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On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act).  The new legislation enlarges the menu of choices that private companies will have to raise capital while also reducing the burdens on “emerging growth companies” that ultimately resort to the public markets.  It also offers benefits for private investment funds. Many aspects of the JOBS Act are effective immediately; others require rulemaking by the SEC, generally on an expedited basis.

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By Heath Tarbert, Sylvia Mayer and Derrick Cephas

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Click here for a PDF of the related article A SIFI in Three Easy Steps?  FSOC Approves Final Rule for Nonbank SIFI Designations appearing in The Banking Law Journal, May 2012

On April 3, 2012, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”) voted to approve its long-awaited Final Rule implementing Section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the controversial provision that directs the federal government to identify systemically important financial institutions (“SIFIs”) outside the traditional banking sector that could pose a threat to the U.S. financial system.[1] Once designated by a two-thirds majority of the FSOC (including an affirmative vote of the Treasury Secretary), each “nonbank financial company,” often referred to in short-hand as a “nonbank SIFI,” would be placed under Federal Reserve Board (“Fed”) supervision, as well as become subject to a host of enhanced prudential measures—including capital, liquidity, leverage, stress testing, resolution planning, and risk management requirements. The FSOC’s recent approval of the Final Rule—as well as its accompanying interpretive Guidance[2]—marks the start of an important first step in the application of enhanced SIFI regulation beyond large bank holding companies with assets of $50 billion or greater.[3]

The FSOC issued its Final Rule following consideration of over forty public comments to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “Proposed Rule”), released in October, 2011.[4]

Overview

The Final Rule establishes a three-step process comprising three individual “stages” by which the FSOC will apply two “Determination Standards” (one based on actual or potential material financial distress and the other based on the nature, scope, size, scale, concentration, interconnectedness or mix of activities) to analyze whether a company may pose a threat to the financial stability of the U.S., along with a six-category analytic framework to determine whether a company should be deemed a nonbank SIFI. In an effort to increase the transparency of the process, the FSOC issued accompanying Guidance providing additional [click to continue…]

April 25, 2012
 
CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] Update at RMA’s GCOR VI
 
Cambridge, MA
 

For more information, visit the conference website.

Weil partner Walter Zalenski will speak on the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established by the Dodd-Frank Reform Act, at the Risk Management Association’s 6th Annual Governance, Compliance, and Operational Risk Conference (GCOR VI), to be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 25-26, 2012.

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April 17, 2012
 
2012 Financial Women’s Association Dinner
 
New York, NY
 

Weil Corporate Governance partner Holly Gregory will be among a panel of experts sharing their experiences and views on board service in an informal, off-the-record discussion at the upcoming 2012 Financial Women’s Association Directors’ Dinner, which will take place at Weil’s New York office on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 5:45pm. Other panel members include Elisabeth DeMarse, CEO of Newser.com and founder of DeMarseCo, Inc.; Barbara J. Krumsiek, Chair, CEO and President of Calvert Investments, Inc. and a Director and Chair of Acacia Life Insurance Company; and Pamela J. Packard, a corporate director and a retired vice chairman of a public accounting and consulting firm. Merrie S. Frankel, a Senior Credit Officer and Vice President in the Commercial Real Estate Finance Group at Moody’s Investors Service, will serve as moderator.

For more information visit the event website.

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By Heath Tarbert and Dimia Fogam

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (collectively, the Agencies) released for public comment their proposed joint guidance on leveraged lending activities.

The proposed guidance is a revision to the interagency leveraged finance guidance issued in 2001 and would apply to all OCC-, FRB- and FDIC-supervised financial institutions that are substantively engaged in leveraged lending activities—such as those common to the private equity and hedge fund lending market. 

Given the immense growth in the volume of leveraged credit as well as the increased participation of non-regulated investors over the last decade, the Agencies have expressed concerns that [click to continue…]