Category: Fiduciary Issues

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Family Offices and the Madness of Crowdsales

Recently, I have had an opportunity to review many “tokens” that can be transferred over the Ethereum blockchain and used for various “smart contracts.” Depending on their facts and circumstances, certain kinds of tokens being sold in so-called “initial coin offerings” were the subject of a recent SEC Section 21(a) report. I have also seen correspondence … Continue Reading

“Odd Lots” and Valuation Déjà Vu–Part 1

The SEC’s recent settlement (the “Order”) with Pacific Investment Management Company (“PIMCO”) reflects a new twist on an old issue: buying securities at bargain prices and then marking them up when calculating NAVs. The SEC first addressed this issue in 1969 in the context of what we now refer to as “PIPEs.” The first part … Continue Reading

Should Failure to Plan Constitute Fraud?

I have spoken for years about the importance of contingency planning for money market funds. So I understand why business continuity and transition planning is a great idea for investment advisers. I’m troubled, however, by the SEC’s recent proposal to require advisers to maintain such plans. My troubles lie more with their means than with … Continue Reading

Will the Department of Labor (DOL) Add to the Fiduciary Murk?

A recent Majority Staff Report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs raises some concerns. Some of my concerns relate to the state of our federal government. (Should congressional staff spend time composing philippics against an executive department? Does the prospect of exposure of inter-agency emails have a chilling effect on communications? Why … Continue Reading

Maybe a Lender Could be a Fiduciary

In an earlier post, I criticized the case of Lash v. Cheshire Count Savings for holding that a bank could be a fiduciary to its borrowers. One problem with the decision is a failure to cite, with one exception, any precedents that could not be distinguished from the facts of the case. The one exception, … Continue Reading

Encomium for Professor Frankel

I intend to share musings on fiduciary matters from time-to-time on our blog. Not regarding deep and complex matters such as the current DOL proposal or the SEC’s forthcoming uniform fiduciary standard. My fiduciary questions are more fundamental, and sometimes lead me to despair of formulating sensible views of such proposals. I suspect I am … Continue Reading