Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer

October 26, 2017

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued three No-Action Letters regarding the U.S.-regulated activities of entities seeking to comply with the European Union's (EU) Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) in advance of the Jan. 3, 2018, implementation date:
The No-Action Letters generally provide that:

(1) broker-dealers, on a temporary basis, may receive research payments from money managers in hard dollars or from advisory clients' research payment accounts; 
(2) money managers may continue to aggregate orders for mutual funds and other clients; and 
(3) money managers may continue to rely on an existing safe harbor when paying broker-dealers for research and brokerage.

Delayed Resignation,Twitter,And Email Get Stockbroker Fined And Suspended  ( Blog)
Sometimes you just get caught in the middle of things. Take today's featured FINRA regulatory settlement in which a stockbroker decided to leave his then-current brokerage firm in December 2015 but, you know, one thing and then another apparently popped up and the target date of actually resigning in January 2016 slowly kept moving until March 2016. Funny thing about delays, they have a way of causing all sorts of unforeseen and unexpected problems. For example, what do you do with a customer's order that is presented to you while at your soon-to-be-former-firm? Do you enter it there or do you forward the biz to your future employer? Some would answer the question based upon loyalty to the firm that's paying you. Others would say that you feather your nest of the future. FINRA has the final say. READ

Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions in Northern California (Department of Justice Press Release 17-1199)

In connection with charges that he conspired to rig bids from about August 2008 to January 2011 at public foreclosure auctions in Northern California, Abraham S. Farag pleaded guilty to one count of bid rigging. The United States Department of Justice alleged that the conspirators had agreed to refrain from bidding against other co-conspirators in order to obtain the subject San Mateo County properties at noncompetitive prices.