Displaying items by tag: SEC
The SEC has proposed rule and form amendments that, would require additional disclosures regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment practices by RIAs, registered investment companies, and business development companies. The SEC also proposed rules to extend the 80% investment policy requirement in Rule 35d-1 under the Investment Company Act to any registered fund with a name that suggests it focuses on ESG factors. These proposed rules are aimed at helping investors navigate the endless array of ESG investing options. There is currently no tailored rule for ESG investing and the proposed rules would require consistent ESG-related disclosures about ESG products and services. Disclosures will include how a firm evaluates ESG factors and or how it achieves its stated ESG objectives. Advisors and funds will now need to take any necessary steps to prepare for these ESG-related disclosure requirements.
Finsum: The SEC proposed regulations on how advisors and funds label their ESG strategies should provide investors with consistent and reliable information on ESG products and services.
The SEC is planning to beef up its Reg BI enforcement for the rest of the year. The SEC put out a recent bulletin focused on Reg BI compliance and the role that brokers and advisors play in the process. The tone was about how brokers and advisors need to take more responsibility into their own hands regarding compliance. Additionally, more focus and guidance on rollover recommendations is in the pipe, said the SEC. More bulletins on the topic are expected soon.
FINSUM: Rollovers are obviously a major topic for advisors, so this will be closely watched and scrutinized by the wealth management community.
Special purpose acquisition vehicles (Spacs) have been one of the go-to alternatives for high-income investors in the last year, but for Goldman Sachs that could be changing. The SEC is proposing reforms to Spacs in order to improve transparency and align with traditional investments. Goldman will pause their Spac offerings in response. GS was one of the largest underwriters for Spacs in 2021 and raised almost $16 billion. This isn’t expected to be an isolated event for GS, other Wall Street firms are expected to follow suit as regulation will make these less attractive ventures.
Finsum: Biden’s SEC has been a not-so-quiet regulator when it comes to alternatives where they are quickly expanding scope to come down on these sub-industries
President Biden announced he is going to nominate Michael Barr, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and current dean of the University of Michigan's Public Policy School, for the Feds Vice Chairman of Supervision. Previously nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin pulled her nomination with harsh criticism from Republicans because she argued the Fed should discourage lending to traditional energy companies. Barr will be stepping into a difficult role but has experience in Government. He helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Critics have said that Barr had been easy on bank regulations during the Obama admin and others were suspicious as to his role with Lending Club and Ripple Labs.
Finsum: This is a relatively new position but it has critical regulatory power for the financial system.
The SEC has splashed headlines recently with crypto and ESG rule changes, and they are once again widening their scope. They have proposed a new rule which would force trading firms to register as dealers and fall under oversight. Algorithm and high frequency traders woud now fall under SEC guidelines and scrutiny. Gensler believes these traders provide an important liquidity function for the US financial system and should be overseen by the SEC. The rules would not apply to those that manage less than $50 million. These requirements would put high costs on many financial market participants and might not be justified according to experts.
Finsum: These measures are to prevent a 2020 Fed step in again, but it's difficult to see if this much oversight is warranted given how much it will cost.