Posts Tagged ‘Shearman & Sterling’

Diversity Mandates Impacting US Financial Regulators Institutions

Posted by Russell D. Sacks, Shearman & Sterling LLP, on Wednesday March 26, 2014 at 9:00 am
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Editor’s Note: Russell D. Sacks is a partner in the Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP. The following post is based on a Shearman & Sterling publication by Doreen E. Lilienfeld.

There has been no shortage of press coverage about the lack of employment diversity in the financial services sector. Now, both the US Congress and the European Union have taken action in an attempt to remedy historical practices. The increased focus on the adequacy of an institution’s diversity and inclusion initiatives warrants their reexamination in light of regulatory developments and evolving best practices.

Background—The Statutory Requirements of Section 342 of Dodd-Frank

Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Section 342”) was adopted to help correct racial and gender imbalances at financial institutions and their regulators by prescribing inclusion requirements at the specified US government agencies that regulate the financial services sector, entities that contract with the agencies and the private businesses they regulate. Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, the author of Section 342, noted that “many industries lack the inclusion and participation” of minorities and women, with none “more egregiously … than the financial services sector.” Section 342 provides the opportunity to “not only give oversight to diversity, but to help the Agencies understand how to do outreach [and] how to appeal to different communities.”

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Argentina and Exchange Bondholders File Certiorari Petitions

Posted by Noam Noked, co-editor, HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, on Friday March 7, 2014 at 9:00 am
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Editor’s Note: The following post comes to us from Antonia E. Stolper, partner in the Capital Markets-Americas group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, and is based on a Shearman & Sterling client publication by Ms. Stolper, Henry Weisburg, and Patrick Clancy.

On February 18, both Argentina and the Exchange Bondholders Group filed petitions for writs of certiorari with the Supreme Court, seeking review of the Second Circuit’s rulings in the pari passu litigation. We discuss below the certiorari procedure, followed by comments on substantive arguments raised by Argentina and the Exchange Bondholders.

Our many prior comments on Argentina’s pari passu litigation, as well as all of the material pleadings and decisions (including the two February 18 certiorari petitions), can be found on our Argentine Sovereign Debt webpage, at http://www.shearman.com/argentine-sovereign-debt.

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SEC Enforcement Year in Review

Posted by Noam Noked, co-editor, HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, on Monday March 3, 2014 at 8:58 am
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Editor’s Note: The following post comes to us from Adam S. Hakki, partner and global head of the Litigation Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, and is based on a Shearman & Sterling client publication. The complete publication, including footnotes, is available here.

Marked by leadership changes, high-profile trials, and shifting priorities, 2013 was a turning point for the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”). While the results of these management and programmatic changes will continue to play out over the next year and beyond, one notable early observation is that we expect an increasingly aggressive enforcement program.

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Basel III Framework: Net Stable Funding Ratio (Proposed Standards)

Editor’s Note: Barnabas Reynolds is head of the global Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP. This post is based on a Shearman & Sterling client publication. The complete publication, including annex, is available here.

A key new element of the Basel III framework for regulatory capital aims to improve banks’ management of their funding and liquidity profiles. Two new measures are proposed: a “net stable funding ratio”, and a “liquidity coverage ratio”. The net stable funding ratio has received relatively little attention due to its seemingly distant implementation date of 1 January 2018. However, its impact will be immediate and significant for many banking institutions.

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The Evolving Direction and Increasing Influence of Shareholder Activism

Posted by Scott Hirst, co-editor, HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, on Monday December 23, 2013 at 9:18 am
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Editor’s Note: The following post comes to us from John J. Madden, Of Counsel and member of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, and is based on an article that first appeared in Directors & Boards.

When we convened our Corporate Governance Symposium last year (October 2012), we highlighted the increasingly important role shareholders were playing in the corporate decision-making process, commenting as follows:

“Over the course of the past year, we have continued to see shareholders making their voices heard, in some cases rather forcefully and effectively, on a broad range of corporate issues. In many ways, the recent developments in corporate governance reinforce the growing perception that we are, and have been for several years, experiencing a potentially fundamental shift in the balance of authority, or influence, between boards of directors and shareholders in the corporate decision-making process, moving further away from the longstanding board primacy model of corporate governance.”

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Ready for the Volcker Rule? What to Look For

Posted by Noam Noked, co-editor, HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, on Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 8:49 am
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Editor’s Note: The following post comes to us from Donald N. Lamson, partner in the global Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, and is based on a Shearman & Sterling client publication.

Over two years after publication of a proposed regulation, a final regulation implementing the so-called “Volcker Rule” is expected to be adopted tomorrow by the five US Federal financial regulatory agencies. [1] Two of them—the Federal Reserve and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission—are expected to adopt the regulation at public meetings. According to reports, the explanation and regulatory language may be over a thousand pages long.

Assuming that the agencies go forward as announced, the most important points to look for in a final regulation are:

…continue reading: Ready for the Volcker Rule? What to Look For

Don’t Cry for Me Argentine Bondholders: Avoiding Supreme (Court) Confusion

Posted by Noam Noked, co-editor, HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, on Wednesday October 9, 2013 at 9:38 am
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Editor’s Note: The following post comes to us from Antonia E. Stolper, partner in the Capital Markets-Americas group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, and is based on a Shearman & Sterling client publication by Ms. Stolper, Henry Weisburg, Stephen J. Marzen, and Patrick Clancy.

Argentina is in hot pursuit of multiple audiences before the Supreme Court: two petitions for writs of certiorari filed by Argentina are pending in the NML v. Argentina cases, and another is almost certainly on the way. In addition, a writ of certiorari has already been issued in another case against Argentina. With so much action involving Argentina in the high court, there is the potential for confusion between these multiple proceedings, which we clarify in this post.

NML Capital, Ltd. v. Argentina (Supreme Court Docket No. 12-1494): Review of the Second Circuit’s October 26, 2012 Decision (Pari Passu)

On June 24, 2013, Argentina filed a certiorari petition with respect to the Second Circuit’s October 26, 2012 decision, in which the Second Court affirmed Judge Griesa’s interpretation of the pari passu clause, his determination that the plaintiffs were entitled to a “Ratable Payment,” and his conclusion that the Injunction did not violate the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”). However, the Court remanded the case to Judge Griesa to address certain issues relating to the operation of its Injunction.

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Preferring Foreign Depositors — The Final Rule

Posted by Bradley K. Sabel, Shearman & Sterling LLP, on Saturday September 28, 2013 at 8:47 am
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Editor’s Note: Bradley Sabel is partner and co-head of the Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory practice group at Shearman & Sterling LLP. The following post is based on a Shearman & Sterling client publication.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has issued a final rule adopting with virtually no change its proposed approach to depositor preference for deposits payable at foreign offices of US banks. While the rule will provide guidance for US banks responding to international efforts to require equal treatment of local branch deposits with home-country deposits in insolvency, it does not address several outstanding issues. US banks will have to tread carefully.

The proposed rule from last April was intended to deal with international efforts, and primarily one led by the United Kingdom, to protect depositors of local branches of US banks. Those branches are not covered by the US deposit insurance scheme. [1] The FDIC was concerned that an insured bank with a London branch would cause the branch’s deposits to be equally payable at either the London branch or the US head office; these would effectively be “dual-office” deposits. The advantage of making them payable at the head office is that the deposits thereby become insured deposits under Federal law and FDIC regulations, and a US bank would not have to take costly steps such as converting its London branch into a subsidiary bank.

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Basel III Framework: US/EU Comparison

Editor’s Note: Bradley Sabel is partner and co-head of the Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory practice group at Shearman & Sterling LLP. The following post is based on a Shearman & Sterling client publication by Donald N. Lamson and Barnabas W.B. Reynolds; the full text, including summary and comparison tables, is available here.

The US and EU rules implementing Basel III follow many aspects of Basel III closely, but there are major differences in approach in several key areas. Financial institutions have been engaged in a “race to the top” to show strong capital ratios but rules on leverage appear to be the most challenging and may require significant business restructuring. The interplay between the US and EU implementation of Basel III and the gradual “phase in” of certain rules, particularly on liquidity and leverage, will have a profound impact on the relative competitiveness of relevant US and EU financial institutions. This client publication, and the accompanying US/EU comparison and summary table, highlight points of international consistency and divergence.

Basel III establishes a new set of global standards for capital adequacy and liquidity for banking organizations. Although principally aimed at banks, these standards also apply to certain other types of financial institution (e.g., EU investment firms) as well. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the “Basel Committee”) developed Basel III to supplement and, in certain respects, replace, the existing Basel II standards, the composite version of which was issued in 2006 as an update to Basel I. [1] The core elements of Basel III were finalized at the international level in 2010 and implementing rules have now been issued in 25 of the 27 jurisdictions that comprise the Basel Committee. [2]

…continue reading: Basel III Framework: US/EU Comparison

SEC Adopts Changes to Broker-Dealer Rules

Editor’s Note: Russell D. Sacks is a partner in the Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP. The following post is based on a Shearman & Sterling publication by Mr. Sacks, Sylvia Favretto, Charles S. Gittleman, and David L. Portilla. The complete publication, including footnotes and appendices, is available here.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted important changes to the financial responsibility rules for securities broker-dealers, including changes to the regulatory capital and regulatory reporting rules. The new rules include important regulatory capital changes in relation to acting as agent in securities lending, assumption of broker-dealer expenses, and important new recordkeeping and reporting rules relating to compliance with risk mitigation and financial responsibility.

Introduction

Summary of the Rule Changes

On July 30, 2013, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted changes to its financial responsibility rules for securities broker-dealers, and, in particular, adopted important changes to Rule 15c3-1, the “net capital rule.” [1] The net capital rule is the principal SEC rule governing regulatory capital requirements for securities broker-dealers in the United States.

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