Forum News Feed

The Forum News Feed is an electronic journal, or "blog," of alerts, analysis, news and tools focused on the needs of independent directors. Click here to subscribe to the Forum News Feed and have it delivered electronically to your e-mail inbox. 


  • July 11, 2023

    Gensler Delivers Remarks at IAC Meeting on Single Stock ETFs

    Chair Gary Gensler briefly touched on the rise in popularity of single-stock ETFs, including inverse and levered products. Gensler noted that holding a single-stock ETF is not the same as directly holding a share of an issuer, it involves more risk, particularly to retail investors. His comments also touched on predicative data analytics, and he noted the potential conflict of interest inherent in using AI and machine learning in the financial services space.

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  • July 10, 2023

    Financial Services Subcommittees Hold SEC Oversight Hearings

    The Capital Markets Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) heard testimony from the Director of the Division of Trading and Markets, Haoxiang Zhu, and Dr. Jessica Wachter, SEC Chief Economist and Director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA). Chair Wagner noted agencies typically advance one proposal at a time by presenting clear and convincing evidence of a problem or failure warranting such a drastic policy change, she argued that has not been the case at the Commission. Additionally, the Financial Services Oversight Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI), heard testimony from the SEC’s General Counsel Megan Barbero. The hearing focused on the Commission’s slow response to inquiries from the full Committee and from the Subcommittee.

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  • July 6, 2023

    Event of Interest: Dechert to Host Webinar on ESG Litigation Risks

    On Wednesday, July 12 at 12:00pm ET, Dechert plans to host a webinar titled, “ESG Backlash in the United States: Litigation Risks.” The program will focus on the risks of litigation for corporate boards and investment managers who face “increasingly difficult choices regarding their consideration of ESG factors.”

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  • July 5, 2023

    SEC3 Outlines Questions to Consider for SEC Exam Preparedness

    SEC Compliance Consultants (SEC3) recently published a tipsheet for SEC Exam Preparedness that covers what to do before Commission staff come in as well as what to do once an entity is notified of an exam. SEC3 notes that funds should focus on disclosure, performance metrics, and “adequate resources to comply with securities laws in this changing regulatory environment.”

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  • June 29, 2023

    The Conference Board Highlights Steps Boards Can Take to Understand “AI in the Era of ESG”

    The report sites nine recommendations for boards to consider as AI technology continues to proliferate the business community. While the recommendations are mostly focused on what corporate boards should be considering, there is likely to be overlap for fund boards as part of their oversight and understanding of the fund’s investments and strategy.

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  • June 27, 2023

    Willkie Releases Mid-Year Analysis of SEC Enforcement Actions

    The paper focuses on SEC Enforcement actions through the first part of the year and notes the Commission’s workload has been particularly focused in “all aspects of crypto,” as the Commission “claimed jurisdiction over crypto exchanges, lending platforms, and other intermediaries by not only charging exchanges for failing to register with the Commission but also by enforcing the more traditional anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions of the Exchange Act.”

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  • June 26, 2023

    Forum Webinar: Closed-End Fund Litigation Overview and Update

    Simpson Thacher partners Ryan Brizek and Alan Turner will host a webinar covering recent updates in closed-end fund litigation as well as general trends in the closed-end fund space.

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  • June 22, 2023

    Dechert ‘On Point’ Discusses Artificial Intelligence Regulatory Updates

    Dechert recently released a regulatory update highlighting the Biden Administration’s regulatory focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology updates. Dechert also notes that “Federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have issued statements confirming that they will apply existing laws and regulations to new technologies, including AI, with a particular focus on enforcing civil rights, non-discrimination, fair competition, consumer protection and other vitally important legal protections.”

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  • June 21, 2023

    Event of Interest: EY to Discuss Prioritizing Governance in ESG Strategy

    The program will focus on understanding governance risks and opportunities as well as identifying ways for the organization to ensure it has the experience and skills to mitigate the changing environment.

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  • June 20, 2023

    SEC Spring Agenda Update Released

    In a statement, SEC Chair Gary Gensler noted, “our Commission has updated its ruleset to meet the challenges of a new hour.” Of note to fund directors, the agenda mentions anticipated regulatory action on “Fund Fee and Disclosure Reform” for April 2024.

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  • June 15, 2023

    Gensler Delivers Remarks on Market Structure, Asset Management at ICI Washington DC Conference

    His remarks, entitled “Bear in the Woods,” touched on investment and liquidity risks posed by certain types of investment funds as well as the SEC’s recent proposals addressing those perceived risks. When referencing the recent open-end fund proposal, Chair Gensler stated the Commission put forward “a number of alternatives” including “either within the framework of swing pricing or liquidity fees…”

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  • June 14, 2023

    Nasdaq Publishes Paper on Third Party Risk and Board Oversight

    The paper highlights that boards “play a crucial role in ensuring the companies they oversee are performing the due diligence necessary to assess any risks that third parties pose to the company and its operations.” Third party vendors can provide a variety of services but boards should ensure management considers what happens if there is a breach at the vendor, or even a scenario where the vendor is out of business.

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  • June 13, 2023

    House Agriculture and Financial Services Committee Release Discussion Draft for Digital Asset Legislation

    The draft sets a framework for a company to register with the SEC in order to issue a digital asset, allows for Alternative Trading Systems (ATS) to register as exchanges for crypto assets that remain securities, and provide a regulatory pathway for CFTC oversight of digital assets that move outside of the investment contract status. The draft is also silent on any specific existing assets, which likely means that digital assets currently in existence would need to be certified separately.

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  • June 12, 2023

    Event of Interest: The Evolution of ESG Investing in Asset Management

    EY plans to hold a webinar titled, “How ESG is evolving in asset management" which will feature a discussion with asset owners and institutional consultants to capture where investors align on ESG and where fault lines have deepened.

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  • June 8, 2023

    SEC Division of Investment Management Hosts Conference on Emerging Trends in Asset Management

    The SEC’s Division of Investment Management held an inaugural program titled, “Conference on Emerging Trends in Asset Management.” The conference broadly touched on investor protection, the rise of private funds, investment complexity and trends, outsourcing, and industry innovation.

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  • June 7, 2023

    MFDF Webinar: SEC Division of Examinations Staff Panel – Investment Company Issues and Considerations for Fund Boards

    Tomorrow, June 8 the SEC Division of Examinations staff will discuss topical issues related to investment companies and their advisers, as well as considerations for independent fund directors and CCOs. This webinar will not be recorded or archived and is only open to fund directors and CCOs.

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  • June 6, 2023

    State AGs Send Subpoenas, Investigative Demands to Asset Managers on ESG Practices

    Over the past month, multiple state attorneys general have sent subpoenas or civil investigative demands (CIDs) to certain asset managers due to their incorporation of ESG factors in investment strategy. A client alert from K&L Gates highlights the complexity of the state AG requests, noting “asset managers should think about jurisdictional questions, especially where they have no place of business or clients in a state issuing the demand.”

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  • June 5, 2023

    MFDF Webinar: Latest Updates in Mutual Fund Litigation and Enforcement

    Tomorrow, June 6 at 2:00pm ET partners with Dechert’s financial services practice plan to review mutual fund industry litigation from 2022 and provide a preview of what to expect in regulatory enforcement in 2023.

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  • June 1, 2023

    House Financial Services Committee Advances Six Bills During May Mark-Up

    In May, the House Financial Services Committee advanced six bills, of which four bills received bipartisan support. Of interest to directors of closed-end funds, the “Increasing Investor Opportunities Act,” (H.R. 2627) was advanced by a vote of 37-11.

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  • May 31, 2023

    SEC Issues LIBOR-Transition Related Risk Alert

    Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission released a Risk Alert highlighting observations from recent exams of investment advisers and investment companies on LIBOR transition-related risks. The Risk Alert notes that “[f]irms have made significant efforts to prepare for the transition away from LIBOR” and encourages all firms to consider the preparation and resources needed as the transition away from U.S. Dollar LIBOR approaches on June 30.

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