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    Mutual Fund Industry May Face New Rules

    Mutual funds are intended to be mom-and-pop financial products whose investments can be sold off quickly. The funds were never meant to pile into markets where trades take weeks to complete. Some mutual funds, however, have lately been making bets that might be hard to get out of, especially in difficult market conditions. The stampede into investments that can be difficult to exit has regulators increasingly concerned. On Thursday, Mary Jo White, the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told a conference organized by The New York Times/DealBook that the agency was undertaking a comprehensive review of the mutual fund sector. One of the review’s major objectives is to assess whether some mutual funds are loading up on investments that would take too long to unwind. More in the New York Times here.

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    SEC Commissioners Push for Investor Testing

    Just as the industry awaits clarity from Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White on where she stands regarding a uniform fiduciary rule for brokers and advisors, SEC Commissioner Kara Stein said Thursday that the Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance is “spearheading a very important project examining the effectiveness of disclosures.” Indeed, both Stein and SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar have both recently espoused the benefits of “investor testing” as a means to help the agency better disclose broker and advisor standards of care. More on ThinkAdvisor here.

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    Protecting Millionaires ‘Strains Logic & Reason’: SEC Commissioner

    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White reiterated Thursday that the agency is taking a “comprehensive review” of potential changes to the accredited investor definition, but SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher said such an endeavor “strains logic and reason,” and that “millionaires can fend for themselves.” Both White and Gallagher made their remarks during the Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation, held at SEC headquarters in Washington. The forum delved into whether changes need to be made to the accredited investor definition as it relates to natural persons. White stated that the SEC’s goal is to “assess whether we are properly identifying the population of investors who should be able to purchase securities in a securities offering without the protection afforded by the registration requirements of the Securities Act.” More on Think Advisor here.

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    $30 million award to tipster underscores banner year for SEC whistleblower program

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission experienced a banner year with its whistleblower program in fiscal 2014, awarding more tipsters than all previous years combined and issuing a record-setting $30 million to one individual who reported fraud. The SEC said in a report to Congress this week that it authorized a total of nine monetary awards this year to people who provided original information about violations of federal securities laws. The agency had previously handed out a combined four awards since the program began in 2011. More in the Washington Post here.

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    Two Republican SEC members blast SAC insider trading victims’ fund

    Two Republican members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lambasted plans to compensate victims of an insider trading scandal at a unit of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisers, calling it nothing more than a windfall for class-action lawyers. In an unusual move, SEC Commissioners Daniel Gallagher and Michael Piwowar announced their dissent for the $602 million fund in an op-ed item in the Wall Street Journal posted late Monday evening that appeared in Tuesday’s print edition. (on.wsj.com/1wga7Oa) Typically, such opinions are posted directly on the SEC’s website, or in some cases, not widely publicized. More on Reuters here.

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