Each week we are giving you our weekly report highlighting the top compliance news articles from various industry news publications. We have selected the most relevant and important news articles related to registered investment adviser ("RIA") compliance and regulatory issues. This week's recap focuses on the announcement of Maryland securities chief elected to serve as President of the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”), the Department of Labor's ("DOL") fiduciary rule, environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) disclosures, and cryptocurrency regulation.
Here's our top investment adviser compliance articles for the week of August 6th, 2021:
1. Maryland securities chief to lead NASAA in 2021-22 (InvestmentNews)
This article covers the announcement of Melanie Senter Lubin, Maryland securities commissioner, being elected to become the President of the North American Securities Administrators Association “NASAA” beginning on September 21, 2021. Lubin will serve as President of the state and Canadian provincial securities regulators for a one-year term. InvestmentNews also lists the names of the NASAA board members for 2021-22.
2. Trade Groups Mull Asking DOL To Further Delay Fiduciary Rule Enforcement (Author – Tracey Longo, FinancialAdvisor)
Regulation for the DOL’s Prohibited Transaction Exemption rule, also known as the fiduciary rule, will go into effect December 20, 2021. Tracey Longo discusses how industry trade groups are considering requesting an extension from the DOL to delay enforcement of the rule and give firms more time to prepare to comply. One industry expert shares how small to mid-size firms are facing challenges implementing the exemptions. Longo states that the trade groups are also working with the DOL to see if any planned interpretations or proposals will be released to ease the common concerns.
3. SEC’s Gensler takes to Twitter to push mandatory climate disclosures (Author – Mark Schoeff Jr., Investment News)
SEC Chairman, Gary Gensler recently published a series of tweets advocating for rulemaking on environmental, social, and governance “ESG” disclosures. Such disclosure requirements would entail public companies obligation to provide information to investors on issues such as climate risk like greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, companies only voluntarily report how ESG matters affect their operations and finances. The article points out there are concerns from the industry on implementing clear-cut ESG disclosure requirements and questions of whether the disclosures are material to financial results.
Melanie Waddell discusses the momentum of ESG rulemaking, as the Labor Department submitted proposed rules on ESG factors in retirement accounts to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The submission of the proposed rules follows President Biden’s executive order to the secretary of labor to consider publishing rules related to ESG investments on retirements accounts by September 2021. The typical time frame for approval and release to the public of such plans by the OMB is about 90 days.
5. SEC's Gensler Seeks Warren Help In Crypto Exchange Crackdown (Author – Ben Bain, FinancialAdvisor)
In this article, Ben Bain provides details on SEC Chairman, Gary Gensler’s push for regulation on cryptocurrency exchanges. Gensler reached out to Senator Elizabeth Warren last week, expressing his concern that regulators need more resources to protect investors. Gensler described specific concerns with so-called stablecoins and stated his intentions to continue working towards legislation to implement regulatory oversight. Bain shares that the Senator Warren “signaled she’ll be a willing ally in asserting more control over digital assets.”
Don't forget to check out last week's top RIA compliance news articles that focus on technology news in the wealth management industry, paths to an independent RIA model, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) efforts to strengthen the whistleblower program, and changes to family office regulation.