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In this issue: Public Policy Update | Virtual Conference Update
 Weekly News Roundup

Public Policy Updates

Securities and Exchange Commission

  • SEC Publishes Updated FAQ Guidance on Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS. The new frequently asked questions provide guidance for financial professionals who are dually registered as advisers and brokers. Among other things, Form CRS requirements do apply to accredited investors. In the guidance, the division stated that Reg BI applies “if that accredited investor is a ‘retail customer’ as defined in the rule.” The FAQ addresses delivery of Form CRS for dually registered firms as well, generally allowing the use of a single Form CRS so long as advisors can fit all the required disclosure in four pages. 

  • SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers. On August 12, the SEC issued a risk alert stating that in response to the broad and varied effects of COVID-19, “SEC registrants have been faced with new operational, technological, commercial, and other challenges and issues. In many cases, these challenges and issues have created important regulatory and compliance questions and considerations for SEC registrants.” Financial firms are recommended to consider making changes to operational practices to address these questions and considerations. Observations and recommendations from the SEC’s OCIE fall broadly into six categories:

    1. Protection of investors’ assets
    2. Supervision of personnel
    3. Practices relating to fees, expenses and financial transactions
    4. Investment fraud
    5. Business continuity, and
    6. The protection of investor and other sensitive information.

Internal Revenue Service

  • IRS Publishes Updated FAQ on Filing and Payment Deadlines Regarding 1031 Exchanges. The FAQs clarify that the 120-day extensions of typical disaster relief do not apply to the COVID-19 disaster relief granted in Notice 2020-23. July 15th was the last day for that extension. As stated in the FAQ:

    “A. No. Notice 2020-23 did not extend the relief provided in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2018-58 to taxpayers engaging in section 1031 like-kind exchanges. Therefore, the section 1031 deadlines addressed in items 26 and 27 of section 6 of Rev. Proc. 2018-58 that fall on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, are not extended beyond July 15, 2020.”

Department of Labor

  • DOL Will Not Extend Comment Deadline for New Fiduciary Rule Proposal. Lawmakers and investor advocacy groups were denied their request to extend the DOL’s comment deadline of August 6th for its proposed rule for investment advise standards for retirement accounts. Patty Murray, D-Wash. sent a letter along with several advocacy groups requesting the agency to provide a 90-day comment period and to hold a hearing on the proposal. In a letter on August 5th, DOL Deputy Assistant Secretary Joe Wheeler wrote to Ranking Member Murray, stating “After considering the request, the department believes that a public hearing is unnecessary for this proposed class exemption. The current proposal is much narrower in scope than the department’s prior rulemaking cited in your letter.”

US Economy

  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Fell to 10.2% in July with Addition of 1.8 Million Jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the “improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it.” Job gained slowed in comparison to the 4.8 million jobs added in June, and the 2.9 million jobs added in May. The BLS reports that notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and health care.

White House/Congress

  • President Trump Issues Numerous Economic Orders.  The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump signed four executive actions to provide additional jobless aid, suspend the collection of payroll taxes, avoid evictions and assist with student-loan payments. Among other items, the President’s actions would add a $400 weekly jobless payment through December, and extend the student loan payment moratorium and zero interest until the end of the coronavirus crisis. Mr. Trump also directed the Treasury Department to defer the 6.2% Social Security tax on wages for employees making less than about $100,000 a year. That suspension would last from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.



Alts in the Time of COVID: What BDs/RIAs/Advisors Need to Know

ADISA hosted its first-ever virtual conference this week, Alts in the Time of COVID. This event was a tremendous success, delivering education to membership at a time when we could not all be face-to-face. A special thank you to Ann Moore of International Assets Advisory who chaired the conference and shared special anecdotes throughout.

We’ve received positive feedback from a number of attendees about the quality of the program sessions – thank you to those who have written in. 

The conference kicked off Tuesday with an industry update, where attendees learned that eight new qualified opportunity zone funds have launched in 2020 and approximately $816 million in capital raise thus far. 1031 exchanges have all-together raised more than $1.6 billion in equity raise through July 24, 2020. NAV REITs, lifecycle REITs, interval funds and BDCs have raised a cumulative $11.3 billion year-to-date in 2020. Throughout the remainder of the conference, attendees learned about 1031 exchange program due diligence, watched a motivational speech from speaker Matthew Ferrara, reviewed case studies in alternative investments that ended with fraud or misconduct, and listened to a regulatory update on what’s affecting product sales in today’s environment.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at

The Weekly News Roundup



The DI Wire - Going Virtual with ADISA Executive Director John Harrison

Article excerpt: The DI Wire had a chance to speak with John Harrison, executive director of The Alternative and Direct Investment Securities Association (ADISA), ahead of its virtual conference Alts in the time of COVID: What BDs/RIAs/Advisors Need to Know on August 18– 20, 2020. 



ThinkAdvisor – SEC Proposing 'Complete Overhaul' of Fund Disclosures: Report

Article excerpt: "The Commission is committed to improving the Main Street investor experience and modernizing information content and delivery," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement. "By encouraging fund disclosures that use modern communication techniques to emphasize clearly and concisely the information investors find most useful, [the] proposal should facilitate better-informed decision making," Clayton added.



The Hill – SEC swears in Crenshaw, Peirce to fill commission for first time since 2018

Article excerpt: Caroline Crenshaw was sworn in Monday as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) second Democratic member, filling out the agency's five-person panel.



Wall Street Journal – White House Seeks Crackdown on U.S.-Listed Chinese Firms

Article excerpt: Chinese companies with shares traded on U.S. stock exchanges would be forced to give up their listings unless they comply with U.S. audit requirements under a plan recommended Thursday by the Trump administration.



The DI Wire – FINRA Alerts Member Firms of Fake FINRA Domain Name

Article excerpt: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has issued an alert to its member firms warning of a new imposter website, (notice the extra “n” in the domain name). FINRA has requested that the Internet domain registrar suspend services, but at press time, the website was still active and looks identical to the real FINRA website.