Greenberg Traurig Shareholders Nanette Aguirre and Alan Slomowitz will be participating in a panel discussion that is co-hosted by GT, The New York Family Office, and the Private Funds Roundtable on May 24 in GT’s New York Office. The discussion will focus on the Alternatives Investment Industry and President Trump’s administration. Insights will be provided on low-correlation alternative investment strategies that put the emphasis on “alternative,” including structured credit, and will explore the potential impact of the expected regulation or deregulation under the current administration on these and other alternative investment strategies.
Carl A. Fornaris, co-chair of the Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice, will participate in the GT-hosted second annual Atlanta-Israel FinTech Innovation Conference, which connects leading Israeli companies in the financial technology sector with Georgia-based corporate partners. The conference will be held May 22 – 23, and will provide networking and new business opportunities for participants. Fornaris will speak on the panel session titled “The Fintech Regulatory Landscape” on May 23. The firm’s involvement is being led by Shareholder David Schulman, a leader of the Emerging Technology Practice in the Atlanta office.
Greenberg Traurig Shareholders Nanette Aguirre and Joseph Suh will be participating in a panel discussion that is co-hosted by GT, DXA Investments, DMS Governance, and Trident Trust on May 23 in the GT Miami Office. The discussion will focus on high growth opportunities in investing in small companies in Brazil, despite a recession. The discussion points will include the current regulatory environment in Brazil and an overview of the alternative investment community based there.
Corporate governance in insurance continues to be a growing focus among state regulators. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the NAIC) adopted the Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure (CGAD) Model Act and Model Regulation in 2014, which set forth requirements insurers will need to implement and disclose. Currently, 14 states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont) have adopted the CGAD Model Act and six states (Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have adopted the CGAD Model Regulation. While not a current NAIC accreditation requirement, many expect universal adoption of both the CGAD Model Act and Model Regulation by many United States jurisdictions.
Corporate governance has also become an important focus for Financial Condition Examiners (Examiners) who conduct on-site financial examinations of insurers on behalf of state insurance commissioners. Thus, regardless of a state’s adoption of the CGAD models, regulatory scrutiny will be applied through the financial examination of companies
To learn more, please see GT Alert “Corporate Governance in Insurance: Key Regulatory Considerations.”
Nanette Aguirre, Financial Regulatory and Compliance shareholder and MRAI executive committee member, will participate as a moderator at the Minorities in Restructuring and Alternative Investments (MRAI) Forum which will take place on May 11 at The National at the Benjamin Hotel in New York City. The discussion will highlight the growing number of minorities in leadership roles within the alternative investment community and how the deregulation initiatives under President Trump are expected to impact the financial markets within the United States.
Arthur will speak on the panel, “Business Continuity: What Should Advisors be doing Now?” which will focus on mergers and acquisitions of advisory firms, incapacitation of a key man, and winding down. The panel will also address the recently proposed SEC Rule 206(4)-4, which will require advisers to develop business continuity plans designed to mitigate the impact of business disruptions or transitions. He will discuss the details of the rule and what advisers should be taking into consideration as they build out their plans.
Jennifer L. Gray, co-chair of the Consumer Financial Services Litigation Practice, will be speaking at the 2017 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance (LIRC) Conference. This four-day event will take place May 7-10, 2017, at the InterContinental Miami.
Gray will be presenting on the panel “Litigation Forum: TILA, RESPA, ECOA, FHA,” taking place at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 7. This panel of litigators will examine the latest activity around the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and fair lending, including recent cases heard by the Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeal, and other courts affecting the industry.
British start-ups in the financial sector enjoy more freedom – is that better?
Innovative providers of financial services in Great Britain are allowed into the sandbox: In the “Regulatory Sandbox”, such undertakings can test their business models in the market under less stringent regulatory supervision before becoming obliged to fulfill stricter regulatory requirements. In Germany, this idea has encountered some resistance.
The first supervisory authority to do so anywhere in the world, the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) started the promotional programme “Regulatory Sandbox” at the beginning of last year. It gives technology-driven financial services providers (fintechs) the possibility to test their products in the market for some time on the basis of a simplified procedure – and under close guidance and supervision by the FCA – before they submit to the full regulatory regime. Whereas some of these undertakings offer typical banking services as well as giro accounts and the processing of payments, others provide further services in addition to the classical services, e.g. swarm financing and the like.
No “little buckets and spades” for German fintech companies – this is how clearly it was put by Felix Hufeid, President of the German Federal Financial Services Supervisory Authority (Bafin), at the beginning of this year. All fintech companies are governed by the strict regulatory requirements of financial regulatory law. They can put their innovative business models on the market only once they have obtained the permit necessary for this from the Bafin or the European Central Bank (ECB). This especially concerns business models which involve banking services, financial services or payment services, the management of investment assets or the issuance of e-money.
But to obtain this permit, fintech companies must overcome high obstacles. Thus, depending on the business model, they must put up a considerable amount of initial capital, set up a risk management system, show the professional competence and reliability of the managing directors, and install an IT safety system. This raises considerable difficulties especially for many start-ups.
But in Germany, the British sandbox arrangement has met with little enthusiasm so far on the part of the supervisory authorities. The Bafin maintains its opposition. From a legal point of view, this is ultimately also a consistent position. The Bafin has no authority to allow exceptions to the mandatory requirements of financial regulatory law. Moreover, it has not been authorized by the legislator to promote individual undertakings.
Also numerous representatives of the German fintech scene have expressed views critical of the introduction of a sandbox following the British model and have rejected any “regulatory honeymoon”. They fear that such special treatment could damage the reputation of the companies concerned, and they emphasize that they wish to be taken just as seriously as the established players in the financial services sector. This is essentially right. The high regulatory requirements do represent considerable challenges faced by fintech start-ups. But at the same time, they induce the market to give these start-ups the benefit of the doubt. A regulatory sandbox for these companies would undermine this trust and unsettle both clients and investors. This would put the fintechs at a disadvantage which could not be made up for merely by innovative ideas.
Moreover, already today a start-up which cannot or does not want to fulfill the regulatory requirements has the possibility to realize its ideas in cooperation with a licensed cooperation partner. Once the product has proved its value in the market, the start-up can still apply to the regulatory authority for a permit and risk the step into independence. All things considered, the stronger regulatory framework is thus an advantage for Germany as a business location.
May 22-23, 2017, Greenberg Traurig’s Atlanta office will host the second Atlanta-Israel FinTech Innovation Conference.
With over 100 guests expected, the conference brings together both U.S. and Israeli companies seeking synergy and collaboration opportunities. U.S. companies attend fin search of “cutting edge” Israeli technologies and Israelis leverage the event to showcase their technologies and make important contacts. The conference allows for many networking opportunities including one-on-one meetings.
The conference will be led for the second consecutive year by Greenberg Traurig’s David Schulman, Intellectual Property & Technology shareholder at the Atlanta office and an active member of the firm’s Israel Practice.
For more information please visit: www.usisraelexchange.com
2017 Atlanta-Israel FinTech Innovation Conference in the news: http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-to-aid-us-payment-security-task-force-1001137036
The Financial Service Agency of Japan (JFSA) submitted a bill (Bill) to the National Diet to amend the Banking Act (Act No. 59 of 1981, as amended, the Banking Act) on March 3, 2017, to employ a new regulation on the electronic banking settlement agency service (Electronic Settlement Agency Service or Service), which provides agent services for bank account holders, such as giving a remittance instruction to banks or receiving bank account information from a bank on behalf of such account holders.
To learn more about this topic area please see GT Alert “Japanese Fintech Regulation Update: New Law & Regulations on Electronic Banking Settlement Agency Service.”