On November 5, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amendments to Rule 14a-8 of the Securities Exchange of 1934 (Exchange Act) to address required share ownership thresholds for a proponent to submit a shareholder proposal, update the “one proposal” rule to clarify the rule that a person can only submit one proposal per meeting and amend the vote support thresholds required for a proponent to resubmit a shareholder proposal at subsequent shareholder meetings. Continue Reading SEC Proposes New Amendments to Modernize Shareholder Proposal Rules

On November 5, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amendments to the rules governing proxy solicitations to expressly apply them to proxy voting advisors. The proposed amendments would codify the SEC’s position that proxy voting advice is a “solicitation” within the meaning of the proxy rules, place certain disclosure requirements on proxy voting advice and define what would be impermissible false or misleading disclosure in the context of proxy voting advice. Continue Reading SEC Proposes Amendments Relating to Proxy Voting Advice

On November 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission extended temporary no-action relief to firms that are regulated in the United States in connection with their efforts to comply with the research provisions of the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). Under the extension, the SEC staff will not recommend enforcement action under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 against broker-dealers receiving payments in hard dollars or through research payment accounts from clients subject to MiFID II.

This no-action relief was set to expire July 3, 2020, but has now been extended until July 3, 2023.

The SEC No-Action Letter is available here.

The extension letter is available here.

On November 5, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved Foreign Board of Trade (FBOT) registration applications for three non-US exchanges to allow their members and other US participants to enter orders directly into their respective trade matching systems. The FBOTs receiving such approvals were: 1) Euronext Amsterdam N.V.; 2) Euronext Paris SA; and 3) the European Energy Exchange of Germany, bringing the total number of FBOTs registered with the CFTC to 21. Continue Reading CFTC Approves Three Foreign Board of Trade Applications

On November 1, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice to Members I-19-22, announcing that NFA’s Swap Proficiency Requirements would launch and become accessible online on January 31, 2020 (Swap Proficiency Requirements). Each NFA Member with associated persons required to take the Swap Proficiency Requirements must designate at least one Swaps Proficiency Requirements Administrator who will coordinate enrollment and track progress.

The NFA Notice to Members is available here.

On November 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it voted to propose amendments to modernize the rules under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) addressing investment adviser advertisements and payments to solicitors. According to the SEC, the “proposed amendments to the advertising rule (Rule 206(4)-1 under the Advisers Act) would replace the current rule’s broadly drawn limitations with principles-based provisions,” and would permit the use of testimonials, endorsements and third-party ratings, subject to certain conditions. The proposed rule also would include tailored requirements for the presentation of performance results based on an advertisement’s intended audience. Continue Reading SEC Proposes Changes to the Advertising and Cash Solicitation Rules for Investment Advisers

On October 31, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published five revised directions, extending the Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) to January 20, 2020. This coincides with the most recent extension of the Brexit deadline from October 31 to January 31, 2020 and is the fourth time that the TPR has been extended. Continue Reading FCA Extends Brexit Deadlines

On October 31, the European Scrutiny Committee published a letter they received from John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, regarding potential equivalence arrangements that might be put in place between the UK and the EU following Brexit. The European Scrutiny Committee is a committee of the House of Commons and is chaired by Sir William Cash MP. Continue Reading HMT Publishes Letter on Equivalence

On October 24, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to update filing fee disclosure and payment methods. The proposed amendments would apply to most fee-bearing forms, schedules and statements, including Forms S-1, S-3, S-4, S-8 and S-11, related foreign private issuer forms, proxy statements, information statements, Schedule TO and certain Investment Company Act of 2940 forms. Continue Reading SEC Proposes Modernization of Filing Fee Disclosure and Payment Methods

On October 25, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a rule change (SR-FINRA-2019-026) with the Securities and Exchange Commission that postpones for another full year the implementation of mandatory margin for Covered Agency Transactions under FINRA Rule 4210. The scheduled implementation date will now be March 25, 2021 instead of March 25, 2020.   Continue Reading Another Postponement of Margin Rules for Covered Agency Transactions Under FINRA Rule 4210