Monday 24th November 2014
NEWS TICKER: November 24TH 2014: This morning, US time, President Obama accepted a letter of resignation from US Secretary of State for Defence, Chuck Hagel, who says he will service until his successor is confirmed by the US Senate. “You should know I did not make this decision lightly. But after much discussion, the President and I agreed that now was the right time for new leadership here at the Pentagon,” he wrote in an official statement announcing his resignation - .Bank of America Corporation today announced it will report its fourth-quarter 2014 financial results on Thursday, January 15th 2015. The results are scheduled to be released at 7am ET, followed by an investor presentation at 8:30am ET - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended -4.79 points lower or -0.14% to 3340.53, taking the year-to-date performance to +5.55%. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained +0.23% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index gained +0.34%. The top active stocks were Forterra Trust (+20.97%), SingTel (-0.77%), CapitaLand (+1.53%), DBS (-0.45%) and Suntec REIT (-0.52%). Outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Technology Index (+0.88%). The two biggest stocks of the FTSE ST Technology Index are Silverlake Axis (+1.22%) and STATS ChipPAC (+1.12%). The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Telecommunications Index, which declined -0.68% with SingTel’s share price declining -0.77% and StarHub’s share price unchanged. The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value today were the IS MSCI India (+0.26%), SPDR Gold Shares (+0.47%), STI ETF (+0.30%) - Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH AG's (S+B) corporate family rating (CFR) to B2 from B3 and probability of default rating (PDR) to B2-PD from B3-PD. The rating of the senior secured notes due 2019 issued by SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Luxembourg S.A. (a wholly owned subsidiary of S+B) is also upgraded to B2 from B3. The outlook on the rating is stable. -- The Nasdaq Stock Market says that trading was halted today in MOL Global Inc at 09:10:08 Eastern Time for "additional information requested" from the company at a last price of $4.09. Trading will remain halted until MOL Global Inc. has fully satisfied Nasdaq's request for additional information - The ICE January Brent futures contract settled $1.03 higher at $80.36/b Friday after a surprise interest rate cut by the Chinese central bank lifted hopes the world's second largest economy could grow faster. Crude benchmarks on both sides of the Atlantic closed at their highest levels since November 12. NYMEX January crude futures ended the session 66 cents higher at $76.51/b.

Protect Your Firm... And Your Personal Assets!

Monday, 30 July 2012 Written by 
Protect Your Firm... And Your Personal Assets! Hoping for a respite from regulatory change?  Think again.  Gathering forces may create a regulatory storm that is even more difficult than the one faced in the 2007-2009 financial crisis.  In this tempest, both the regulated and the regulators will have bull’s-eyes on their backs.  Regulators are likely to become more conservative in their analysis and more active.  It is therefore imperative to assess your firm now and prepare yourself to withstand regulatory inquiries.  You can also expect more scrutiny from investors who will seek to allocate funds only to those firms that they believe are fully complying with applicable laws and regulations. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Hoping for a respite from regulatory change?  Think again.  Gathering forces may create a regulatory storm that is even more difficult than the one faced in the 2007-2009 financial crisis.  In this tempest, both the regulated and the regulators will have bull’s-eyes on their backs.  Regulators are likely to become more conservative in their analysis and more active.  It is therefore imperative to assess your firm now and prepare yourself to withstand regulatory inquiries.  You can also expect more scrutiny from investors who will seek to allocate funds only to those firms that they believe are fully complying with applicable laws and regulations.

What fuels this gathering storm?  Outright major misappropriations by the likes of Madoff and Peregrine's Wasendorf are part of the equation.  In addition, events such as the LIBOR-fixing scandal at Barclays, J.P. Morgan’s “London Whale” trading losses, and MF Global’s failure to segregate customer funds serve as cautionary examples.

These stories highlight that a firm’s assets, reputation, and in some cases, even the firm’s fundamental viability are at stake when things go awry.  As if that weren’t bad enough, senior executives face additional consequences.  In these and other similar incidents, personal assets can be at stake even when others are the primary wrongdoers.  



Think you are immune from these risks?  Think again.  Labaton Sucharow LLP, a plaintiff's law firm, recently published a unsettling study indicating that one in four financial industry professionals in the U.S. and U.K. believe wrongdoing is necessary for success.  If this study is credible, the message it sends to the general public is highly negative.  It speaks to senior management of alternative investment firms loud and clear: sometimes the best-intentioned executive may have an employee who hears an "unintended message" and veers off course.  Intended or not, the executive may ultimately bear responsibility. 

The first line of defense for an investment advisory firm and its executives is to build a culture in which the firm’s standards clearly and consistently meet all applicable regulatory and ethical expectations.  It is particularly important for firm leaders to reaffirm these standards and expectations during times of economic and operational stress, when legal and internal requirements may appear to conflict with business drivers (such as maximizing short-term results).  Employees must internalize that senior management will take the ethical route in order to maximize the long-term value of the firm—and expects them to do the same.

The second line of defense, at least in the U.S., is to develop a governance structure that satisfies the requirements specified in the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual.  This manual offers incentives to companies that adopt a comprehensive compliance and ethics program (and take certain actions upon the occurrence of alleged missteps).  A program that satisfies these requirements will contain elements in addition to those required by the SEC and CFTC.  Complying with the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual can be an invaluable safeguard that reduces the likelihood of an executive or his firm being charged with criminal violations.

The third line of defense is to undertake an honest self-assessment, and to consider the types of pressures that senior management and employees will encounter should the weakened state of the global economy continue.  Topics in the regulatory spotlight should be included in this assessment.  The intent here is to prepare for the possible pressures employees and senior management might face, thereby reducing the chance that hasty decisions are made in the heat of the moment. Ill-considered actions can carry serious penalties and act as a lightning rod for litigation by regulators, investors, and other third parties (such as credit providers).  Advance preparation will help your staff make faster and better decisions if the need should arise. 

You can't always remove that bull’s-eye on your back, but you can at least make the target less bright.

Deborah Prutzman

Deborah Prutzman is the founder and CEO of The Regulatory Fundamentals Group (RFG), a New York-based firm that designs and implements business and risk solutions for alternative asset managers and institutional investors. RFG's senior-led team employs a robust suite of tools, including practical alerts on new and potential industry developments and its powerful RFG Pathfinder® knowledge management platform which simplifies the challenges of operating in a regulated environment.  To learn more about The Regulatory Fundamentals Group call (212) 537-4058, email a representative at Information@RegFG.com or visit RegFG.com

Related News

Related Articles

Related Videos

Tweets by @DataLend

DataLend is a global securities finance market data provider covering 42,000+ unique securities globally with a total on-loan value of more than $1.8 trillion.

What do our tweets mean? See: http://bit.ly/18YlGjP