Tag: Governance

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AUSTRALIA: SUPERANNUATION FUND INVESTMENTS – ESG AND VALUATIONS
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Europe: Systemically important outsourced service providers, eg cloud services, to be identified and regulated in the UK    
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Australia: Cybersecurity now a legal obligation for AFS Licensees
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United States: MNPI (aka, “My Next Possible Investigation”): The SEC’s Scrutiny of MNPI Compliance Programs
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Europe: FCA Challenge to UK Fund Service Providers    

AUSTRALIA: SUPERANNUATION FUND INVESTMENTS – ESG AND VALUATIONS

By Jim Bulling and Hugo Chow

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its final revisions to Prudential Standard SPS 530 Investment Governance (SPS 530).

The more significant amendments are in relation to valuation governance, proposed guidance for environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk management and some new issues for stress testing programs.

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Europe: Systemically important outsourced service providers, eg cloud services, to be identified and regulated in the UK    

By: Kai Zhang

In an 8 June 2022 policy statement,  the UK Government proposes a specific regime for supervising “critical” service providers to the financial services industry. This is to address concentration risk as many regulated firms rely on a few large service providers whose failure could potentially threaten the stability of, or confidence in, the UK’s financial system.   The Government observes that in 2020 over 65% of UK regulated firms used the same four cloud providers for cloud infrastructure services.

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Australia: Cybersecurity now a legal obligation for AFS Licensees

By Kane Barnett and Bernard Sia

As technology continues to drive change within the financial services industry, Australian courts and regulators have confirmed the need for Australian financial services (AFS) licensees to address the cybersecurity risks. On 5 May 2022, the Australian Federal Court ruled in favour of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), holding that AFS licensee RI Advice Group Pty Ltd (RI Advice) had breached its statutory obligations by failing to have adequate cybersecurity measures in place.

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United States: MNPI (aka, “My Next Possible Investigation”): The SEC’s Scrutiny of MNPI Compliance Programs

By: Keri E. Riemer

The SEC’s Division of Examinations recently released a risk alert describing a pattern of deficiencies relating to investment advisers’ use of material non-public information (MNPI). The Staff highlighted the following as areas of concern:

  • Alternative Data. Advisers that used data from non-traditional sources beyond company financial statements, filings, and press releases appeared to not have adopted or implemented written policies and procedures reasonably designed to address the potential risk of receiving and using MNPI through such sources.
  • “Value-Add Investors”. Advisers did not have—or did not appear to implement—adequate policies and procedures related to investors who are more likely to possess MNPI (e.g., officers or directors of a public company, asset management firm principals or portfolio managers, and investment bankers).
  • Expert Networks. Advisers did not appear to adequately track calls with expert network consultants, retain detailed notes from the calls, and monitor trading activity related to companies in industries similar to those discussed during the calls.
  • Deficiencies related to Access Persons. The Staff identified advisers who failed to correctly identify “access persons” (as defined in Rule 204A-1(c) under the Investment Advisers Act), ensure that those access persons obtain pre-approval for investments in IPOs and other similar offerings, and maintain adequate records of the holding and transactions of access persons.

The Staff also encouraged industry participants to review their practices, policies, and procedures regarding the topics addressed above. We recently issued a client alert which describes the risk alert in greater detail and provides takeaways for industry participants.

Europe: FCA Challenge to UK Fund Service Providers    

By: Andrew Massey and Melissa Vance

Fund managers can expect changes to custodian and other fund service provider practices in response to regulator challenge, and should review their due diligence of service providers.

In a letter on 23 March 2022, the FCA instructed the Chief Executive and Boards of third-party custodians, depositories for authorised and non-authorised funds, and third-party administrators to review key risks identified by the FCA, including the following:

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