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May 16, 2019

The need for every organization to understand the legal environment in which it operates (through a comprehensive, continuously improving compliance program) was underscored by significant announcements issued by federal enforcement agencies over the past few weeks. These announcements apply to all U.S. persons, even investors which are not required to register with a financial regulatory authority (such as the SEC).  

Moreover, even SEC registrants that fully comply with SEC compliance requirements may  still fall short of the new guidelines. The reason is simple: the new guidelines apply to activities that go beyond the requirements set out in the federal securities laws.

In the eyes of the U.S. federal regulators, you have been put on notice. Expect other domestic and international regulatory authoriti...

March 8, 2019

Pre-Conference Program:

Garnering Efficiencies for the Investment Office


Wednesday, May 15, 2019  |  1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Citco Fund Services: 350 Park Ave, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10022

1:00 PM           AI and the Investment Office Workload

A look at the AI tools that exist today, what might exist in the future and how decisions to insource or outsource technology should be made, with a focus on document management.

Moderator: Christopher J. Adams, Chief Strategic Counsel, McDermott Discovery

Speakers:

Aaron Crews, Chief Data Analytics Officer, Littler Mendelson P.C.

Brian Kuhn, Partner, Co-Founder and Global Leader of the Watson Legal Practice, IBM

2:30 PM           Coffee Break

2:45 PM           Technology’s Increasin...

October 5, 2018

RFG has prepared, for its consortium members only, a white paper that discusses the issues encountered when an allocation is made to an investment manager that holds crypto assets.

The white paper notes that crypto assets are not themselves an asset class, but rather a term used to address a wide variety of fundamentally different investments. As crypto assets are new, and untested, each asset needs to be considered on its own to determine whether it is “fit” for its stated purpose. Considerations should include both a coding perspective and the perspective of whether the crypto asset appropriately addresses existing legal frameworks that apply to transactions and transfers. The white paper suggests eight specific areas that might be considered as part of this analysis.

A...

August 8, 2018

In partnership with DMS Governance, RFG has produced an illustrative chart of service providers seeking to assist charitable organizations in the receipt of cryptocurrency donations. The chart includes a detailed list of crypto asset service providers and liquidity providers who have indicated an interest in helping charitable organizations to accept, as well as to monetize, donations of cryptocurrencies. The document will continue to be updated on a periodic basis.

Concurrently with the release of the service provider guide, RFG has released to its consortium members a white paper that discusses selected accounting, tax, regulatory, contractual and policy considerations that arise for a charity and donor when contemplating a gift of Bitcoin, Ethereum Ripple, Bitcoin cash, and Litecoin (the top fi...

March 13, 2018

We are scrutinizing a new topic: the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which becomes effective May 25th. It seems possible that some charitable organizations — and their endowment investment offices — might technically fall within the GDPR’s scope. Although the drive behind the GDPR was to strengthen data protections provided to EU consumers who interact with internet companies that gather and retain information, the precise balance to its reach is yet to be determined. As so often happens with a new regulatory requirement, broad language was used, little guidance exists on the application to investors, and future regulatory clarifications could easily eliminate burdensome and onerous requirements (or, of more concern, expand them).  As if this were not enough,  there exists a great deal of uncer...

May 5, 2017

In a recent piece for RFG, Finbarr O’Connor of the Berkeley Research Group comments on the process for winding down a hedge fund. He notes that hedge funds most frequently close due to underperformance but events such as litigation, regulatory issues, key-man events and loss of members of the investment team may also trigger closure. Read more here.

March 24, 2017

As we face the prospect of substantial policy changes emanating from Washington, DC, RFG asked industry pros for their insights on the greatest challenges facing fund managers. They identified several key issues, including the threat of the index fund revolution and the perils of succession; challenges to fundraising; the impact of tax reform on transactions; whether hedge funds should plan for a Trump recession; new AML regulations; and the fiduciary rule.

Read what they had to say here.

March 21, 2017

Recently, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff urged passage of a statute prohibiting insider trading. Currently judicial decisions define the boundaries of the law which is based on anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act. This, the judge believes, creates “unnecessary uncertainty” as prosecutors try to “shoehorn” what should be a “cheating” concept into a “fraud” framework. In contrast, in the EU, trading on non-public information is prohibited (in order to provide for equal market access) without requiring that the source of the information “breach” a fiduciary duty.

What do litigators think of this suggestion? RFG asked several industry experts. We thought you might be interested in their responses, which can be found in our article addressing the issue here. This and other topics of intere...

December 20, 2016

FERC staff recently released two white papers, Anti-Market Manipulation Enforcement Efforts Ten Years after EPAct and Effective Energy Trading Compliance Practices. Both provided compliance guidelines in two areas: market manipulation and trading compliance.

The first of the white papers gave an overview of recent case law concerning FERC’s anti-manipulation regime, identifying what factors result in cases against organizations.

The second provided guidance on trading compliance, suggesting ways in which to develop an effective trading compliance program. While the paper was meant for energy traders, it has important implications for other trading situations as well. FERC recommends incentivizing compliance performance by incorporating it into traders’ compensation structures. They also identify “ine...

July 28, 2016

Last week, RFG’s CEO, Deborah Prutzman, submitted a comment letter to the SEC which addressed the reasons why endowment investment offices should not be subjected to a proposed rule on incentive-based compensation. The proposal was put forward by the SEC and other financial regulators pursuant to Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Act. In arguing that investment offices should be exempted from the requirements, RFG highlighted that the investment and compensation practices of charitable organizations are already regulated by state attorneys general, the dictates of the Internal Revenue Code, and by the boundaries of uniform state laws that govern endowment management, usage and expenses. Against this backdrop, charitable organizations did not play a role in creating the financial crisis for which the Dodd-Fr...

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