The Commission is adopting a new rule under the Securities Act of 1933 to establish a safe harbor for an unaffiliated broker or dealer participating in a securities offering of a covered investment fund to publish or distribute a covered investment fund research report. If the conditions in the rule are satisfied, the publication or distribution of a covered investment fund research report would be deemed not to be an offer for sale or offer to sell the covered investment fund’s securities for purposes of sections 2(a)(10) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933. The Commission is also adopting a new rule under the Investment Company Act of 1940 to exclude a covered investment fund research report from the coverage of section 24(b) of the Investment Company Act, except to the extent the research report is otherwise not subject to the content standards in self-regulatory organization rules related to research reports. We are also adopting a conforming amendment to rule 101 of Regulation M, and a technical amendment to Form 12b-25.
MSRB Regulatory Notice 2018-30 SEC Approves Amendments to MSRB Rule G-3 to Establish a Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination
The MSRB recently received approval from the SEC to amend MSRB Rule G-3, on professional qualification requirements, to require municipal advisor principals – those who engage in the management, direction or supervision of the municipal advisory activities of the municipal advisor and its associated persons – to pass the new Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (“Series 54 examination”) to become appropriately qualified as a municipal advisor principal. The amendments to Rule G-3 also (i) require individuals who cease to be associated with a municipal advisor for two or more years, at any time after having been qualified as a municipal advisor principal, to requalify by examination unless a waiver is granted; (ii) add the Series 54 examination to the list of qualification examinations for which an individual can seek a waiver; and (iii) provide that municipal advisor representatives may function as a principal for 120 calendar days without being qualified with the Series 54 examination. The rule changes will become effective on December 20, 2018.
SR-FINRA-2018-036 Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Test Results Information on the Content Outlines of FINRA Qualification Examinations
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) revisions relating to test results information on the content outlines of certain FINRA representative- and principal-level qualification examinations.
SR-NASDAQ-2018-078 Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend, Reorganize and Enhance its Membership, Registration and Qualification Rules
Nasdaq has adopted registration requirements to ensure that associated persons attain and maintain specified levels of competence and knowledge pertinent to their function. In general, the current rules require that persons engaged in a member’s investment banking or securities business who are to function as representatives or principals register with the Exchange in each category of registration appropriate to their functions by passing one or more qualification examinations, and exempt specified associated persons from the registration requirements. They also prescribe ongoing continuing education requirements for registered persons. The Exchange now proposes to amend, reorganize and enhance its rules regarding registration, qualification examinations and continuing education.
FINRA Information Notice 10/02/18 Administrative Changes to the Continuing Education Regulatory Element Programs
Effective December 8, 2018, the content from the S106 and S901 Regulatory Element Continuing Education (CE) Programs will become part of the S101 Regulatory Element CE Program. The S106 and S901 CE Programs will be retired as stand-alone programs. Individuals who previously completed these programs instead will be required to complete the S101 CE Program. The S101 CE Program will include new personalized modules for each of the following representative categories: Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products, Investment Banking, and Research.
Cboe Options Regulatory Circular 18-035 SEC Staff Issues Guidance on Third-Party Recordkeeping Services
The purpose of this Regulatory Circular is to inform Trading Permit Holders and Members that the SEC staff recently issued guidance regarding contractual arrangements between broker-dealers and third-party recordkeeping service providers. The guidance specifically focuses on contractual arrangements that include provisions under which service providers assume a right to delete or discard the broker-dealer’s records required to be preserved pursuant to Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“SEA”) Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, typically in response to non-payment by the broker-dealer of fees due under the contract.
The MSRB is publishing a new statement on requesting interpretive guidance (“statement”) that clarifies the various ways regulated entities, including brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively, “dealers”) and municipal advisors, as well as issuers, attorneys, investors and other market participants can seek assistance from the MSRB. The statement is better aligned with the MSRB’s strategic goal of facilitating industry understanding of, and compliance with, MSRB rules. The statement on requesting interpretive guidance supersedes the policy on providing interpretive guidance and responds to stakeholder feedback that the MSRB’s previous policy presented challenges in seeking assistance from the MSRB in an effort to comply with MSRB rules. The statement outlines the process for receiving meaningful, effective and responsive assistance. The MSRB’s goal in providing such assistance to regulated entities, examining authorities or other market participants is to promote regulatory certainty essential to an effective regulatory framework.
FINRA Information Notice 9/24/18 Presentation Changes and New Functionality in the Central Registration Depository (CRD®) System
FINRA is introducing enhancements and presentation changes in the Central Registration Depository (CRD) system that relate to the implementation of FINRA’s restructured qualification examination program and the adoption of consolidated FINRA registration rules. These changes, effective October 1, 2018, principally affect the Examination Requests and SRO Registrations sections.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 18-32 FINRA Reminds Firms of Their Obligations Regarding Transactions in OTC Equity Securities Quoted Pursuant to a Submitted Form 211
In consultation with SEC staff, FINRA is reminding members of legal obligations that apply when initiating a quote in an OTC security in addition to filing a Form 211.
MSRB Regulatory Notice 2018-26 MSRB Proposes a Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination
The MSRB is publishing this notice to announce its plan to establish professional qualification requirements for municipal advisor principals. With the Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (“Series 50 examination”) in place since September 2016 as the baseline representative-level qualification examination, the MSRB has been engaged in an ongoing effort to develop a principal-level qualification examination.
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