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Category Archives: Regulation

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Fiduciary Rule Panel to Discuss Implementation

Posted in ERISA, Investment Management, Regulation, Susan Mangiero
Dr. Susan Mangiero will join a panel of esteemed experts to talk about the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule on June 21, 2016. Sponsored by the Financial Women’s Association, New Jersey chapter, CPE credit is available (CLE credit is pending). Meeting at the Seton Hall School of Law in Newark, this timely event features the following speakers:… Continue Reading

Investment Benchmarking “Must Do” Tasks

Posted in Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Governance, Investment Management, Regulation, Risk Management
Whenever the topic of performance measurement comes up in conversation, I think back to a story someone told me about a woman who took the number two spot in a race. Proud of her accomplishment, she telephoned friends and family with the news. Here’s the catch. Only one other runner competed. Technically, her statement was… Continue Reading

It’s Heeeere – The Fiduciary Rule Has Arrived – Now What?

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, ERISA, Fees, Fiduciary Liability, Governance, Investment Management, Mutual Funds, Regulation
Like most people who work in the financial services arena, I hastily downloaded the long anticipated “Fiduciary Rule” when it was released by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) on April 6, 2016 and am busy tackling this final version. With more than two hundred pages, it’s going to take longer than a lunch break but is nevertheless vital reading. DOL’s Fact… Continue Reading

Increased Regulation of Derivatives by Registered Funds

Posted in Derivatives, Disclosure and Transparency, International Investing, Investment Management, Mutual Funds, Regulation, Risk Management, Susan Mangiero, Trading
On December 11, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) took steps to more actively regulate how derivative instruments are used by registered investment companies such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), closed-end funds and business development companies. According to its Fact Sheet, a portfolio manager would have to either limit leverage via the use of derivatives to… Continue Reading

Investment Advisors, Monitoring and Compliance

Posted in Fiduciary Liability, Governance, Investment Management, Regulation, Risk Management
I talked last week about the intricacies of investment monitoring as part of a Bloomberg BNA webinar entitled “Life After Tibble: Investment Monitoring and Litigation Defense Considerations for ERISA Fiduciaries.” One of the points I made, repeatedly I might add, is that it is critical to evaluate the facts and circumstances related to a specific situation.… Continue Reading

Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (“GRC”) and Nasty Colleagues

Posted in Compliance, Investment Management, Regulation, Risk Management
Effective Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (“GRC”) critically depends on the hiring, retention and oversight of talented and ethical professionals. These individuals don’t need to be best friends. To the contrary, a risk manager must be tough and able to say no to traders and deal-makers if their individual or collective activity jeopardizes enterprise value.… 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

One Size Does Not Fit All When It Comes To Pay

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Governance, Key Person, Regulation
At a time when skilled talent is hard to find, business executives may want to resist the urge to socially engineer. One tech company CEO learned this lesson the hard way. According to “Seattle company copes with backlash on $70,000 minimum wage” (Seattle Times, August 1, 2015), across-the-board raises to establish a minimum base salary,… 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

Good Players Pay For Other People’s Bad Investment Compliance

Posted in Compliance, Financial Crisis, Governance, Investment Management, Municipal Bonds, Pension, Regulation
Much to my chagrin, I am told that it is my responsibility to pay for the removal of my neighbor’s tree after it fell in my backyard. Never mind that the tree is old and was left untended for many years until a bad storm destroyed its ability to stand. Ignore the fact that I… Continue Reading

SEC and Asset Manager Disclosures About Use of Derivatives

Posted in Derivatives, Disclosure and Transparency, Investment Management, Liquidity, Regulation, Valuation
Notice anything odd about this announcement? Are we to celebrate this creamy dessert on May 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25? If so, why is the event referred to as a “day” celebration? A quick search on the internet informs that National Vanilla Pudding Day is in fact May 22, 2015 and does not span… Continue Reading

Heroism in Business and Politics

Posted in Banking, Compliance, Ethics, Governance, Regulation
Coincidentally, two lectures I attended this weekend focused on the concept of heroism, individual rights and integrity. Although the speakers drew from different historical events, their interesting anecdotes about people who made a difference offer important lessons for modern time decision-makers. In “The Heroic City: New York As A Microcosm of America (March 7, 2015),… Continue Reading

Fiduciary Outsourcing Considerations

Posted in ERISA, Fiduciary Liability, Investment Management, Regulation
Plan Sponsor contributor, Judy Ward, takes a hard look at what many believe is a growing trend to outsource certain activities by retirement plan fiduciaries. A central theme in “Fiduciary Outsourcing Options” (February 2015) is that buyer and seller must be clear about the scope of work and document the agreement accordingly. This conversation importantly starts with a… 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

QPAM Exemptions For Money Managers Being Evaluated

Posted in ERISA, Regulation
For those who missed “Financial Firms as ERISA Plan Sponsors: The When, What and How of the QPAM Audit Requirement” on May 1, 2013, click to learn more about the Qualified Plan Asset Manager exemption and what it means to asset managers. Slides from this webinar – featuring ERISA attorney Howard Pianko (Seyfarth Shaw LLP), ERISA attorney… Continue Reading

Investment Risk Management, Kanye West and Paul McCartney

Posted in Broker Dealers, Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, FINRA, Investment Management, Liquidity, Regulation, Risk Management, Valuation
Thank heavens for the absurdities of life. A few chuckles here and there make the difference between blah and pizzazz in life. A recent example is the Twitterverse response to a recent artistic collaboration between Kanye West and Paul McCartney. Supposedly some of the members of the younger generation are unaware of this Beatle’s musical eminence. See “Genius… 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

Investment Performance Magic Can Cost Millions

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Investment Management, Regulation
Having spent a few days in Las Vegas over the holidays, one is reminded of the lure of legerdemain. A few bells go off, some flashing lights and a win here and there can tempt even the most staid rationalist into believing that magic can happen. If you have seen “Chicago,” you may recall Billy Flynn’s musical urging… Continue Reading

Do CEOs Work Hard Enough?

Posted in Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Governance, Key Person, Regulation, Valuation
By invitation of the head of the finance department, Dr. Chinmoy Ghosh, I am guest lecturing to students this fall as part of a Financial Risk Management graduate-level course. During a recent session about executive compensation – one of the topics I was asked to address – more than a few students opined that CEOs earn too much and… Continue Reading

SEC Reports Strong Enforcement Year Due to New Analytical Tools

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, Financial Reporting, Hedge Fund, Regulation
According to an October 16, 2014 press release, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reports a “record 755 enforcement actions covering a wide range of misconduct, and obtained orders totaling $4.16 billion in disgorgement and penalties…” for the fiscal year-end ending in September 2014. One reason given for this increase from prior years is the “enhanced use of data… Continue Reading

Investment Firms and Corruption Risk Management in Africa

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, International Investing, Private Equity, Regulation, Risk Management
When I write an article, it is always gratifying to know that someone has read it and found it helpful. Having someone reference your work is nice too. That is why I was happy to learn from my co-author, H. David Kotz, that AFK Insider has extensively excerpted from our article entitled “Avoiding FCPA Liability… 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