Posts from October 2017.

Morgan Stanley announced October 30 that it would exit the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, as part of strategy "to refocus [recruiting] resources on existing talent."

Adopted in 2004, the Protocol is a broad industry covenant-not-to-sue meant to establish basic free-fire rules for recruiting among its 1500 or so signatories. For years, firms recruited heavily from one another to boost assets under management [sometimes called "prisoner exchanges"], using techniques like front-money bonuses paid through wasting promissory notes. The Protocol was instituted to reduce the ...

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently held that Tennessee's Trust Code and broad trust-instruments authorize a Trustee's execution of a pre-dispute arbitration clause. That isn't a per se breach of fiduciary duty, but the Court left that door slightly ajar. Moreover, a third-party relying on it will have to litigate whether it binds a non-signatory beneficiary.

The Guardian of tragically injured minor child sued the Trustees and financial advisors (and their firms) for breach of fiduciary and other duties in depletion of the child's personal-injury-proceeds Trust. The ...

Posted in: Arbitration

Cut, paste and forward ‒ just as the boss instructed. But Lorenzo's email to two clients was misleading, so the SEC filed an enforcement action. The ALJ held Lorenzo liable for violating anti-fraud provisions and imposed a C&D plus a $15,000 penalty. The full Commission reviewed the case de novo and imposed a permanent industry bar along with the $15,000 fine.

On appeal, a split panel of the D.C. Circuit affirmed on liability but remanded to the Commission for reconsideration of the penalty. The majority held Lorenzo was not a "maker" of a Rule 10b-5(b) "false statement," but his ...

Posted in: SEC

The Securities Exchange Commission ("SEC") has been busy the last couple months on the cyber front. On September 20, the SEC announced a renewed focus on cybersecurity efforts and disclosed that it had been a victim of a cyber-attack, which may have allowed hackers to use nonpublic information to make illicit gains. The press release revealed that the breach was induced by software vulnerability in the SEC's EDGAR system. In a more detailed statement on the matter, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton opened the door for cyber-attack related enforcement actions directed at public companies. He ...

Posted in: Cyber Security
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