On December 4, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) updated its Questions and Answers (Q&A) on the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

The new question concerns the apparent conflict between Article 24(2) AIFMD, which requires managers of alternative investment funds (AIFMs) to report results of liquidity stress tests for all of the alternative investment funds (AIFs) that they manage, and Article 16(1) AIFMD, which exempts managers of closed-ended unleveraged AIFs from conducting liquidity stress tests. Continue Reading ESMA Updates AIFMD Q&A

On December 4, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) updated its Questions and Answers (Q&A) on the application of the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).

The updates addressed the following topics: Continue Reading ESMA Updates MiFID Q&A

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