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On March 30, 2022, the Division of Examinations of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its examination priorities for 2022. This year’s priorities specifically focus on: (i) private funds; (ii) environmental, social and governance investing; (iii) standards of conduct, including Regulation Best Interest, fiduciary duty and Form CRS; (iv) information security and operational

In its 2022 Examination Priorities, issued on March 30, 2022, the Division of Examinations (“Division”) of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) uses the term “greenwashing” for the first time, as it outlined ESG as an area of continued focus for the Division.

Specifically, the Division stated that it will continue

On March 30, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) proposed new rules and amendments to existing rules and forms (the “Proposed Rules”) addressing the treatment of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) in connection with their initial public offerings (“IPOs”) and subsequent de-SPAC transactions. Comments on the Proposed Rules are due 30 days after

On February 9, 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) voted to propose a suite of new rules and amendments (the “Proposal”) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. If adopted, the Proposal would significantly increase the compliance obligations of advisers to “private funds” and would fundamentally reorder the relative rights,

You are an issuer, investment adviser, or broker-dealer.  You want to communicate to the public about securities.  Should you (a) type a letter and drop it in the mailbox; (b) chisel out a prospectus on two stone tablets; or (c) use social media?

If you chose (c),

On April 9, 2021, the Division of Examinations (“Division” or “staff”) of the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued a risk alert that highlighted its observations from its recent examinations of investment advisers, registered investment companies and private funds offering ESG products and services. The risk alert also provides observations of effective practices.

Noting that

On March 3, 2021, the Division of Examinations of the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced its 2021 examination priorities, which, as in previous years, provide insight into its risk-based approach for the year with respect to the entities it examines. In this Legal Update, we discuss the announced priorities applicable to investment advisers

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of ESG-related announcements coming from the SEC Acting Chair and staff. The most recent press release announced that the SEC has created a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement:

[T]he Climate and ESG Task Force will develop initiatives to proactively identify ESG-related misconduct. 

On February 26, 2021, the Division of Examinations (“Division”) of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) published a risk alert regarding its continued focus on digital assets (“Risk Alert”). The term “digital asset,” as used in the Risk Alert, refers to an asset that is issued and/or transferred using distributed ledger or blockchain technology

Fintech companies can face a variety of regulatory challenges under the federal securities laws, including one that often receives minimal attention, namely a company’s status as an “investment company” under the US Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”). Fintech companies that possibly meet the threshold definition of “investment company” under the 1940 Act,