The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”) recently filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft, in U.S. District Court. This legal dispute is a result of new rules, which target broker-dealers and investment advisers for so-called “woke” investing, specifically using Environmental, Social, or Governance criteria (“ESG”) or other non-financial objectives (e.g., Bibically Responsible Investing, Halal Investing).
March 15, 2021
On March 3, 2021, the Division of Examinations (formerly known as the “Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released its 2021 Examination Priorities, an annual report discussing the Division of Examination’s areas of focus including investment advisers registered with the SEC (“RIAs”) for the coming year. In this report, the Division of Examinations (“Division”) noted that it intends to continue to prioritize examinations of SEC registered investment advisers, broker-dealers, and dually registered or affiliated firms, particularly those that have never been examined or have not been examined recently. In doing so, the Division will emphasize protection of retail investors and those saving for retirement.
March 05, 2021
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) made it abundantly clear this week that it will be focusing (i.e., exams and enforcement actions) on ESG investing by investment advisers firms (“RIAs”).
SEC’s Investor Advocate Supports Forming ESG Advisory Committee to Recommend ESG Disclosure Standards
January 02, 2021
In its Report on Activities for Fiscal Year 2020, the Office of the Investor Advocate of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) noted that the Commission’s rulemaking agenda failed to address several modernizations sought by investors such as a “coherent framework for the disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters that could influence a company’s long-term performance” despite support for such a standardized disclosure format from the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee.