerings of direct participation programs and unlisted REIT’s.
The proposed changes come as part of the FINRA360 initiative announced several months ago. Under the 360 initiative, FINRA has committed to a complete self-evaluation and improvement. As part of FINRA360, the regulator has requested public comment on the effectiveness and efficiency of its rules, operations and administrative processes governing broker-dealer activities related to the capital-raising process and their impact on capital formation.
Regulatory Notice 17-14 – Request for Comment on Rules Impacting Capital Formation
Regulatory Notice 17-14 is a
On August 18, 2016, the SEC approved FINRA’s rules implementing a new category of broker-dealer called “Capital Acquisition Brokers” (“CABs”), which limit their business to corporate financing transactions. FINRA first published proposed rules on CABs in December 2015. My blog on the proposed rules can be read HERE. In March and again in June 2016, FINRA published amendments to the proposed rules. The final rules enact the December proposed rules as modified by the subsequent amendments.
A CAB will generally be a broker-dealer that engages in M&A transactions, raising funds through private placements and evaluating strategic alternatives and that collects transaction-based compensation for such activities. A CAB will not handle customer funds or securities, manage customer accounts or engage in market making or proprietary trading.
Description of Capital Acquisition Broker (“CAB”)
There are currently FINRA-registered firms which limit their activities to advising on mergers and acquisitions, advising on raising debt and equity capital in private placements or advising on