Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HELP WANTED: "Fund Czar" "Top Fund Cop" aka S.E.C. Director of Division of Investment Management

Did you notice that last week the S.E.C. announced that Andrew "Buddy" Donohue - the agency's Director of the Division of Investment Management - will step down in November?

As Chuck Jaffe, of MarketWatch noted in a recent column, the typical fund investor hasn't got a clue who Donohue is or what he has done in his SEC job over the last four years. Jaffe added that since industry insiders argue over whether the director of the Division of Investment Management should be called the agency's "fund czar" or its "top fund cop," there's no denying that whoever has this gig has the potential to influence a lot of key issues facing the fund industry today.

, who was global general counsel at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers before joining the SEC, was credited by the agency with improving the oversight of money-market funds, as well as for his efforts to overhaul 12(b)-1 fees in the fund industry.

Since Donohue is leaving at a key time in the evolution of mutual funds, whoever replaces him faces big issues with the potential to change the way individual investors interact with fund companies and feel about funds and financial advisers.

A primary issue is Fiduciary responsibility for advisers. On the surface, this does not seem to be a fund issue, but it clearly is. The dirty little secret of financial advice is that only some types of advisers have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers, meaning they are required by law to put their client's best interests first. Other types of adviser, most notably people acting as brokers, must adhere to a "suitability standard," meaning an investment merely must be suitable, rather than "in your best interest."

Congress was wrestling with this issue, but booted it out of the financial-reform package and kicked it over to the SEC to study by January, with proposed rules to follow soon thereafter. The new big cheese at the Division of Investment Management will have a lot of say here, and if he chooses not to protect investors on this one, it will send a big message that the new top fund cop is soft on protecting consumers and in bed with the brokerages and insurance companies.

Here are the rest of the issues that a new fund czar must help to steer and shape as listed by Jaffe in his Aug 22 Marketwatch column.
-Completed reform of 12(b)-1 fees
-Revenue sharing between funds and advisers
-Rapid trading in exchange-traded funds
-Regulate 'alternatives' that the fund world uses to dodge rules

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wanted: Chief Data Officer for US Federal Govt. Data Skills Not Necessary

President Obama has a year to decide on which person will occupy the post of Director of the Office of Financial Research (OFR).

Before that Congress must ratify.
Should the individual have previous Washington experience? A former White House executive, Congressman or say Treasury official. What about Wall Street experience and if so what kind?

As noted by Chris Kentouris in the Securities Industry Blog, this job amounts to the U.S government having the equivalent of a Chief Data Officer.

The OFR will be a new agency responsible for collecting data from financial corporations - what the IRS is for taxes. This newly created department will be responsible for collecting whatever data is needed from financial institutions so that the industry as a whole can be analyzed and evaluated for the spectre of systemic risk. In effect, illness in one firm or group of firms will be spotted before it spreads to the market as a whole.

According to the Financial Reform bill, the OFR will eventually issue and maintain two different and very important public databases. One would be a database of the financial instrument types and another a database of financial entities and organizations. The OFR would be linked to a Financial Research and Analysis Center whose job will be to develop intelligence – or actionable data – out of the raw data—so it can identify emerging systemic risks. Congress would get an annual report.

Given its significant role, who should head up the OFR?

The overriding consensus: a minimum 10 years of experience as the former chief executive or chief financial officer of a large Multinational Bank and/or a minimum 10 years experience as the chief risk officer of a large multinational bank. Additional data management expertise ideal but not required.

Michael Atkin, managing director of the NY-based Enterprise Data Management Council agrees that Wall Street experience is critical.

But he doesn’t discount the need for political savvy when it comes to leading the OFR. “It is after all a political appointment so some knowledge of the inner workings of Washington DC would be a plus,” says Atkin, whose group advocates that financial firms understand the importance of maintaining consistent and accurate enterprisewide data.

Atkin’s top three picks for the OFR directorship: the former chief operating officer of a large financial firm who is either retiring, previously left for a job in academia or for a job in Washington, says Atkin.

See more on the this from the Securities Industry Blog

Monday, August 23, 2010

Options Compliance Officer & Chief Privacy Officer, needed | Fortune Poaches for new Wall Street coverage

Senior Options Compliance Officer job listing has been posted on Rosenthal Recruiting Job Board:

Company: Established, respected Investment Bank Broker-Dealer
Where: New York, NY

URL to view more and apply: http://RosenthalRecruiting.jobamatic.com/a/jbb/job-details/369242

Last week, a Chief Privacy Officer opening was posted.
This is a great opportunity with a Bank Holding Company that has a growing global footprint and leading regional banks in it family of subsidiaries.

If you missed, the Big news out of the financial journalism world last week: Dan Primack (pictured), creator and writer of Reuters' successful private equity newsletter, peHUB Wire, has been scooped up by Fortune as a senior editor on its website.
This summary from BusinessInsider.com, noted that Talking Biz News was the first with the news, reporting that Primack's "hiring coincides with the launch of a new section on Fortune.com called 'Fortune Finance,' which will include news about Wall Street, private equity, mergers and acquisitions and economics."

In a note to staff, Fortune.com editor Daniel Roth adds that "Dan will write a morning newsletter covering venture capital, Wall Street, M&A and other deal-related topics."

Here's a link for the Fortune full memo via veteran reporter, editor, and pioneering weblogger Romenesko, noting: "Dan’s reporting has become a mandatory read in the private equity market —and he’s not bad on TV, either. From his Boston outpost, Dan will write a morning newsletter covering venture capital, Wall Street, M&A and other deal-related topics. If there are investments being made or an exit in process, Dan knows about it and is ready to explain what it means. In addition to the morning newsletter, Dan will also be blogging."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MSRB Counsel (DC) and Blue Sky Attorney (NY) and Prime Brokerage Attorney openings

MSRB is now seeking an Associate/Assistant General Counsel. Part of a legal team collaborating on Rule making/Policy functions of the MSRB, as well as providing advice on internal legal matters. This is on the SIFMA Job Board,

Not yet posted on the Rosenthal Recruiting Job Board - is a job opening with an AmLaw 200 Firm. Seeking 7+ years of experience to work as a Blue Sky Attorney: Responsibility for Blue Sky matters, securities registrations including IPO registration, PIPES, Hedge Funds, state filings, exemption applications, notice filings for covered securities. FINRA tenure and experience required.

Position Overview: Advise on state regulations of private placements, PIPEs, IPOs.-Advise on investment adviser registration and notice filings in states.-Draft legal memorandum and conduct research on Blue Sky law.-Draft documents for private placement offerings and acquisitions.

Please call 973-826-0537, send an e-mail with cover letter and resume to discuss this excellent opportunity with a prestigious Law Firm.

Among other openings we are currently working to fill a Large Investment Bank’s Prime Brokerage Attorney opening. Responsibilities, Requirements for this can be viewed at the Rosenthal Recruiting Job Board. This premier investment bank requires an experienced Securities Counsel, 10+ years, 3+ covering Prime Brokerage and Securities Lending. Will consider someone from a Law Firm.
(973) 826-0537

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