The SEC addresses cryptocurrency holdings, an overview of finders and broker-dealers, and more in this issue of Fund Forum.

SEC Addresses Cryptocurrency Holdings by Registered Funds

The SEC Division of Investment Management recently published a letter to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) addressing the interest among sponsors in offering registered funds that would hold cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related products. The Division emphasized that flexibility to innovate is a key feature of the Investment Company Act of 1940, but the Division noted that there are a number of investor protection issues that need to be addressed before sponsors begin offering investments in cryptocurrency-holding funds to retail investors.

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Beaches and Bitcoins: Remarks by SEC Commissioner Peirce

At a recent conference, SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce outlined the challenges that arise with innovation in the cryptocurrencies and blockchain sector. In particular, she discussed whether tokens are securities and pointed to the Howey test as the starting point for the analysis. Commissioner Peirce acknowledged that not all initial coin offerings need to be deemed securities offerings, but recommended that the best approach is to evaluate the facts and circumstances of each offering.

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Finders and Unregistered Broker-Dealers

In the last few years, we have seen a number of important developments in the securities laws related to finders and broker-dealer registration requirements. In this article, we provide an overview of the broker-dealer registration requirement as it relates to finders who assist in matching issuers with investors or buyers and the latest developments in this area.

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CEO Fined for Attempting to Unmask a Whistleblower – a Cautionary Tale for Respecting Whistleblower Protections

Last week, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced its third largest fine ever levied on an individual when it fined the CEO of Barclays for attempting to reveal the identity of a whistleblower. The episode provides an important opportunity to remind companies and their executives of the myriad regulations that protect whistleblowers in the United States and overseas.

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Announcement

Venable Continues to Grow Its Corporate Practice in New York with the Addition of Bill Haddad

On May 3, Bill Haddad joined our New York office. Bill focuses on a full range of securities offerings and corporate transactions, with a particular emphasis on securities, mergers and acquisitions, finance, and general corporate matters for privately held and publicly traded companies, family offices, venture capital firms, investment banks, financial institutions, private equity sponsors, and emerging companies in the United States, Asia, Europe, Australia, and other areas of the world.

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