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Category Archives: Litigation

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Puerto Rico and Its Bondholders

Posted in Credit Risk, Hedge Fund, Investment Management, Litigation, Municipal Bonds, Susan Mangiero
After a round of holiday hellos during dinner with a group of friends, the conversation turned to Puerto Rico and its financial distress. One gentleman at the table has a lot of his 401(k) account invested in municipal bonds, including a hefty allocation to Puerto Rico. Naturally he is nervously watching events and hoping for the best. From his… Continue Reading

Litigation and Due Diligence of Investment Service Providers

Posted in Litigation, Pension, Regulation, Risk Management
According to “Firms at risk of losing pension business because of LIBOR convictions” (Pensions & Investments, August 28, 2015), the U.S. Department of Labor “is tentatively denying” certain organizations the okay to work with ERISA retirement plans. Given the billions of dollars at stake, a failure to secure a Qualified Professional Asset Manager (“QPAM“) exemption… Continue Reading

Insights on Economic Analysis of Fiduciary Monitoring Disputes

Posted in ERISA, Fiduciary Liability, Investment Management, Litigation, Regulation, Susan Mangiero
While I typically avoid republishing posts from my other blog, Pension Risk Matters, there are numerous topics that are important to all types of investment industry professionals and not just those who work with retirement plan sponsors and participants. One such topic looks at investment monitoring and the fiduciary responsibilities to oversee and make changes,… Continue Reading

ERISA Litigation Conference Addresses Timely Fiduciary Issues

Posted in ERISA, Governance, Litigation, Pension, Regulation
Dr. Susan Mangiero announces the sponsorship of a forthcoming conference about ERISA litigation and regulatory issues by Fiduciary Leadership, LLC. Produced by the American Conference Institute (“ACI”), this mid-April event pairs attorneys (including corporate counsel) with jurists to address timely topics that include, but are not limited to, the following: Excessive fees; Church plan lawsuits; Fiduciary… Continue Reading

Investment Risk and Litigation

Posted in Compliance, Financial Expert, Investment Management, Litigation, Regulation, Risk Management
For anyone involved in compliance, 2015 may be the year that gives “so much to do, so little time” new meaning. In hs December 10, 2014 “Remarks to the ICI 2014 Securities Law Developments Conference,” Norm Champ describes points to keep in mind. Notable is his mention of risk monitoring as a key area for his… Continue Reading

Class Action Opt-Outs and the Role of Institutional Investor Plaintiffs

Posted in Compliance, Governance, International Investing, Investment Management, Litigation, Risk Management
During a May 2014 trip to London, I had the pleasure of meeting with various attorneys who do work with institutional investors such as pension funds. While I did not have a chance to convene with Attorney David Seidel, our guest interviewee for this blog post, I did meet with his colleague, senior attorney and… Continue Reading

Risk Management by Robot

Posted in Compliance, Derivatives, Litigation, Model Risk, Regulation, Risk Management
Risk Magazine editor Lukas Becker has an eye-popping article in the September issue about automated risk management. (See “Robot risk managers excite swap market-makers,” September 1, 2014). Given the constraints on profitability, in part due to the costs of rising regulation, interest rate swap dealers are seeking a way to use algorithms to “monitor multiple… Continue Reading

Article About Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Institutional Investors

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, Ethics, Financial Reporting, Fraud, International Investing, Litigation, Regulation, Risk Management
When I was asked to co-author something for The Corporate Counselor, I suggested an article about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and its implications for institutional investors and their counsel. I had not seen much on the subject yet knew that it was starting to percolate as an important topic for several reasons. First, it… Continue Reading

Automated Investment Management and Fiduciary Liability

Posted in Broker Dealers, Compliance, ERISA, Investment Management, Litigation, Model Risk, Regulation, Venture Capital
As I read about the pros and cons of providing automated investment advice, I am reminded of one of my former financial modeling students. Knee deep in math and not very happy about the hard work ahead, he felt strongly that hiring someone else to do the “grunt” work would leave him free to tackle more… Continue Reading

Using Leverage to Chase Returns

Posted in Derivatives, Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Investment Management, Leverage, Liquidity, Litigation, Municipal Bonds, Pension, Regulation, Risk Management
It is no secret that pension economics is becoming the topic du jour in public finance land. On August 11, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) made known its allegations of securities fraud against the State of Kansas. According to the official cease-and-desist order, information made available to municipal bond investors “failed to… Continue Reading

Executive Compensation: Governance and Litigation Considerations

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Key Person, Litigation, Regulation
On June 25, 2014, I co-presented with Attorney Jeffrey P. Crandall on the topic of executive compensation and related governance and litigation consideratons. Sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, our talk addressed topics such as “say on pay,” clawbacks, Section 162(m) lawsuits, valuation and Dodd-Frank mandates. With so much to address, an hour was a… Continue Reading

ACI ERISA Litigation Conference – New York City

Posted in ERISA, Litigation, Pension
I have the pleasure of announcing that Fiduciary Leadership, LLC is one of the sponsors of this recurring educational conference. For a limited time only, I am told that interested parties can register early and receive a discount. Contact Mr. Joseph Gallagher at 212-352-3220, extension 5511, for details. Besides two full days of interesting and timely presentations, the American Conference… Continue Reading

Litigation Trends – Regulatory Compliance and Global Reach

Posted in Compliance, Fiduciary Liability, International Investing, Investment Management, Litigation
A few weeks ago, I attended an interesting webinar about U.S. litigation trends. The event was sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright and featured numerous legal experts. Otway Denny, senior partner in charge of dispute resolution and litigation in the United States, described an undeniable rise in regulatory investigations due to “stricter” scrutiny “from a broad… Continue Reading

ERISA Pension Plan Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds

Posted in ERISA, Hedge Fund, Litigation
If you are interested in attending “ERISA Pension Plans: Mitigating Liability Risks for Hedge and Private Equity Fund Alternative Investments: Exercising Due Diligence to Avoid Investment Landmines for Institutional Investors and Fund Managers,” you can email if you would like one of the nine (9) guest passes that have been made available to me.… Continue Reading

Muni Bonds, Pensions and Financial Disclosures

Posted in Compliance, Derivatives, Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Hedge Fund, Liquidity, Litigation, Municipal Bonds, Pension, Regulation
I had the pleasure of co-presenting on February 19 with senior attorney Elaine Greenberg as part of an educational briefing for the Practising Law Institute. A partner with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and the former chief of the Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Enforcement Unit, part of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Attorney… Continue Reading

Muni Bonds, Pensions and Financial Disclosures: Compliance, Litigation and Regulatory Trends

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, Litigation, Municipal Bonds, Regulation
Mark your calendars to attend “Muni Bonds, Pensions and Financial Disclosures: Compliance, Litigation and Regulatory Trends.” At a time when unfunded pension and health care obligations are accelerating the budgetary crisis for some municipalities, experts fear that current problems are the tip of the iceberg. A new focus on accounting rules, the quality of disclosure to… Continue Reading

Muni Bond Public Pension Disclosures – Still High Priority For Regulators

Posted in Compliance, Derivatives, Disclosure and Transparency, FINRA, Litigation, Municipal Bonds, Mutual Funds, Pension, Regulation
According to a November 8, 2013 press release, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has appointed LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt as head of the Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit of its Enforcement Division. She is credited for overseeing pay-to-play actions and investigations that range from inappropriate hedge accounting disclosures and market timing. No doubt… Continue Reading

International Network for Financial Litigation Forms to Fight Fraud

Posted in Arbitration, Financial Expert, Fraud, Litigation
According to news accounts published on its website, the International Network for Financial Litigation (“INFL”) boasts twenty-two firms as members. Their goal is to pool information about global rules and regulations, business practices, current litigation and other legal developments as a way to help clients. See “22 Firms Form International Network to Fight Fraud” by… Continue Reading

Increase in Bank, Healthcare and Pension Litigation Predicted in 2013

Posted in Litigation
If Forbes reporter Daniel Fisher is correct, 2013 will be a banner year for law firm profits. According to “Litigation Outlook For 2013: Obamacare, Banks, Pensions Will Make Lawyers Rich” (Forbes, December 30, 2012), government regulations represent the “gift that keeps on giving,” especially those relating to the new health insurance laws known as Obamacare.… Continue Reading

401(k) Lawsuits, Investment Advisers and Fiduciary Breach

Posted in ERISA, Fiduciary Liability, Litigation
One wonders if financial professionals ever tire of new rules, regulations and the pressures of trying to do their job while avoiding liability landmines at the same time. Based on October 2012 comments made by several prominent ERISA attorneys – Michael Prame (Groom Law Group) and Fred Reish (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLC) – as part of the annual… Continue Reading

Investment Style Drift and Litigation

Posted in Disclosure and Transparency, ERISA, Hedge Fund, Investment Management, Litigation
  Unlike Confucius who extolled the virtues of travel when he said that “A thousand miles begins with a single step,” change may not be a good thing for asset managers and their investors. In recent presentations by attorneys, I have heard more said about litigation related to investment style drift than ever before. The… Continue Reading