Category Archives: Press Releases

Regulation BI Webinar Announced

Aspect Advisors and Cole-Frieman & Mallon Both Participating

The below is a press release announcing the Regulation Best Interest webinar next week. All are welcome to join.


Aspect Advisors Presents Regulation Best Interest Webinar

Reg BI Compliance Implementation for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers


Aspect Advisors, a regulatory compliance consulting firm, will be presenting best practices for broker-dealers and investment advisers subject to the new Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”) requirements ahead of the June 30 deadline for compliance. The presentation will be made through a live webinar, open to all who register, on May 28th at 1:00pm Eastern time and will feature expert speakers on the new regulation.

Reg BI establishes a new “best interest” standard of conduct for broker-dealers when making recommendations to retail customers regarding any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities and includes four specified components to the obligations: disclosure, care, conflict of interest, and compliance. The regulation also requires broker-dealers and investment advisers to provide a brief relationship summary (Form CRS) to retail investors.

The May 28 webinar will be a “beyond-the-basics” deep dive discussion into how investment management firms can implement Reg BI requirements. Topics will include: the SEC’s OCIE guidance regarding regulatory expectations, common questions from both a compliance and legal perspective, practical strategies for implementation of requirements, and a question and answer period with participants.

“We have seen the government and regulators pull back on the implementation of various regulations during the COIVD-19 crisis,” said Justin Schleifer, president of Aspect Advisors and panelist. He continued, “however, it appears that Reg BI will not be subject to delay and so investment management firms need to be prepared for the June 30 deadline with real world solutions.”

The panelists will include James Dombach and Paul Merolla from the law firm Murphy & McGonigle and Justin Schleifer from Aspect Advisors. Host of the panel Bart Mallon, from the law firm Cole-Frieman & Mallon, stated “the goal of this panel is to provide broker-dealers and investment advisers with practical advice on this important new regulation.” He went on to state that “implementation in normal times would be involved so this webinar is both timely and important.”

Representatives from financial firms can sign up for the webinar here:

About Aspect Advisors:
Aspect Advisors is a regulatory compliance consulting firm that provides customized compliance solutions for complex challenges. Our clients are financial service innovators, including fintech companies, registered investment advisers (RIAs), broker-dealers and private fund managers. Our back-office services include regulatory registrations and filings, compliance policies and procedures, conducting annual reviews, outsourced Chief Compliance Officer/FinOP support, and other bespoke items.


Bart Mallon is a founding partner of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP. Cole-Frieman & Mallon is a boutique law firm focused on providing institutional quality legal services to the investment management industry. For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.

Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP Announces New Partner Scott E. Kitchens

Firm Adds New Denver Office to Expand Practice

Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, a leading boutique investment management law firm, is pleased to announce Scott Kitchens has joined the firm as a partner. He will be opening the firm’s new Denver office and will focus his practice on advising private funds and investment advisers in relation to structure, formation and ongoing operational needs. Mr. Kitchens previously worked in the investment management practice group of a large international law firm. He has deep ties to the Colorado investment management community and is committed to growing the firm’s local practice.

“I am excited to welcome Scott to the firm and build out the Denver office together” said Karl Cole-Frieman, co-founder of the firm. “We also know that Scott’s reputation in the Denver community is exceptional, and we believe Scott will propel our firm to be the leading investment fund practice in Denver.” Matthew Stover, CEO of Denver based fund administration firm MG Stover & Co. noted that “the alternative fund industry in Colorado is growing and we believe that Cole-Frieman & Mallon will be a strong addition to the community. We also know that Scott will bring great experience to the new office.”

Mr. Kitchens’ background includes notable experience with venture capital, private equity, and similar closed-end fund structures. “I am very excited to join Cole-Frieman & Mallon and launch its Denver office,” said Mr. Kitchens. “I have known the attorneys at the firm for many years and am confident that we will continue our strong expansion in the investment management space.”


About Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP

Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is a premier boutique investment management law firm, providing top-tier, responsive and cost-effective legal solutions for financial services matters. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta and Denver, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP has an international practice that services both start-up investment managers, as well as multi-billion dollar firms. The firm provides a full complement of legal services to the investment management community, including: hedge fund, private equity fund and venture capital fund formation, adviser registration, counterparty documentation, SEC, CFTC, NFA and FINRA matters, seed deals, hedge fund due diligence, employment and compensation matters, and routine business matters. Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is also a recognized leader in the burgeoning cryptocurrency fund formation space. The firm publishes the prominent Hedge Fund Law Blog which focuses on legal issues that impact the hedge fund community. For more information please visit us at:


Bart Mallon is a founding partner of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP and the founder/editor of the Hedge Fund Law Blog.  Mr. Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.

Outsourced Compliance Company – Sansome Strategies LLC

Clients, Friends and Readers:

We are pleased to announce the launch of Sansome Strategies LLC, a high-touch outsourced compliance company.  Sansome Strategies will focus on RIAs and hedge fund managers as well as those firms operating in the commodities/futures and derivatives spaces.

As we all know, increased regulatory oversight, through both the passage of laws and the promulgation of new regulations, have changed (and will continue to change) the operating landscape for investment managers.  This is no more true than in the derivatives space where managers have now found themselves subject to CFTC oversight.  Combined with the Dodd-Frank mandate requiring hedge fund and private equity fund managers to register as investment advisers, the demand for outsourced compliance consulting services has dramatically increased.

Sansome Strategies enters the consulting space at this important time and aims to provide both large and small managers with competent and practical consulting advice.

The press release announcing the launch is found below.  For more information, please see the Sansome Strategies website.

Please also visit the Sansome Strategies blog, ComplianceFocus.


Sansome Strategies LLC Introduced as New Compliance Consulting Firm with Commodities Focus

San Francisco-Based Firm Specializes in Outsourced CCO Services

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 2, 2013 – Announced today is the launch of Sansome Strategies LLC, a compliance consulting firm specializing in high-touch, outsourced compliance services for firms in the investment management industry. Aiding hedge fund managers, commodity pool operators and CTAs, private equity firms, futures managers, and other investment managers, Sansome Strategies offers expertise in streamlining regulatory processes and tailoring compliance outsourcing arrangements to a business’ specific needs.

Sansome Strategies’ head of compliance operations is Jennifer Dickinson, who has extensive experience with private fund compliance, both with respect to investment adviser and futures regulation. Prior to joining Sansome Strategies, Dickinson was a Senior Compliance Consultant at Gordian Compliance Solutions, LLC. Dickinson has been a Chief Compliance Officer at several large investment managers, and worked at the law firms of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. “Sansome Strategies will be a perfect fit for those firms seeking one-off compliance solutions, as well as firms that need an institutional quality compliance consultant,” Dickinson said. Ghufran Rizvi, COO of Standard Pacific Capital, LLC in San Francisco agrees, “I have known Ms. Dickinson for many years. She is a great business partner and Sansome Strategies will be a valuable addition to the compliance consulting space.”

Sansome Strategies’ expertise with futures managers and commodity pool operators differentiates the firm in a crowded field and is unique in the compliance consulting industry. The firm is backed by Karl Cole-Frieman and Bart Mallon, partners and founders of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, which has one of the largest private fund practices in California. “There is significant and increasing demand for a compliance firm that understands both registered investment advisers and CFTC registered firms,” according to Karl Cole-Frieman. “Changes in the CFTC’s registration and exemption requirements have forced more managers into registration,” Bart Mallon notes, “and we have not seen the existing compliance companies prepared to address this demand.”

With Sansome Strategies, clients can pick and choose from an array of options, including a completely or partially outsourced compliance program, or opt for advisory, educational, or training services only. Sansome Strategies collaborates with business management and staff to structure, implement, and maintain their compliance program. Sansome Strategies features a client-centric business model, putting a heavy focus on customized services and collaboration.


About Sansome Strategies

Headquartered in San Francisco and with a nation-wide scope of services, Sansome Strategies is a compliance consulting firm specializing in high-touch, outsourced compliance services for businesses in the investment management industry. Serving investment advisers, futures managers, hedge funds, broker-dealers, private equity firms and businesses ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to multi-billion dollar international institutions, Sansome Strategies prides itself on tailoring compliance management solutions to the unique needs of each client. Comprised of securities industry professionals with years of experience in the financial and regulatory industries, Sansome Strategies’ mission is to simplify the compliance process, minimize risk, and lower costs, with the core goal of helping clients focus on building and enhancing their business. The firm also publishes ComplianceFocus a compliance blog designed to be a practical and accessible resource to the investment management community. For more information please visit Sansome Strategies at:

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Dickinson
Sansome Strategies LLC

Hedge Fund Manager Charged with Insider Trading

SEC Brings Case Against Raj Rajaratnam

Below is another case of a hedge fund manager who was alledgedly engaged in insider trading. The SEC seems particularly excited about this cased because of the high profile nature of the manager who was involved. The major charge is against Raj Rajaratnam who reportedly has a net worth in excess of $1 billion and who is a member of the Forbes 400 richest persons in the world.

There will undoubtedly be continued press in this case which is not good news for the hedge fund industry. The industry has been subject to criticism and increased calls for regulation for the last year and high profile cases like this one only serve to rile up members of congress. The SEC seems to be particularly proud about this “catch” as the agency has itself been under increasing scrutiny as the details of the fumbled Madoff case have been made public.


SEC Charges Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Raj Rajaratnam with Insider Trading


High-Ranking Corporate Executives Also Charged in Scheme That Generated More Than $25 Million in Illicit Gains

Washington, D.C., Oct. 16, 2009 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged billionaire Raj Rajaratnam and his New York-based hedge fund advisory firm Galleon Management LP with engaging in a massive insider trading scheme that generated more than $25 million in illicit gains. The SEC also charged six others involved in the scheme, including senior executives at major companies IBM, Intel and McKinsey & Company.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, alleges that Rajaratnam tapped into his network of friends and close business associates to obtain insider tips and confidential information about corporate earnings or takeover activity at several companies, including Google, Hilton and Sun Microsystems. He then used the non-public information to illegally trade on behalf of Galleon.

“This complaint describes a web of fraud that has been unraveled,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro.

“What we have uncovered in the trading activities of Raj Rajaratnam is that the secret of his success is not genius trading strategies. He is not the astute study of company fundamentals or marketplace trends that he is widely thought to be. Raj Rajaratnam is not a master of the universe, but rather a master of the rolodex,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “He cultivated a network of high-ranking corporate executives and insiders, and then tapped into this ring to obtain confidential details about quarterly earnings and takeover activity.”

In addition to Rajaratnam and Galleon, the SEC’s complaint charges:

  • Danielle Chiesi of New York, N.Y. — a portfolio manager at New Castle Funds.
  • Rajiv Goel of Los Altos, Calif. — a managing director at Intel Capital, an Intel subsidiary.
  • Anil Kumar of Saratoga, Calif. — a director at McKinsey & Company.
  • Mark Kurland of Mount Kisco, N.Y. — a Senior Managing Director and General Partner at New Castle.
  • Robert Moffat of Ridgefield, Conn. — a senior vice president at IBM.
  • New Castle Funds LLC — a New York-based hedge fund

According to the SEC’s complaint, Rajaratnam and Galleon traded on inside information about the following events or transactions:

  • An unnamed source, identified in the SEC’s complaint as Tipper A, obtained inside information about earnings announcements at Polycom and Google, as well as a takeover announcement of Hilton. Tipper A then allegedly provided this information to Rajaratnam, who used it to trade on behalf of Galleon.
  • Goel provided inside information to Rajaratnam about certain Intel quarterly earnings and a pending joint venture concerning Clearwire Corp., in which Intel had invested. Rajaratnam then used this information to trade on behalf of Galleon. As payback for Goel’s tips, Rajaratnam, or someone acting on his behalf, executed trades in Goel’s personal brokerage account based on inside information concerning Hilton and PeopleSupport, which resulted in nearly $250,000 in illicit profits for Goel.
  • Kumar obtained inside information about pending transactions involving AMD and two Abu Dhabi-based sovereign entities, which he shared with Rajaratnam. Rajaratnam then traded on the basis of this information on behalf of Galleon.
  • Chiesi obtained inside information from an executive at Akamai Technologies and traded on the information on behalf of a New Castle fund, netting a profit of approximately $2.4 million. Chiesi also passed on the inside information to Rajaratnam, who then traded on behalf of Galleon.

The SEC also alleges that Moffat provided inside information to Chiesi about Sun Microsystems. Moffat obtained the information when IBM was contemplating acquiring Sun. Chiesi then allegedly traded on the basis of this information on behalf of New Castle, making approximately $1 million in profits.

The SEC’s complaint charges each of the defendants with violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and, except for Kumar and Moffat, violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and. The complaint seeks a final judgment permanently enjoining the defendants from future violations of the above provisions of the federal securities laws, ordering them to disgorge their ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and ordering them to pay financial penalties. The complaint also seeks to permanently prohibit Goel, Kumar and Moffat from acting as an officer or director of any registered public company.

The SEC acknowledges the assistance and cooperation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The SEC’s investigation is continuing.

# # #

For more information, contact:
David Rosenfeld
Associate Director, SEC’s New York Regional Office
(212) 336-0153

Sanjay Wadhwa
Assistant Director, SEC’s New York Regional Office
(212) 336-0181


Other related hedge fund law articles:

Bart Mallon, Esq. of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP runs Hedge Fund Law Blog.  Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund.  If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund or if you are a current hedge fund manager with questions about the securities laws, please contact us or call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.

OTC Derivatives Markets Act of 2009 Passes House Committee Vote

CFTC Chairman Gensler Applauds “Historic Progress”

In a first step towards increased regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives markets, the House Financial Services Committee approved the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act of 2009.  The act is one of several initiatives to increase regulatory oversight of the financial markets and if passed by Congress would be signed into law by President Obama. Among other things the act would require Swap dealers and major swap participants to register with either the CFTC or the SEC.

Below I have reprinted press releases from both the House Financial Services Committee and the CFTC.

UPDATE: The Securities Industry Financial and Markets Association (SIFMA) just issued a press release reposted below as well.

Financial Services Committee Approves Legislation to Regulate Derivatives

Committee completes work on a key element of President Obama’s plan to bring accountability and responsibility to Wall Street

Washington, DC – {The House Financial Services Committee today approved legislation that would, for the first time ever, require the comprehensive regulation of the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives marketplace. Today’s bill, which was approved by a vote of 43-26, represents a key part of a broader effort by Congress and President Obama to modernize America’s financial regulatory system in response to last year’s financial crisis.

Under the bill, all standardized swap transactions between dealers and large market participants, referred to as “major swap participants,” would have to be cleared and must be traded on an exchange or electronic platform. A major swap participant is defined as anyone that maintains a substantial net position in swaps, exclusive of hedging for commercial risk, or whose positions creates such significant exposure to others that it requires monitoring. OTC derivatives include swaps, which are contracts that call for an exchange of cash between two counterparties based on an underlying rate, index, credit event or the performance of an asset.

The legislation then sets out parallel regulatory frameworks for the regulation of swap markets, dealers, and major swap participants.  Rulemaking authority is held jointly by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which has jurisdiction over swaps, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has jurisdiction over security-based swaps.   The Treasury Department is given the authority to issue final rules if the CFTC and SEC cannot decide on a joint approach within 180 days. Subsequent interpretations of rules must be agreed to jointly by the Commissions.

Description of the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act of 2009


The legislation provides a mechanism to determine which swap transactions are sufficiently standardized that they must be submitted to a clearinghouse. For transactions that are clearable, clearing is a requirement when both counterparties are either dealers or major swap participants.  Clearing organizations must seek approval from the appropriate regulator—either the CFTC or the SEC—before a swap or class of swaps can be accepted for clearing.

Transactions in standardized swaps that involve end-users are not required to be cleared. Such customized transactions must, however, be reported to a trade repository.

Mandatory Trading on Exchange or Swap Execution Facility

A standardized and cleared swap transaction where both counterparties are either dealers or major swap participants must either be executed on a board of trade, a national securities exchange or a “swap execution facility”—as defined in the legislation.  If none of these venues makes a clearable swap available for trading, the trading requirement would not apply.  Counterparties would, however, have to comply with transaction reporting requirements established by the appropriate regulator.  The legislation also directs the regulators to eliminate unnecessary obstacles to trading on a board of trade or a national securities exchange.

Registration and Regulation of Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

Swap dealers and major swap participants must register with the appropriate Commission and dual registration is required in applicable cases.  Capital requirements for swap dealers’ and major swap participants’ positions in cleared swaps must be set at greater than zero.  Capital for non-cleared transaction must be set higher than for cleared transactions.  The prudential regulators will set capital for banks, while the Commissions will set capital for non-banks at a level that is “as strict or stricter” than that set by the prudential regulators.

The regulators are directed to set margin levels for counterparties in transactions that are not cleared.   The regulators are not required to set margin in transaction where one of the counterparties is not a dealer or major swap participant.  In cases where an end user is a counterparty to a transaction, any margin requirements must permit the use of non-cash collateral.

Reporting and Public Disclosure of Swap Transactions

Reporting and recordkeeping is required for all over-the-counter derivative transactions.  Clearing organizations must provide transaction information to the relevant Commission and a designated trade repository.   Swap transactions that are not cleared and for which no trade repository exists, must be reported directly to the relevant Commission.   The legislation also provides for public disclosure of aggregate data on swap trading volumes and positions—in a manner that does not disclose the business transactions or market position of any person.  Large positions in swaps must also be reported directly to regulators.

Swap Execution Facilities

Swap execution facilities, or facility for the trading of swaps that are not Boards of Trade or National Securities Exchanges, must register with the relevant regulator as a swap execution facility (SEF).  SEFs must also adhere to core regulatory principles relating to enforcement, anti-manipulation, monitoring, information collection and conflicts of interest, among others. The CFTC and SEC are required to prescribe joint rules governing the regulation of swap execution facilities.  A Commission may exempt a SEF from registration if it is subject to comparable, comprehensive supervision and regulation by another regulator.


Statement of Chairman Gary Gensler on House Financial Services Committee Passage of OTC Derivatives Regulatory Reform Legislation

October 15, 2009

Washington, DC – U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler today commented on the OTC Derivatives Markets Act of 2009, passed this morning by the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services.

Chairman Gensler said:

“Today’s vote by the House Financial Services Committee represents historic progress toward comprehensive regulatory reform of the over-the-counter derivatives marketplace. The Committee’s bill is a significant step toward lowering risk and promoting transparency. Substantive challenges remain. I look forward to building on this Committee’s hard work with Chairman Frank, Chairman Peterson and others in the House and Senate to complete legislation that covers the entire marketplace without exception and to ensure that regulators have appropriate authorities to protect the public.”


Release Date: October 15, 2009

Contact: Andrew DeSouza, (202) 962-7390, [email protected]

SIFMA’s Bentsen Statement on Committee Passage of Derivatives Regulation

October 15, 2009, Washington, DC—The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association today released a statement from Ken Bentsen, Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy in response to the House Financial Services Committee’s passage of the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act of 2009.

“Bringing greater regulatory transparency and oversight to derivatives markets and products is a key component of reforming our financial system. That oversight must also recognize the important role these risk management tools play for countless companies across the country and for our broader economy. Mandating particular transaction modes, as this bill does, could raise transaction costs while not necessarily reducing risk in a commensurate amount—results that we believe are contrary to our shared reform goals. As the legislative process continues we look forward to working with the Congress toward a bill that strikes a balance between the need for transparency and risk management efficiency.”

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association brings together the shared interests of more than 550 securities firms, banks and asset managers. SIFMA’s mission is to promote policies and practices that work to expand and perfect markets, foster the development of new products and services and create efficiencies for member firms, while preserving and enhancing the public’s trust and confidence in the markets and the industry. SIFMA works to represent its members’ interests locally and globally. It has offices in New York, Washington D.C., and London and its associated firm, the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, is based in Hong Kong.


Other related hedge fund law articles:

Bart Mallon, Esq. runs hedge fund law blog and has written most all of the articles which appear on this website.  Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund.  If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund, or if you have questions about investment adviser registration with the SEC or state securities commission, please call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.

Life Settlement Group to Educate Public on Securitization

Life Settlements Likely to be Hot Regulatory Topic

The life settlement industry has seen an increase in the recognition in the weeks following a New York Times story of securitization of life settlements. Congress has already held hearings on these investments and the likely impact they will have on the financial markets. We will stay on top of this issue as it is very important for life settlement hedge funds and other managers who may want to enter this market through securitized investments.



Life Settlement Society to Host Educational Webinar Series Beginning Oct. 22 Focusing on Securitization and Congressional Hearings

International Society of Life Settlement Professionals (ISLSP) convenes group of industry experts to offer insight into Life Settlement securitization and commentary on recent congressional hearings

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The International Society of Life Settlement Professionals (ISLSP) has formed an education committee, to be headed by industry founder Wm. Scott Page. The committee will organize and host a series of educational webinars beginning Thursday, October 22. This first of three monthly webinars will serve as a follow-up meeting to discuss the recent Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing regarding the life settlement industry as well as recent issues gaining meaningful attention in the marketplace such as life settlement securitization.

The three ISLSP webinars are dedicated to investor and industry education with goals of clarifying benefits and misconceptions, while also providing a forum for extensive Q&A sessions and direct exchange of information among carefully selected top professionals in the industry.

“Our webinar sessions will enable participants to perform objective and in-depth analysis of industry developments and expose any conduct that would diminish the value of life settlement transactions,” said Andreas Hauss, ISLSP founder. “These transactions offer the seller needed liquidity and the investor non-correlated diversification to rebuild their wealth in these difficult economic times.”

The board of ISLSP has created the webinar series in response to the recent Senate hearing. This hearing was convened based on misconceptions about the prospective securitization of life settlement policies despite contrary and verifiable knowledge that life settlements now or in the near future do not pose risks similar to those experienced with mortgage backed securities.

In particular, subcommittee member Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) cautioned the committee to not confuse the Wall Street mischief that led to the current economic hardships with an industry that’s “helping people get the full value of their policies.” Closing his opening remarks he stated: “And I don’t think that this industry should be called upon to answer for the serious abuses that pervaded this economy in other areas over the past two years. And the sins of others should not descend on you.”

During the end of the hearing, committee Chairman Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), asked whether the panelists thought his committee was premature in holding the hearing, none did. Other committee members followed the lead by asking whether any panelists thought securitization of life settlements at this point could cause systemic risk to the world financial markets, again, none did.

According to George Polzer, ISLSP executive director, ISLSP is the only investor-oriented trade association exclusively dedicated to offering neutral, regular, easily accessible and understandable educational information for investors.

“To offer the highest and best price to the insured requires an efficient secondary market,” said Polzer. “Our association encourages investors to bring more capital, level the playing field and ultimately offer higher payouts.”

Event: ISLSP Webinar- “Understanding the Mechanism and Benefits of Life Settlements as an Investment”
When: 1st webinar October 21, 2009, 10:00 a.m. ET
More Information: For more information or to register visit or call 480.278.5232.

ISLSP was founded by an international team of pioneering life settlement professionals and investors seeking to codify a standard life settlement assessment guideline which allows objective and accurate determination of the true value and risks associated with purchasing life settlement investments. ISLSP attracts new capital to the industry by educating investors, maintaining best practices and facilitating networking among best of breed and professional business partners. Visit for additional information.

George Polzer, [email protected], 480.278.5232 (US)
Andreas Hauss, [email protected], +39-346-531-1151 (Europe)


Other articles related to hedge funds and life settlements include:

Bart Mallon, Esq. runs hedge fund law blog and has written most all of the articles which appear on this website.  Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund.  If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund (including a fund focused on life settlement investments or premium finance), please call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.

Hedge Fund Operational Issues and Failures

Hedge Fund Due Diligence Firm Releases White Paper

We’ve published a number of thoughtful pieces on this blog from Chris Addy, president and CEO of Castle Hall Alternatives (see, for example, article on Hedge Fund Auditors).  Today we are publishing a press release which announces a new white paper from Castle Hall detailing the various reasons which hedge funds fail.  The press release also describes a new web database called HedgeEvent which was created by Castle Hall and details a number of hedge fund operational failures over the last few years.

I found the white paper to be interesting.  I would imagine that some fund of funds and other types of hedge fund investors would find the information useful.  A couple of interesting facts from the whitepaper:

  • The most common causes of operational failure in hedge funds are (i) theft and misappropriation and (ii) existence of assets (i.e. Ponzi schemes).
  • Long/short equity and managed futures are the strategies which are most likely to be subject to operational failure.


Castle Hall Alternatives Publishes White Paper on Hedge Fund Operational Failures: Launches “HedgeEvent” Database

MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Castle Hall Alternatives, the hedge fund industry’s leading provider of operational due diligence, today published its latest White Paper, ‘From Manhattan to Madoff: the Causes and Lessons of Hedge Fund Operational Failure.’ The Paper’s analysis and findings are based on HedgeEvent, a comprehensive, web-based database of more than 300 operational events, now available to Castle Hall’s due diligence clients. HedgeEvent supplements HedgeDiligence, the firm’s existing client web portal.

The White Paper may be downloaded from

Chris Addy, Castle Hall’s CEO, said “the colossal fraud perpetrated by Bernie Madoff, together with a number of other recent cases, has made investors acutely concerned by the risk of operational ‘blow ups’. However, there has been little systematic study of operational failure, meaning that investors have limited guidance as to the extent of this problem.”

“The creation of HedgeEvent, which has taken more than two years to compile, has enabled us to summarize key metrics related to hedge fund operational failure” said Addy. “From Manhattan to Madoff analyzes operational events by number, estimated loss, causal factor and by the strategy of the funds involved.”

HedgeEvent contains 327 cases of hedge fund operational failure through June 30, 2009. Madoff, with an estimated financial impact of $64 billion, is by far the largest; the remaining cases have an aggregate estimated financial impact of approximately $15 billion. Of the 327 operational events, 121 have an estimated impact of $10 million or more, and 31 of at least $100 million.

“While operational failures are material – Madoff spectacularly so – it does not seem that fraud is pervasive in the hedge fund industry” said Addy. “Investors should, however, be very focused on the lessons which can be learned from those hedge funds which did generate large losses. Many of these were well established firms which attracted capital from reputable investors.”

Across all Events, the most common causes of operational failure are theft and misappropriation followed by existence of assets (the manager claimed to own fake securities or operated a Ponzi scheme where reported assets did not exist). The most common strategies subject to operational failure are long / short equity followed by managed futures. It is notable that investors have traditionally viewed these strategies, holding largely exchange-traded securities, as straightforward with low operational risk.

“HedgeEvent is an invaluable tool for both Castle Hall and our clients” said Addy. “A lot can be learned from historical events: better knowledge can help investors avoid the losses, both monetary and reputational, of hedge fund operational failure.”

About Castle Hall Alternatives

Castle Hall Alternatives helps leading institutional investors, fund of funds, family offices and endowments identify and manage hedge fund operational risk. Castle Hall’s team draws on more than 30 years of direct due diligence experience and is the industry’s largest, dedicated provider of operational due diligence. More information is available at


Castle Hall Alternatives
Chris Addy, President and CEO, +1 450 465 8880
[email protected]


Other related hedge fund law and start up articles include:

For more information, please call Bart Mallon, Esq. at 415-296-8510

Tech Royalty Starts New Venture Capital Fund

New Investment Fund Focuses on Tech Start Ups

New Trend Emerges in Silicon Valley

The first quarter of 2009 marked the lowest level of investment since 1997, according to the National Venture Capital Associates.  The Venture industry in particular has suffered as the number of IPOs and acquisitions has plummeted.   In the Silicon Valley, where some of the recessionary fog is now lifting, investors and entrepreneurs have a chance to invest in the market and take advantage of the low valuations.  With technology and software tools driving down the cost of starting a tech company by more than 100 times compared with a few decades ago, the potential for a new era of technology investment is emerging.  Marc Andreessen, recognized by the venture capital community as an entrepreneurial visionary, has announced the formation of a new fund attempting to take advantage of this new trend.

Marc Andreesen – Industry Icon

Andreessen’s fund, Andreessen Horowitz, is co-founded with Ben Horowitz, an affiliate and partner from their former venture – Netscape. Andreessen moved to Silicon Valley and co-founded Netscape with entrepreneur Jim Clark, funded by blue-chip venture fund Kleiner Perkins. Almost instantly Netscape exploded into a business with enormous profit potential, with this 1995 IPO stock offered at $28 grew up to $75 by the close of trading.  However, the glory of Netscape was short-lived, as Microsoft surfaced into the same competitive space and won the battle. Soon thereafter, the investment industry experienced the now-famous dot-com bust, which all but froze the technology industry. Andreessen continued to build his reputation in the Silicon Valley as a well-connected entrepreneur who served as an invaluable vessel of knowledge to other entrepreneurs (i.e. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook) in terms of how to build and manage a strong technology company. Now, Andreessen has joined forces with his former colleague, Horowitz, to introduce a new fund that will focus its investment strategies on a diversified portfolio of emerging startups in technology sector.

The New Fund – Strategies and Setbacks

One reason the new fund has the industry buzzing is the sheer amount of financial backing it brings in a time where investor confidence is low. Through a few institutional investors and several key industry players, Andreessen Horowitz was able to pull in approximately $300 million in funds, which amounts to less than one third the size of the biggest boom-year venture funds and qualified Andreessen Horowitz to be regarded as the most prominent fund raised in 2009.

The Andreessen Horowitz investment strategy includes  investing in 60-70 startups and having deal days meeting with at least 5-10 companies per day, offering the partners a constant vantage point to target and isolate industry shifts and evaluate what new innovations may be profitable. The fund’s strategy of investing in a myriad of startups does pose potential problems, such as truly tracking and backing the potential downfall of one or several of these many companies, and monitoring potential conflicts where the fund invests in two startup companies that eventually become direct competitors of one another (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).  In response to how he plans to guard against such potential setbacks, Andreessen says that he will extensively research and disclose all potential conflicts and take measures to protect confidential information.

What this Means for the Investment Industry

As Andreessen attempts to restore investor confidence by capitalizing on the new rapid emergence of startup technology companies, the hope of generating large, ‘Netscape-esque’ returns sets a new optimistic tone for an otherwise risk-averse financial community.  If successful, the new fund could potentially lift the cloud of doubt that looms over the investment industry by employing a strategy that both embraces cutting-edge innovation and provides even the smallest industry players the opportunity to have their ideas seen and heard by renowned industry veterans.


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Hedge Fund PPIP Managers Selected

Treasury and Fed Name Lucky Hedge Fund Managers

The Treasury and the Fed just announced the hedge fund management companies which will be participating in the first round of the PPIP.  The following press release can be found here.


July 8, 2009

Joint Statement by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner,
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Ben S. Bernanke, and Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Sheila Bair on the Legacy Asset Program

To view the Letter of Intent and Term Sheets, please visit link.
To view the Conflict of Interest Rules, please visit link.
To view the Legacy Securities FAQs, please visit link.

The Financial Stability Plan, announced in February, outlined a framework to bring capital into the financial system and address the problem of legacy real estate-related assets.

On March 23, 2009, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC announced the detailed designs for the Legacy Loan and Legacy Securities Programs. Since that announcement, we have been working jointly to put in place the operational structure for these programs, including setting guidelines to ensure that the taxpayer is adequately protected, addressing compensation matters, setting program participation limits, and establishing stringent conflict of interest rules and procedures. Recently released rules are detailed separately in the Summary of Conflicts of Interest Rules and Ethical Guidelines.

Today, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC are pleased to describe the continued progress on implementing these programs including Treasury’s launch of the Legacy Securities Public-Private Investment Program.

Financial market conditions have improved since the early part of this year, and many financial institutions have raised substantial amounts of capital as a buffer against weaker than expected economic conditions.  While utilization of legacy asset programs will depend on how actual economic and financial market conditions evolve, the programs are capable of being quickly expanded if these conditions deteriorate.  Thus, while the programs will initially be modest in size, we are prepared to expand the amount of resources committed to these programs.

Legacy Securities Program

The Legacy Securities program is designed to support market functioning and facilitate price discovery in the asset-backed securities markets, allowing banks and other financial institutions to re-deploy capital and extend new credit to households and businesses. Improved market function and increased price discovery should serve to reinforce the progress made by U.S. financial institutions in raising private capital in the wake of the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (SCAP) completed in May 2009.

The Legacy Securities Program consists of two related parts, each of which is designed to draw private capital into these markets.

Legacy Securities Public-Private Investment Program (“PPIP”)

Under this program, Treasury will invest up to $30 billion of equity and debt in PPIFs established with private sector fund managers and private investors for the purpose of purchasing legacy securities.  Thus, Legacy Securities PPIP allows the Treasury to partner with leading investment management firms in a way that increases the flow of private capital into these markets while maintaining equity “upside” for US taxpayers.

Initially, the Legacy Securities PPIP will participate in the market for commercial mortgage-backed securities and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities.  To qualify, for purchase by a Legacy Securities PPIP, these securities must have been issued prior to 2009 and have originally been rated AAA — or an equivalent rating by two or more nationally recognized statistical rating organizations — without ratings enhancement and must be secured directly by the actual mortgage loans, leases, or other assets (“Eligible Assets”).

Following a comprehensive two-month application evaluation and selection process, during which over 100 unique applications to participate in Legacy Securities PPIP were received,  Treasury has pre-qualified the following firms (in alphabetical order) to participate as fund managers in the initial round of the program:

  • AllianceBernstein, LP and its sub-advisors Greenfield Partners, LLC and Rialto Capital Management, LLC;
  • Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P. and GE Capital Real Estate;
  • BlackRock, Inc.;
  • Invesco Ltd.;
  • Marathon Asset Management, L.P.;
  • Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.;
  • RLJ Western Asset Management, LP.;
  • The TCW Group, Inc.; and
  • Wellington Management Company, LLP.

Treasury evaluated these applications according to established criteria, including: (i) demonstrated capacity to raise at least $500 million of private capital; (ii) demonstrated experience investing in Eligible Assets, including through performance track records; (iii) a minimum of $10 billion (market value) of Eligible Assets under management; (iv) demonstrated operational capacity to manage the Legacy Securities PPIP funds in a manner consistent with Treasury’s stated Investment Objective while also protecting taxpayers; and (iv) headquartered in the United States.  To ensure robust participation by both small and large firms, these criteria were evaluated on a holistic basis and failure to meet any one criterion did not necessarily disqualify an application.

Each Legacy Securities PPIP fund manager will receive an equal allocation of capital from Treasury.  These Legacy Securities PPIP fund managers have also established meaningful partnership roles for small-, veteran-, minority-, and women-owned businesses. These roles include, among others, asset management, capital raising, broker-dealer, investment sourcing, research, advisory, cash management and fund administration services.  Collectively, the nine pre-qualified PPIP fund managers have established 10 unique relationships with leading small-, veteran-, minority-, and women-owned financial services businesses, located in five different states, pursuant to the Legacy Securities PPIP.  Moreover, as Treasury previously announced, small-, veteran-, minority-, and women-owned businesses will continue to have the opportunity to partner with selected fund managers following pre-qualification.  Set forth below is a list (in alphabetical order) of the established small-, veteran-, minority-, and women-owned businesses partnerships:

  • Advent Capital Management, LLC;
  • Altura Capital Group LLC;
  • Arctic Slope Regional Corporation;
  • Atlanta Life Financial Group, through its subsidiary Jackson Securities LLC;
  • Blaylock Robert Van, L.L.C.;
  • CastleOak Securities, LP;
  • Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.;
  • Park Madison Partners LLC;
  • The Williams Capital Group, L.P.; and
  • Utendahl Capital Management.

In addition to the evaluation of applications, Treasury has conducted legal, compliance and business due diligence on each pre-qualified Legacy Securities PPIP fund manager.  The due diligence process encompassed, among other things, in-person management presentations and limited partner reference calls.  Treasury has negotiated equity and debt term sheets (see attached link for the terms of Treasury’s equity and debt investments in the Legacy Securities PPIP funds) for each pre-qualified Legacy Securities PPIP fund manager.  Treasury will continue to negotiate final documentation with each pre-qualified fund manager with the expectation of announcing a first closing of a PPIF in early August.

Each pre-qualified Legacy Securities PPIP fund manager will have up to 12 weeks to raise at least $500 million of capital from private investors for the PPIF.  The equity capital raised from private investors will be matched by Treasury.  Each pre-qualified Legacy Securities PPIP fund manager will also invest a minimum of $20 million of firm capital into the PPIF.  Upon raising this private capital, pre-qualified Legacy Securities PPIP fund managers can begin purchasing Eligible Assets.  Treasury will also provide debt financing up to 100% of the total equity of the PPIF.  In addition, PPIFs will be able to obtain debt financing raised from private sources, and leverage through the Federal Reserve’s and Treasury’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), for those assets eligible for that program, subject to total leverage limits and covenants.

Legacy Securities and the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility

On May 19, 2009, the Federal Reserve Board announced that, starting in July 2009, certain high-quality commercial mortgage-backed securities issued before January 1, 2009 (“legacy CMBS”) would become eligible collateral under the TALF. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury also continue to assess whether to expand TALF to include legacy residential mortgage-backed securities as an eligible asset class.

The CMBS market, which has financed approximately 20 percent of outstanding commercial mortgages, including mortgages on offices and multi-family residential, retail and industrial properties, came to a standstill in mid-2008. The extension of eligible TALF collateral to include legacy CMBS is intended to promote price discovery and liquidity for legacy CMBS. The announcements about the acceptance of CMBS as TALF collateral are already having a notable impact on markets for eligible securities.

Legacy Loan Program

In order to help cleanse bank balance sheets of troubled legacy loans and reduce the overhang of uncertainty associated with these assets, the FDIC and Treasury designed the Legacy Loan Program alongside the Legacy Securities PPIP.

The Legacy Loan Program is intended to boost private demand for distressed assets and facilitate market-priced sales of troubled assets. The FDIC would provide oversight for the formation, funding, and operation of a number of vehicles that will purchase these assets from banks or directly from the FDIC. Private investors would invest equity capital and the FDIC will provide a guarantee for debt financing issued by these vehicles to fund asset purchases. The FDIC’s guarantee would be collateralized by the purchased assets.  The FDIC would receive a fee in return for its guarantee.

On March 26, 2009, the FDIC announced a comment period for the Legacy Loan Program, and has now incorporated this feedback into the design of the program. The FDIC has announced that it will test the funding mechanism contemplated by the LLP in a sale of receivership assets this summer. This funding mechanism draws upon concepts successfully employed by the Resolution Trust Corporation in the 1990s, which routinely assisted in the financing of asset sales through responsible use of leverage. The FDIC expects to solicit bids for this sale of receivership assets in July. The FDIC remains committed to building a successful Legacy Loan Program for open banks and will be prepared to offer it in the future as needed to cleanse bank balance sheets and bolster their ability to support the credit needs of the economy. In addition, the FDIC will continue to work on ways to increase the utilization of this program by open banks and investors.


For related hedge fund law and industry articles, please see:

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Bart Mallon, Esq. runs hedge fund law blog and has written most all of the articles which appear on this website.  Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund.  If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund, please call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-296-8510.

CFTC Chairman Speaks to MFA

Chairman Gary Gensler Discusses Over-the-Counter Derivatives Regulation and Hedge Funds

CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler has been busy lately testifying before Congress and now speaking to the Managed Futures Association.  His remarks to the MFA, which can be found here and which are reprinted in full below, mirror his earlier statements to the Congress regarding the regulation of OTC derivates and hedge fund registration (see Congress and Regulators Discuss OTC Derivatives).  Gensler’s comments are generally seen as reasonable but aggressive and we are seeing an increase in the political power of the CFTC in general and vis-a-vis the SEC (with respect to certain issues at least).  I am very interested in how these issues will play out in the political process over the next few month.


Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Office of External Affairs
Three Lafayette Centre
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581

Remarks of Chairman Gary Gensler Before the Managed Funds Association, Chicago, Illinois

June 24, 2009

Thank you for that introduction, Richard. I greatly appreciate the invitation to speak to the Managed Funds Association at this critical time in our nation’s economy. The last time the two of us were together with a crowd of this size, I was testifying as an Undersecretary at the Department of the Treasury before your Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Once again, we’re together discussing challenges facing our financial system and possible solutions.

As President Obama announced exactly one week ago, we must urgently enact broad regulatory reforms of our financial system. The President’s proposal offers bold reforms seeking to prevent the financial breakdowns that led to our current crisis. It is sweeping in scope, cutting across the financial system to provide greater oversight, transparency and accountability.

Today I would like to focus on two key areas: regulation of over-the-counter derivatives and hedge funds.

Over-the-Counter Derivatives

We must establish a regulatory regime to cover the entire over-the-counter derivatives marketplace.
This will help the American public by: One – lowering systemic risk. Two – providing transparency and efficiency in markets. Three – ensuring market integrity by preventing fraud, manipulation, and other abuses. And four – protecting the retail public.

This new regime should govern 100% of OTC derivatives no matter who is trading them or what type of derivative is traded, standardized or customized. That includes interest rate swaps, currency swaps, commodity swaps, equity swaps, credit default swaps or those which cannot yet be foreseen.

I envision this will require two complementary regimes — one for regulation of the dealers and one for regulation of the market functions. Together, with both of these, we will ensure that the entire derivatives marketplace is subject to comprehensive regulation.

The current financial crisis has taught us that the derivatives trading activities of a single firm can threaten the entire financial system. The costs to the public from the failure of these firms has been staggering, $180 Billion of American taxpayer financial support for AIG alone. The AIG subsidiary that dealt in derivatives – AIG Financial Products –was not subject to any effective federal regulation. Nor were the derivatives dealers affiliated with Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and other investment banks. As such, all derivatives dealers need to be subject to robust federal regulation.

Regulation of the dealers should set capital standards and margin requirements to lower risk. We also must set business conduct standards. These standards would guard against fraud, manipulation, and other market abuses. Additionally, they would lower risk by setting important back office standards for timely and accurate confirmation, processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all transactions. Lastly, we must also mandate recordkeeping and reporting to promote transparency and to allow the CFTC and SEC to vigorously enforce market integrity.

By fully regulating the institutions that trade or hold themselves out to the public as derivative dealers we ensure that all OTC products, both standardized and customized, are subject to robust oversight. Particular care should be given to ensure that no gaps exist between the regulation of standardized and customized products. Customized derivatives, though allowed, would be subject to capital, margin, business conduct and reporting standards. Customized derivatives, however, are by their nature less standard, less liquid and less transparent. Therefore, I believe that higher capital and margin requirements for customized products are justified.

Beyond regulating the dealers, I believe that we must mandate the use of central clearing and exchange venues for all standardized derivatives. Derivatives that can be moved into central clearing should be cleared through regulated central clearing houses and brought onto regulated exchanges or regulated transparent electronic trading systems.

Requiring clearing will promote market integrity and lower risks. Individual firms will become less interconnected as OTC transactions are netted out through centralized clearing. Furthermore, mandated clearing will bring the discipline of daily valuation of transactions and the posting of collateral.

I also would like to highlight three essential features for OTC central clearinghouses:

  • Governance arrangements should be transparent and incorporate a broad range of viewpoints from members and other market participants,
  • Central counterparties should be required to have fair and open access criteria that allow any firm that meets objective, prudent standards to participate regardless of whether it is a dealer or a trading firm, and
  • Finally, in order to promote clearing and achieve market efficiency through competition, OTC derivatives should be fungible and able to be transferred between one exchange or electronic trading system to another.

Market transparency and efficiency would be further improved by requiring the standardized part of the OTC markets onto fully regulated exchanges and fully regulated transparent electronic trading systems. Experience has shown that President Franklin Roosevelt’s approach is correct. To function well, markets must be properly-regulated and transparent. They simply cannot police themselves nor remain in the dark.

Regulated exchanges and regulated transparent trading systems will bring much needed transparency to OTC markets. Market participants should be able to see all of the bids and offers. A complete audit trail of all transactions on the exchanges or trade execution systems should be available to the regulators. Through a trade reporting system there should be timely public posting of the price, volume and key terms of completed transactions.

Market regulators should have authority to impose recordkeeping and reporting requirements and to police the operations of all exchanges and electronic trading systems to prevent fraud, manipulation and other abuses.

The CFTC should have the ability to impose position limits, including aggregate limits, on all persons trading OTC derivatives that perform or affect a significant price discovery function with respect to regulated markets that the CFTC oversees. Such position limit authority should clearly empower the CFTC to establish aggregate position limits across markets in order to ensure that traders are not able to avoid position limits in a market by moving to a related exchange or market, including international markets.

To fully achieve these objectives, we must enact both of these complementary regimes. Regulating both the traders and the markets will ensure that we cover both the actors and the stages that may create significant risks.

Hedge Funds

The second topic that I would like to discuss is regulation of hedge funds. President Obama has called for advisers to hedge funds and other investment funds to register with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act. Advisers should be required to report information on the funds they manage that is sufficient to assess whether any fund poses a threat to financial stability.

The Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) currently provides that funds trading in the futures markets register as Commodity Pool Operators (CPO) and file annual financials with the CFTC. Over 1300 CPOs, including many of the largest hedge funds, are currently registered with and make annual filings to the CFTC. It will be important that the CFTC be able to maintain its enforcement authority over these entities as the SEC takes on important new responsibilities in this area.

This financial crisis also gave new meaning to the term “run on the bank”. Upon hearing those words, most of us would conjure up the image of the citizens of Bedford Falls standing outside George Bailey’s Savings and Loan in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Last year, we witnessed the modern version of this in a number of ways. A harsh lesson of the crisis occurred when a significant number of hedge funds sought to pull securities and funds from their prime brokers, contributing to uncertainty and the destabilization of the financial system.

You may be aware of proposals being discussed by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) regarding the relationship between hedge funds and their prime brokerages and banks, which will require new oversight and rules of the road. Here at home, we should seriously consider similar principles to best guard against runs on liquidity by hedge funds.

In an effort to harmonize financial market oversight, the President requested the CFTC and SEC to provide a report to Congress by September 30, 2009. We will identify existing differences in statutes and regulations with respect to similar types of financial instruments, explain if differences are still appropriate, and make recommendations for changes. In developing recommendations for harmonization we will seek broad input from the public, other regulators, and market users.

Before closing, I would like to mention Chairman Levin’s report on wheat convergence released today by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Chairman Levin’s report is a significant contribution to discussions regarding the potential effects of index trading in the wheat market and other commodity futures markets. As the Commission continues our own analysis and appropriate regulatory responses, Chairman Levin’s recommendations will be carefully considered.
I would like to thank you again for having me here today, and I am happy to take questions.


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