March 4, 2021 Alert

Hi all,

Below are this week’s alerts for the Investment Network.  Enjoy! 

This Issue’s Topics:

  • SEC Final Rule: Investment Adviser Marketing
  • SEC Investor Bulletin: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Funds
  • SEC Division of Examinations Announces 2021 Examination Priorities
  • The Division of Examinations’ Continued Focus on Digital Asset Securities
  • Client Alert: COVID-19 Relief for Employees Who Participate in Flexible Spending Accounts
  • REMINDER & UPDATE: Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association Membership Enrollment is Now Open!
  • REMINDER: Chicago Financial Women Virtual Networking Event: Celebrate International Women’s Day!
  • IAA: 2021 Virtual Investment Adviser Compliance Conference
  • WDCCRT: SEC Speaker Marta Rodgers Fischl – Division of Examinations
  • FIA: L&C Virtual 2021: 43rd Annual FIA Law and Compliance Division Conference on the Regulation of Futures, Derivatives and OTC Products
  • Consensus by Coindesk

Announcements/Publications:

SEC Final Rule: Investment Adviser Marketing
Scheduled to be Published on March 5, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) amendments under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Act”) to update rules that govern investment adviser marketing are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow. The amendments will create a merged rule that will replace both the current advertising and cash solicitation rules. These amendments reflect market developments and regulatory changes since the advertising rule’s adoption in 1961 and the cash solicitation rule’s adoption in 1979. The SEC is also adopting amendments to Form ADV to provide the SEC with additional information about advisers’ marketing practices. Finally, the SEC is adopting amendments to the books and records rule under the Act.

To read more, click here.

SEC Investor Bulletin: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Funds
February 26, 2021

Funds, such as mutual funds and ETFs that focus on environmental, social, and governance principles (ESG Funds), have gained popularity with investors over time. Investors may hear about these funds from financial professionals, from investment-focused online sites, or even from popular media. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this bulletin to educate investors about ESG Funds, including important questions to ask if considering whether investing in them is right for you.

To read more, click here.

SEC Division of Examinations Announces 2021 Examination Priorities
March 3, 2021

The SEC’s Division of Examinations announced its 2021 examination priorities, including a greater focus on climate-related risks. The Division will also focus on conflicts of interest for brokers (Regulation Best Interest) and investment advisers (fiduciary duty), and attendant risks relating to FinTech in its initiatives and examinations. The Division publishes its examination priorities annually to provide insights into its risk-based approach, including the areas it believes present potential risks to investors and the integrity of the U.S. capital markets.

For more information, click here.

The SEC’s Division of Examinations’ Continued Focus on Digital Asset Securities
February 26, 2021

The SEC’s Division of Examinations issued a Risk Alert to provide observations made by Division staff during examinations of investment advisers, broker-dealers and transfer agents regarding digital asset securities that may assist firms in developing and enhancing their compliance practices. It is the Division’s experience that a number of activities related to the offer, sale and trading of digital assets that are securities present unique risks to investors. In sharing the focus areas for the digital asset initiatives, the Division encourages market participants to reflect upon their own practices, policies and procedures, as applicable, and to promote improvements in their supervisory, oversight and compliance programs.

To view the Risk Alert, click here.

Stradley Ronon Client Alert: COVID-19 Relief for Employees Who Participate in Flexible Spending Accounts
February 26, 2021

The IRS has issued guidance that expands employees’ access to flexible spending account funds in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance, Notice 2021-15, clarifies in detail the provisions of §214 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020 (Dec. 27, 2020) (TCDRA) which expands employees’ access to health and dependent care FSAs, by tweaking the “use it or lose it rule” and the interplay of the “carryover” and “grace period” rules.

The centerpiece of TCDRA and Notice 2021-15 is to combine the grace period and carryover rules. Conceptually there is no distinction between the grace period and carryover for PYs 2020 and 2021 PYs. In order to avoid confusion, the IRS refers to the period as the “temporary extension period.”

To read more, click here.

REMINDER & UPDATE: Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association Membership Enrollment is Now Open!

Learn more about the Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association’s (“Global DCA”)  promotion of standards, education and advocacy in the cryptocurrency sphere, and how our model of self-regulation may benefit your company and your aspirations for the broader digital asset industry.

In recognition of the urgent challenges facing the digital asset and cryptocurrency industry, the Global DCA gathers a breadth of industry participants and stakeholders, in the form of a self-regulatory association to:

  • Reduce uncertainty and regulatory ambiguity through advocacy and engagement;
  • Instill trust in the industry through the development and promotion of global standards, guidance and best practices; and
  • Foster understanding and awareness through education and training for our industry, consumers and the general public.

For our members, we offer a one-stop-source for advocacy, practical guidance and education, as well as a community of peers and professionals ready and willing to support each other and our industry. Ready to join us? Set yourself apart as a leader in the digital asset and cryptocurrency industry through Global DCA membership – contact us today at membership@global-dca.org.

Join our new publicly announced members:

  • Cryptocurrency Mining Group (CMG)
  • DDH
  • Prime Trading
  • Sudrania Fund Services Corp
  • Dunamis Trading
  • LedgerMatic
  • Fintank
  • Ciphertrace
  • Brane Capital

For more information on the association, click here.

Events:

REMINDER: Chicago Financial Women Virtual Networking Event: Celebrate International Women’s Day!
March 8, 2021, 5:00-6:00 P.M. CT

Chicago Financial Women invites you to join us for a virtual happy hour networking session in celebration of International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women’s Day has occurred for over a century – the first in 1911 was supported by over a million people. CFW’s mission is to connect, empower and uplift women – so let’s get together and celebrate one another.

Please RSVP before 12 pm on Monday, March 8th.  For more information, click here.

IAA: 2021 Virtual Investment Adviser Compliance Conference
March 3-5, 2021

This year, the IAA’s annual Investment Adviser Compliance Conference will take place virtually. Over three half-days, the conference will provide investment advisers with the most current information available on the changing regulatory landscape. Gain practical insights and knowledge of best practices that will help you maintain a successful compliance program — from the location of your choice!

Across 25 general and breakout sessions, our 2021 conference will cover a wide range of topics, including risk management; Department of Labor rules and guidance impacting investment advisory firms; international developments; ESG investing and implementation; ethics; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and much more.

Of particular note, join us for the Ethics for Advisers panel. This session will look at an adviser’s code of ethics reflecting its fiduciary obligation to its clients and related policy issues and scenarios, as well as best practices for monitoring, testing, administering and enforcing these policies. The speakers will be:

  • Kevin Ehrlich of Western Asset Management Company
  • Gretchen E. Lee of Clifford Swan Investment Counselors
  • Kurt Wachholz of National Regulatory Services
  • Sara Crovitz of Stradley Ronon

For more information, click here.

WDCCRT: SEC Speaker Marta Rodgers Fischl – Division of Examinations
Thursday, March 25, 2021, 3:30-5:00 P.M. CT

Join us for a virtual meeting with Marta Rodgers Fischl, an Attorney-Adviser in the SEC Division of Examinations’ Chicago Regional Office’s IA/IC Group.  Marta will provide an overview of the Division’s National Examination Program including the Selection Process, Priorities, and Best Practices when encountering SEC examinations. The moderators will be Marina Baranovsky of Scitus Consulting and Nicole Kalajian of Stradley Ronon.

WDCCRT Members can RSVP at contact@wdccrt.org by COB March 22nd, 2021 to receive log-in information.

WDCCRT has grown significantly and in order to make the group beneficial to all members, it is vital we have members that help us maintain a diverse, balanced skill set. Non-member in-house CCOs, CFOs, GCs and COOs interested in becoming members are invited to RSVP to hear about a special membership offer after the event.

RSVP: contact@wdccrt.org

FIA: L&C Virtual 2021: 43rd Annual FIA Law and Compliance Division Conference on the Regulation of Futures, Derivatives and OTC Products
April 27-30, 2021

FIA’s virtual Law & Compliance Division Conference (L&C-V) will cover legal and regulatory issues impacting the derivatives industry as well as practical considerations driven by the remote work environment. L&C-V meets the needs of multiple levels of practitioners in the industry, from the new law firm associate to the chief compliance officer. Between live and on demand sessions, this year’s program offers approximately 20 hours of CLE credit covering topics like enforcement, climate risk, digital asset regulation, SEC issues, clearing models and much more.

Nicole Kalajian of Stradley Ronon will be a panelist on the CPO/CTA/Investment Adviser Issues panel with moderator Bob Klein of Citi and (tentative) co-panelists, Dorothy Mehta of Cadwalader, Sachiyo Sakemi of Blackrock, Michelle Kershaw of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Ray Ramierez of Eversheds.

Register by April 4 to get the best rates! For more information, click here.

Consensus by Coindesk
May 24-27,2021

Exceptional Networking Opportunities
At a time of global economic transformation, wild crypto markets and breakneck financial innovation, Consensus is truly a can’t-miss event. Consensus is the singular global conference that brings together entrepreneurs, traders, developers, academics, students and the curious under one roof to explore developments in crypto, collaborate around blockchain initiatives and debate the future of finance.

Thought-Provoking Insights
Featuring the most sought after industry leaders, innovators and analysts, the 2020 speaker lineup tapped enterprise blockchain, crypto startups, policymakers and cross-industry pioneers. Experience it for yourself and review the various topics that supported the extensive agenda.

Business Expansion
Regardless of your line of business, Consensus hosts a wide variety of industry leaders who are shaping the future and advancing the reach of blockchain and crypto. Explore the various ways to get involved and increase your exposure exponentially.

Unparalleled Content
As Consensus has grown over the years, so have the number of tracks and stages incorporated into the event in order to provide a diverse range of content formats to best advance critical industry conversations.

For more information, click here.

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