Ms. Nazareth is a partner and head of Davis Polk's Washington DC office and leads the trading and markets practice within the firm’s Financial Institutions Group. [Full Bio]

Broker-dealer custody of on-blockchain assets has been a key hurdle in the development of a more regulated financial infrastructure for digital assets in the United States.  In a joint statement (the Joint Statement), the staffs of the SEC and FINRA outlined their concerns about broker-dealers’ ability to comply with
Continue Reading Davis Polk Client Memorandum: SEC and FINRA Staffs Highlight Broker-Dealer Regulatory Challenges Raised by Digital Assets—And Hint at Solutions

The Supreme Court has updated an important Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) exemption for the digital age.  In Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, the Supreme Court this week significantly expanded the scope of FOIA Exemption 4, which shields from disclosure “trade secrets and commercial or
Continue Reading SCOTUS Expands Scope of FOIA Trade Secrets and Commercial Information Exemption

The SEC adopted its long-awaited Regulation Best Interest, establishing new standard of conduct regulations for SEC-registered broker-dealers and their associated persons that are natural persons.  At the same time, the SEC adopted (i) a new relationship summary disclosure requirement, on Form CRS, for broker-dealers and investment advisers who offer services
Continue Reading Davis Polk Visual Memorandum: SEC Adopts Regulation Best Interest, Form CRS and Related Advisers Act Interpretations

In his final speech to the FIA, Chairman Giancarlo last week discussed three cross border swaps proposals that he will schedule for Commission consideration before he steps down on July 15.  Giancarlo has been particularly focused during his tenure on advancing a cross border swaps framework based on regulatory deference
Continue Reading Giancarlo Races to the Cross Border Line

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) are increasing their focus on crypto assets and decentralized financial technologies (DeFi). Over the past week, the organizations published reports providing updates on, discussing developments in, and assessing risks relating to
Continue Reading The FSB and IOSCO Are Watching Crypto Assets and DeFi

On Friday, the SEC proposed a package of rule amendments and regulatory guidance regarding the cross-border application of its security-based swap (“SBS”) rules.  The proposal represents an attempt by the SEC to reconsider certain aspects of the cross-border application of SBS regulatory requirements that market participants have identified
Continue Reading SEC Cross-Border Proposal Balances Burdens and Benefits of New SBS Regime

Last week, the SEC staff published new detailed guidance on its views of when a digital asset may be considered a security, in the form of two documents:  a guidance “framework” issued by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology and a no-action letter from the SEC’s Division
Continue Reading SEC Staff Doubles Down on Howey for Digital Assets

Earlier this month, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Division of Trading and Markets Director Brett Redfearn engaged in a public dialogue on equity market structure issues.  In addition to reviewing three equity market structure initiatives adopted by the SEC in 2018 (the transaction fee pilot, enhanced order handling
Continue Reading Chairman Jay Clayton and Director Brett Redfearn Preview Potential Further Equity Market Structure Reforms—Exchange Market Data Business Model Targeted

The SEC recently voted to adopt amendments to Rule 606 of Regulation NMS (the “Final Rule”) that expand broker-dealers’ disclosure obligations with regard to how they handle investors’ orders. Specifically, the Final Rule requires broker-dealers, beginning May 20, 2019, (i) to provide, upon request, individualized reports in a
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Enhanced Order Handling Disclosure Requirements

After a several-year pause, the CFTC is again re-assessing its approach to cross-border regulation of swap activities. The CFTC’s current approach is embodied in various rulemakings, guidance, orders, and agreements with non-U.S. regulators that have been adopted, issued, and entered into since 2013. The CFTC has, over the past several
Continue Reading CFTC Chairman Giancarlo’s White Paper Outlines Specific Recommendations to Cross-Border Swaps Regulation