March 2017


March 30, 2017 | Permalink
Acting CFTC chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo announced the appointment of James McDonald as director of the agency's Enforcement Division. He was most recently a prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and brings a track record of pursuing white collar and other crimes. McDonald assumed the role at the agency on April 10.
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CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee announces agenda for April 25 public meeting - CFTC
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March 30, 2017 | Permalink
Fund Name: FS Global Credit Opportunities Fund-T2
Adviser: FS Global Advisor LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): GSO Capital Partners LP
Fees: Management Fee calculated and payable quarterly in arrears at the annual rate of 2% of the Fund's average daily gross assets during such period.
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Quarterly repurchase)
Investor Restrictions: $5,000 minimum initial investment, $500 minimum subsequent investment; Investors are required to have either: (i) a net worth - not including home, furnishings and personal automobiles - of at least $70,000 and an annual gross income of at least $70,000; or (ii) a net worth - not including home, furnishings and personal automobiles - of at least $250,000.
Filing Date: March 28, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: AllianzGI Convertible & Income 2024 Target Term Fund
Adviser: Allianz Global Investors U.S. LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): Not specified
Fees: Not specified
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Exchange traded)
Investor Restrictions: Minimum investment of 100 common shares
Filing Date: March 24, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: Eaton Vance Floating-Rate 2024 Target Term Trust
Adviser: Eaton Vance Management
Sub-Adviser(s): Not specified
Fees: Not specified
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Exchange traded)
Investor Restrictions: Minimum investment of 100 common shares
Filing Date: March 17, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: American Beacon Institutional Funds Trust
Adviser: American Beacon Advisors Inc.
Sub-Adviser(s): Aristotle Capital Management LLC; Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss LLC; Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC; Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC; Lazard Asset Management LLC; and Templeton Investment Counsel LLC.
Fees: Aggregate annualized management fee equal to 0.31% of the Fund's average daily net assets.
Open- or Closed-End: Open-End (Mutual fund)
Investor Restrictions: Accredited investor and qualified purchaser; $100,000 minimum initial investment
Filing Date: March 17, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: Morningstar Funds Trust
Adviser: Morningstar Investment Management LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): Not specified
Fees: Not specified
Open- or Closed-End: Open-End (Mutual fund)
Investor Restrictions: No initial or subsequent minimum purchase amounts.
Filing Date: March 6, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
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March 28, 2017 | Permalink
BlackRock is planning to overhaul its actively managed equity funds to create an increased focus on machines and algorithms, as investors continue to shift towards lower cost passive funds. The firm plans to terminate seven portfolio managers from funds with approximately $30 billion in AUM as it moves towards a more quantitative approach. In addition, BlackRock's active equity products will be reorganized into four product lines: core alpha, high conviction alpha, outcome oriented and country/sector specialty. The firm will incur approximately $25 million of expenses in Q1 of 2017 as a result of severance and accelerated compensation expenses from the reorganization.
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March 28, 2017 | Permalink
For the second time in a month, the SEC rejected a request from Intercontinental Exchange's NYSE Arca exchange to bring a first-of-its-kind ETP tracking bitcoin to market. The SEC again denied the ability to list and trade the SolidX Bitcoin Trust, which would trade like a stock and track the digital asset's price. Previously, the regulatory agency said it had concerns with a similar proposal by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. It echoed those same concerns in this most recent announcement, saying it believes "the significant markets for bitcoin are unregulated."
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March 27, 2017 | Permalink
Alternative asset manager FS Investments launched its first closed-end '40 Act interval fund in partnership with Chicago-based Magnetar Capital. Initially filed with the SEC in October 2016, the FS Energy Total Return Fund seeks to generate total returns through investments in the equity and debt securities of both public and private energy and energy infrastructure companies. It carries a flexible investment mandate across all energy sub-sectors and capital structures, a fund structure that supports a long-term investment horizon and a differentiated investment process that aims to manage macroeconomic and commodity price risk. Magnetar Asset Management will act as the investment sub-adviser.
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March 23, 2017 | Permalink
Registration is open for the SEC's compliance outreach program seminars for investment companies and investment advisers. The seminars are intended to help Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and other senior personnel improve compliance programs at investment companies and investment advisory firms. All regional seminars will include an overview of the 2017 priorities of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations and individual seminars will feature the following panel discussions on current topics in investment management regulation:
  • Portland, Ore. - May 17 (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.): Key examination program initiatives, examination procedures and selection process, and recent trends and issues in the Enforcement Division's Asset Management Unit;
  • New York - June 7 (12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.): Staff examinations and observations, and topics of interest to advisers to private funds;
  • Boston - June 13 (8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.): Key examination program initiatives, typical examination process and topics of interest to advisers to private funds;
  • Chicago - June 13 (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.): Key examination program initiatives, examination procedures and selection process, common examination deficiencies, data analytics and several hot topic panels generally applicable to both small and large firms. This seminar will be webcast.
The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, Division of Investment Management and the Asset Management Unit of the Division of Enforcement jointly sponsor the compliance outreach program.
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March 22, 2017 | Permalink
Both SEC commissioners voted to modernize regulations that require stock and bond trades to settle within three business days, shortening that timeframe to two business days. The amendment is designed to reduce credit and market risk, including the risk of a trading counterparty defaulting. While technology now allows investors to make trades in less than a second, since 1993 the SEC's rules have required brokers to wait for three business days between the time an investor's order is executed, to when the cash and ownership of the security are exchanged. Acting SEC Chairman Michael Piwowar called the previous T+3 settlement cycle "antiquated" and added the shorter time frame will reduce "the time horizon for risk exposures" and also "should improve capital efficiency and enhance the resilience of the national clearance and settlement system." Broker-dealers must comply with the amended rule beginning on Sept. 5, 2017.
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March 17, 2017 | Permalink
According to a State Street commissioned survey, 56% of asset managers and asset owners will increase their technology and operational capabilities over the next year to manage financial and other data to meet regulatory compliance deadlines, due to new global regulations and volatile market liquidity. Despite compliance deadlines being a year away, many fund managers are taking the steps needed to be compliant in a complex rapidly-changing regulatory environment, finds the survey. With SEC rules "focusing on monitoring, managing and reporting a broad spectrum of data. Fund management and boards have been actively evaluating and planning for how to best address these regulations within their operations to achieve compliance by the specified date," says Brenda Lyons, EVP and head of the specialized products division for State Street.
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March 16, 2017 | Permalink
Fund Name: Morningstar Funds Trust
Adviser: Morningstar Investment Management LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): Not specified
Fees: Not specified
Open- or Closed-End: Open-End (Mutual fund)
Investor Restrictions: No initial or subsequent minimum purchase amounts.
Filing Date: March 6, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: THL Credit Senior Loan 2024 Term Fund
Adviser: Four Wood Capital Advisors LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): THL Credit Advisors LLC
Fees: Not specified
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Exchange traded)
Investor Restrictions: Minimum investment of 100 common shares
Filing Date: Feb. 27, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: AlphaCentric Prime Meridian Income Fund
Adviser: Alphacentric Advisors LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): Prime Meridian Capital Management LLC
Fees: 1.5% Management Fee
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Quarterly repurchase)
Investor Restrictions: $2,500 minimum initial investment for regular accounts, $1,000 for retirement plan accounts; $100 minimum subsequent investment if made through an automatic investment program, $1,000 for subsequent investments not made through an automatic investment program.
Filing Date: Feb. 13, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: Day Hagan Hedged Strategy Fund
Adviser: Donald L. Hagan LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): Pacini Hatfield Investments LLC
Fees: 1.75% Management Fee
Open- or Closed-End: Open-End (Mutual fund)
Investor Restrictions: $1,000 minimum initial investment for regular and IRA accounts, $100 for automatic investment plan accounts; $50 minimum subsequent investment (Class T)
Filing Date: Feb. 1, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: Lazard Real Assets and Pricing Opportunities Fund
Adviser: Lazard Asset Management LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): None
Fees: 0.70% Management Fee
Open- or Closed-End: Open-End (Mutual fund)
Investor Restrictions: $100,000 minimum initial investment for institutional shares, $2,500 for open shares; $1 million minimum initial investment for R6 shares
Filing Date: Dec. 14, 2016
Effective Date: Dec. 30, 2016
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March 10, 2017 | Permalink
The SEC denied a request to list what would have been the first U.S. exchange-traded fund built to track bitcoin. Investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have been trying for more than three years to convince the SEC to let it bring the Bitcoin ETF to market. The regulators have questions and concerns about how the funds would work and whether they could be priced and trade effectively. Specifically, regulators stated the "significant markets for bitcoin are unregulated," adding "bitcoin is still in the relatively early stages of its development and that, over time, regulated bitcoin-related markets of significant size may develop."
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March 8, 2017 | Permalink
FINRA filed a proposal with the SEC to streamline competency exams and facilitate opportunities for professionals seeking to enter or re-enter the securities industry. FINRA rules currently require individuals who work for a covered firm in various capacities to demonstrate their qualifications by passing specific exams. These individuals must be associated with a FINRA-regulated firm to be eligible to take FINRA qualification exams. In 2016, FINRA had more than 90,000 representative-level exam candidates. The proposal revises the current exam structure to eliminate duplicative testing and barriers to demonstrating and maintaining qualifications. Among other changes, the proposal would make it easier for an individual with no prior securities industry experience to take a general knowledge exam as a first step to entering the industry.
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March 8, 2017 | Permalink
The Nasdaq Stock Market is seeking to expand the market for alternative investment funds with a blockchain-based payment and settlement process. The exchange notes it received approval from both regulators and tax officials for its approach to the new business. The exchange's Nasdaq Private Market (NPM) business unit will focus on enhancing access to alternative funds by improving liquidity for these instruments. Initially, it will support secondary market liquidity for private equity feeder funds, but it aims to expand to other sorts of alternative funds in the future. The new venture, NPM Alternatives, aims to bring together fund managers, financial advisors, investors and secondary liquidity providers to facilitate regular, auction-based liquidity events for alternative investment funds. read more
March 8, 2017 | Permalink
The SEC is advancing rules to tighten standards on the rapidly growing ETF industry despite objections from asset managers, including BlackRock and Invesco, which argue the rules are unnecessary and could force some ETFs to be declared out of compliance or shut down even if the fund itself isn't at risk. Last year, the regulator pushed the three main ETF trading venues to draft rules that explicitly require the funds to continually pass a number of tests or face the possibility of being shut down. The SEC has now approved the second of the three proposals and could rule on the third in coming days, Reuters reports. The latest regulatory actions highlight concerns over the potential for trading abuses affecting ETFs, especially those tracking indexes that include assets that aren't traded often.
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March 2, 2017 | Permalink
Fund Name: THL Credit Senior Loan 2024 Term Fund
Adviser: Four Wood Capital Advisors LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): THL Credit Advisors LLC
Fees: Not specified
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Exchange traded)
Investor Restrictions: Minimum investment of 100 common shares
Filing Date: Feb. 27, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: AlphaCentric Prime Meridian Income Fund
Adviser: Alphacentric Advisors LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): Prime Meridian Capital Management LLC
Fees: 1.5% Management Fee
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Quarterly repurchase)
Investor Restrictions: $2,500 minimum initial investment for regular accounts, $1,000 for retirement plan accounts; $100 minimum subsequent investment if made through an automatic investment program, $1,000 for subsequent investments not made through an automatic investment program.
Filing Date: Feb. 13, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: Day Hagan Hedged Strategy Fund
Adviser: Donald L. Hagan LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): Pacini Hatfield Investments LLC
Fees: 1.75% Management Fee
Open- or Closed-End: Open-End (Mutual fund)
Investor Restrictions: $1,000 minimum initial investment for regular and IRA accounts, $100 for automatic investment plan accounts; $50 minimum subsequent investment (Class T)
Filing Date: Feb. 1, 2017
Effective Date: Pending
   
Fund Name: Lazard Real Assets and Pricing Opportunities Fund
Adviser: Lazard Asset Management LLC
Sub-Adviser(s): None
Fees: 0.70% Management Fee
Open- or Closed-End: Open-End (Mutual fund)
Investor Restrictions: $100,000 minimum initial investment for institutional shares, $2,500 for open shares; $1 million minimum initial investment for R6 shares
Filing Date: Dec. 14, 2016
Effective Date: Dec. 30, 2016
   
Fund Name: VanEck Coastland Online Consumer Finance Fund
Adviser: Van Eck Associates Corporation
Sub-Adviser(s): Coastland Capital LLC
Fees: Not specified
Open- or Closed-End: Closed-End (Quarterly repurchase)
Investor Restrictions: $1 million minimum initial investment; minimum subsequent investment not specified.
Filing Date: Dec. 30, 2016
Effective Date: Pending
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March 1, 2017 | Permalink
Acting SEC chair Michael Piwowar says relaxing the accredited investor definition would benefit "the forgotten investor." In a speech at the annual SEC Speaks event, he argued that deciding which investors can fend for themselves and which can't "is a line-drawing exercise fraught with peril" and questioned the belief that non-accredited investors are truly protected by regulations shielding them from high-risk, high-return investments. Despite his criticism, Piwowar didn't indicate any changes would be made immediately. In 2016, as part of a regular review required under Dodd-Frank, the SEC proposed several possible changes to the accredited investor definition. However, it remains uncertain what changes, if any, may be adopted.
Related News:
Financial advisers bristle at SEC's pitch to redefine 'accredited investor' - Investment News (reg. req.)
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