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February 11, 2013

This advisory opinion stems from a request for guidance from SIFMA and concerns the application of the fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA to certain "cleared swap" transactions conducted pursuant to provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. It addresses: Whether clearing members are fiduciaries in exercising contractually determined rights in the event of a plan default or other specified events; Whether clearing members and CCPs are parties in interest to plans; and Whether the services performed, the guarantee of customer positions, and aforementioned exercise of rights by

March 20, 2013

The NAPF issued its comments in response to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision ("BCBS") and the International Organization of Securities Commissions' ("IOSCO") requests for comment as to the amount and handling of margin to be posted as part of OTC derivatives trades. The key points asserted by NAPF are as follows: Pension schemes use derivatives largely to hedge liabilities and, thereby, reduce risk. Extra costs or processes that provide a disincentive for pension schemes to use derivatives could in fact increase the degree of risk in the markets. The new margin requirements would

July 08, 2013

SIFMA released its response to a data request by the SEC to help inform the agency's cost-benefit analysis of a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisers under Dodd-Frank Section 913. For the first time, the industry provided estimates on the cost of complying with a uniform fiduciary standard. In its letter, SIFMA: Stated its support for a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct, though it also stated that such a uniform standard must take account of the fact that broker-dealers provide a different service to customers than to investment advisers (e.g., broker

January 15, 2014

SIFMA issued its 2013 Year in Review Report, which covers the role of the financial industry in economic growth and job creation, as well as progress in the financial regulatory reform process. Among the issues that the report identifies as being matters of political and/or regulatory concern, and as to which the report briefly expresses a view, are the following: The imposition of a fiduciary standard on broker-dealers Tax incentives for retirement savings State-run retirement plans for private-sector employees The use of eminent domain authority to seize homes that have underwater mortgages