On November 1, Glass Lewis released its 2020 US Proxy Paper Guidelines. The updates to the voting guidelines primarily add additional factors that Glass Lewis will review when evaluating proposals and issuing its voting recommendation for shareholders. Continue Reading Glass Lewis Releases 2020 US Proxy Paper Guidelines

On November 12, the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) published its U.S. 2020 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates, which will be effective for shareholder meetings held on or after February 1, 2020. In general, the updates involve clarification of guidelines and formalization of factors to codify ISS’s existing approach on recommendations relating to specific issuers. Continue Reading ISS Releases 2020 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is requesting public comment on a proposed rule that generally would prohibit registered persons from serving as a customer’s beneficiary, executor or trustee, or holding a power of attorney or similar position for or on behalf of a customer. The proposed rule also would provide two exceptions from this general prohibition, including (1) instances in which the customer is a member of the registered person’s immediate family and (2) instances in which the member firm approves in advance the relationship. In addition, the proposed rule would require member firms to review and assess these relationships.

Continue Reading FINRA Proposes Limitations on Serving as a Customer’s Beneficiary

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold an open meeting on Monday, November 25 at 10:00 a.m. EST to discuss (1) Final Rules amending CFTC Rules 4.5, 4.7, 4.13, 4.14 and 4.27; and (2) a Proposed Rule amending swap clearing requirement exemptions under Part 50 of the Commodity Exchange Act.

The meeting is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as via live webcast and via conference call.

More information, including viewing and listening instructions, is available here.

On November 11, the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) published a statement with two key findings on the legal status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English law (the Statement). The UKJT is a taskforce of the LawTech Delivery Panel of the Law Society, which is the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales. The Statement was made following a public consultation, which closed in June 2019. Continue Reading Cryptoassets: UK Jurisdiction Taskforce Publishes Statement

On November 12, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) published a proposed rule that would amend CFTC Regulation 160.30 by establishing specific requirements for policies and procedures to protect customer records and information (Detailed Requirements). The Detailed Requirements were inadvertently deleted in a 2011 amendment to the regulation.

Continue Reading CFTC Proposes Rule to Amend Regulation 160.30

On November 13, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice to Members 1-19-25, announcing that amendments to NFA Compliance Rule 2-29 and NFA Compliance 2-36 will become effective on January 1, 2020.  Compliance Rules 2-29 and 2-36 and related Interpretive Notices establish requirements for an NFA Member’s communications with the public and use of promotional material.

Continue Reading Effective Date for Amendments to NFA’s Promotional Material Rules and Interpretive Notices

On November 11, the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) of the National Crime Agency (NCA) published its 2019 annual report on the functioning of the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) regime.

The UKFIU noted an increase in the number of SARs and defense against money laundering (DAML) requests:

Continue Reading NCA Publishes SAR Annual Report

On November 4, the US Securities and Exchange Commission extended their October 26, 2017 “no-action” letter in relation to the research provisions in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), so that it expires on July 3, 2023 rather than on July 3, 2020.

Continue Reading FCA Supports SEC “No Action” Extension for MiFID II

On November 11, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published three sets of technical advice on tiering, comparable compliance and fees charged to third-country central counterparties (TC-CCPs). The advice is directed towards the European Commission (EC) and concerns the revised European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR 2.2).

Continue Reading ESMA Publishes Technical Advice for Third-Country CCPs