As Fortune CEOs Take Unequivocable Stand -This BD Bids On


August 15 2017-A Special Editorial from Most Fortune CEOs, as well as leaders of Investment Banks and Broker-Dealers (aka BD) are typically loathe to take a political stand. For the former, making pronouncements that will raise the ire of the current president are likely to be met by “injury by twitter,” or worse still, federal agency scrutiny of the company, which could prove devastating for public company shareholders. For the universe of corporate leaders with a conscience and also recognized thought-leaders, only a few have yet to prove unequivocal when reacting to the equivocal comment made by President Trump when framing his first view of what US Attorney General Sessions labeled as a”domestic terror event.” We’re referring to the white supremacist rally that led to 3 deaths and multiple injuries in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend.

For investment banks and broker-dealers, let’s face it-politics and business mix best with each other when done over cocktails or discrete ‘off-site’ meetings to discuss new capital market initiatives, deal issuance and/or asset management mandates. After all, most traditional broker-dealers eschew taking a political stand that opposes the federal government administration, simply out of fear that the long lips of the current WH CEO will whisper to administration-appointed SEC bureaucrats with a message akin to ‘the right industry regulator might want to make this [firm] go away..” Most, but not all is the catchphrase that compels a re-distribution of a capital markets desk commentary that focuses on fixed income markets and along with a smidgen of geopolitical observations and delivered to a captive group of leading Fortune 500 corporate treasurers, as well as a select group of sell-side syndicate desk ‘book-runners’.  Here’s the extract of the day’s piece, titled Risk On, Risk Off, US-NOKO Tensions Subside; Ugly Heads of Racism Take Top Headline

Investment Grade Corporate Debt New Issue Re-Cap – A View About Charlottesville and the Aftermath

Risk was clearly back on in the financial markets today, as U.S./NOKO tensions fell to the wayside.  Unfortunately prejudice and racism reared their ugly heads in the Charlottesville, Virginia riot over the weekend.  On Monday, Fortune 500 thought leaders Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck & C0., Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, and Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour each took a stand by protesting the ‘equivocal’ comments made by President Trump in his first response to the domestic terrorism acts in Charlottesvile, which were advanced by self-proclaimed alt-right and white supremacist neo-Nazis.  Our firm  stands with every corporate executive who stays true to their own right-minded beliefs and their company’s dedication to doing right and doing good, many of whom also maintain proactive Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. For those corporate executives who spent all of their undergrad time in finance and accounting classes, and perhaps not as familiar with the history of the United States as they could be, racism and bigotry are diseases, and cancers that every generation of this country has been working to eradicate.

To the above point, one only need to re-read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to appreciate that D&I is actually part of our country’s DNA. It is also part of the cultural foundation of many Fortune 500 corporations, including Intel, including Merck, including Under Armour and including many others! D&I means respect for and appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion. But it’s more than this. We all bring with us diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures and we presumably all share a disdain for anyone and any group that attempts to dismantle, disrupt and or destroy. Kudos to Mssrs. Frazier, Krzanich and Plank for putting themselves in harm’s way and risk of “injury by Twitter” for being true leaders and staying true to their convictions and their constituents. Kudos also to the many Fortune executives who have raised their own voices and to those who, like Jamie Dimon, have opted to protest by remaining that much more proactive in the WH-appointed roles in which they serve as volunteers.

Today’s VIX closed 3 bps tighter versus Friday’s close. Also a reminder that tomorrow is August 15th – “mid-August” – that’s when North Korea’s illustrious “bad boy” proclaimed that he’d have his master plan ready to bomb Guam developed by.  One week from today on Monday, August 21st begin joint U.S-South Korean military exercises referred to as Ulchi-Freedom Guardian. The exercise began in our Bicentennial year of 1976. North Korea has annually perceived the joint exercise as “preparation for war.” It is the world’s largest computerized command control implementation. Up to 80,000 American and South Korean troops have participated in this exercise in the recent past.  The game will go on for two weeks before concluding on Thursday August 31st.  Enjoy the show Mr. Jong-Un. You’ll have front row seats though I recommend binoculars. Here’s lookin’ at you kid!

If you ask me this is the perfect time for corporations to issue bonds. Not a bad thing will really happen, risk is back on and summer vacations are quickly approaching. My prediction – expect Amazon to the hit the tapes first thing tomorrow morning.  Free market enterprise at work. Ya gotta love it!

Today’s IG Corporate dollar DCM finished with 5 issuers that priced 7 tranches between them totaling $4.10b

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Private Placement Offering Memorandum Experts: Over-Subscribed!


Private Placement Offerings Surge as Demand for Offering Memorandum Document Experts Follows Along

Whether due to improving economic conditions in the US as well as various other parts of the world, or due to technology advancements that serve as the catalyst to innovative products and services that solve legacy business challenges, the global private placement marketplace is surging. With this new era of entrepreneurship, the need for investor offering memorandum experts is likewise cascading. In Wall Street parlance, the demand for such experts is nearly “over-subscribed,” meaning the supply of capable professionals who specialize in preparing fully-compliant investor offering documents is being stretched thin. But, at least one firm within the professional services sector is addressing the investor documentation needs of forward-thinking business enterprises and they are situated neatly within the “curl of the wave”-all you need to find them is a search engine and the right key words/phrases.

Operating under the web banner, the firm behind this portal is NY-based Broker Dealer LLC and with footprints in various cities across the global financial services ecosystem, they are leading the pack by making it simple and easy for broker-dealers*, captive business advisors and corporate lawyers for companies of any size and located in nearly every geographic location of the world to engage local securities law professionals and investor offering document experts who specialize in preparing preliminary offering memorandums, red herrings and final offering prospectus documents that conform to financial industry best practices and comply with local regulatory guidelines that govern investor solicitations. (*For various reasons, registered broker-dealers do not prepare the investor offering memorandum or an offering prospectus, and it is therefore incumbent on the Issuer to provide the investor offering documents.)

Ryan Gorman,

According to Ryan Gorman, a PR-IR-Corporate Communications expert who works with many startup companies, “While some capital markets  professionals will attribute the continued spike in private placement issuance to the ‘Trump Bump”,others will credit the evolution of the JOBS Act [the US legislation spearheaded by former President Obama intended to make the regulatory steps more simple for small companies in the US to raise capital], global macro gurus point to the rising economic tides in various regions of the globe. That said, nobody disputes the number of new companies and latter-stage funding initiatives for small, medium and large companies remains in an unobstructed uptrend.

Private Placement offerings are surging and direct IPOs are gathering steam. But, for those seeking to raise capital for a start-up or to fuel expansion for a fast-growing business, any entrepreneur worth his salt knows their first step is preparing a cogent business plan, then consolidating that blueprint into a short-form ‘pitch deck’ and once prospective investors have expressed interest in the investment opportunity, the enterprise seeking capital (aka “Issuer”) provides the investor with an offering memorandum or an offering prospectus. Simple as this process might sound, offering memorandum preparation is non-trivial and is typically performed by securities attorneys who specialize in investor offering documents. Also known as an “OM”, the offering memorandum is perhaps the most critical document, as it frames the terms and conditions of the investment, and when prepared within the context of best practices, the offering memorandum is the document that both Issuer and Investor can hang their hats on. Somewhere in the mix, the enterprise that seeks funding (also known as the Issuer) might engage a registered broker-dealer to serve as a placement-agent aka underwriter for the financing round, or the Issuer may already have identified investors and has determined there is no need to engage a broker-dealer

*Registered broker-dealers generally serve as a placement agent or underwriter for a capital raise, but typically defer to the Issuer to provide them with the investor offering documents, as such it is the obligation of the Issuer or their corporate counsel to create an offering memorandum or a prospectus. In most instances the Issuer will engage their law firm to prepare these documents, and increasingly, law firms that do not have a securities law practice will outsource or sub-contract to firms that dedicated to this type of work. As the number of private placement offerings and direct IPOs via Regulation A+ continues to grow, portals such as and provide a unique solution.

Retrial Starts for Jefferies’ Former Bond Trader


U.S. Federal Prosecutors Hope that Second Time is Charm in Case Against Bond Trader Alleged to Have Deceived Savvy Clients

(Reuters) Jan 3 – A former Jefferies Group Inc bond trader is going back on trial in federal court in Connecticut over whether he lied to customers about mortgage bond prices to boost profit. (Photo/Douglas Healey for Bloomberg)

The retrial of Jesse Litvak, with jury selection set for Wednesday and opening arguments for Thursday, comes 13 months after a federal appeals court voided his original conviction and two-year prison sentence.

But it gives U.S. prosecutors a fresh chance to crack down on alleged deceptive Wall Street sales tactics in the bond market, and could bolster cases against several other traders.

“The retrial will clear the air over whether bond traders can increase margins by falsely representing prices, which can distort trading and capital formation,” said James Cox, a Duke University law professor. “Whether someone relied on the information is irrelevant to prosecutions; it’s all about whether the underlying conduct is condemnable.”

C.J. Mahoney, a lawyer for Litvak, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly in Connecticut.

Litvak, who worked for Jefferies in Stamford, Connecticut, was charged in January 2013 with misleading customers about bond prices from 2009 to 2011. team of capital markets experts and international securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation.
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This allegedly boosted the Leucadia National Corp unit’s profit by about $2.25 million, and his own pay.

Litvak has said his customers were sophisticated investors who were “inherently skeptical” of what counterparties tell them, and would have known if he were cheating them.

Convicted in March 2014, Litvak won a reprieve from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2015.

That court threw out fraud accusations related to the federal bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and said Chief Judge Janet Hall, who oversaw the trial, wrongly excluded expert testimony for the defense. thanks Reuters and WSJ for providing source material-to continue reading the Reuters coverage, click here

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Three Charged in NYS Retirement Fund Pay-to-Play Scheme


Two former bond brokers for broker-dealer Sterne Agee and an ex-PM overseeing fixed income investing for the NYS Retirement Fund were named as defendants in a pay-to-play scheme that had the brokers plying former fixed income portfolio manager with plenty of partying and prostitutes in exchange for millions of dollars in fixed income commission fees, according to the office of US Attorney Preet Bharara.

The indictment says that there was an agreement among ex PM Kang, and Sterne Agee executives Deborah Kelley and Gregg Schonhorn to pay Kang bribes in the form of “entertainment, travel, lavish meals, prostitutes, nightclub bottle service, narcotics, luxury gifts, and cash payments” among other things, in exchange for fixed-income business. team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at: team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at: team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at:

us_v._kang_and_kelley_indictment.pdf by Chris Bragg

The value of the alleged bribe was more than $1 million, Bharara’s office said, including such gifts as trips to New Orleans and Montreal, a ski trip to Park City, Utah, a $17,400 luxury wrist watch, tickets to Broadway shows and the U.S. Open, cocaine and crack cocaine, as well as thousands of dollars for strippers and prostitutes. team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link -

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Kang steered more than $2 billion in fixed-income business to the brokers, the indictment says, which resulted in millions in commissions. team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at:

(Reuters)-Dec 21 U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday accused a former portfolio manager at New York state’s retirement fund of steering $2 billion in trades in exchange for bribes from brokerage employees, in the latest pay-to-play case to rock the fund.

Navnoor Kang

Navnoor Kang

Navnoor Kang, the ex-director of fixed income at the New York State Common Retirement Fund, was charged in an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court along with Deborah Kelley, a former Sterne Agee Group Inc managing director. Gregg Schonhorn, another broker-dealer whom prosecutors said paid bribes, was charged in related court filings (Reporting by Nate Raymond and David Ingram)

More Securities law news courtesy of …. team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at: team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at: team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at: team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at:

law360-securities-law team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link – See more at:


  • BREAKING: Ex-Blackrock Exec Jailed In UK For Insider Trading

    A former Blackrock investment manager was sentenced to 12 months in prison by a London court on Wednesday for insider dealing stemming from trades in energy companies in 2011, in another win for the Financial Conduct Authority.

  • December 20, 2016

    Texas Man Charged With Bilking Investors In Ponzi Scheme

    A Texas financial adviser was arrested Monday on charges he cheated investors out of $6 million by selling unregistered securities in a purported digital advertising company that was really a Ponzi scheme, the Texas State Securities Board said.

  • December 20, 2016

    Chancery Mulls Largest Incentive Award Ever In Occam Case

    The Delaware Chancery Court opened a rare trial Tuesday for a so-called incentive award for the lead plaintiff in the class action that challenged Occam Networks Inc. merger with Calix Inc., which proposed at roughly $3 million is believed to be largest of its kind in the court’s history.

  • December 20, 2016

    RPM International Can’t Move SEC Suit Over $61M Deal

    A Washington, D.C., federal judge refused to move the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s suit accusing government contractor RPM International Inc. of failing to account for a nearly $61 million settlement, saying Tuesday the Ohio company hadn’t proven it would be more conveniently heard elsewhere.

  • December 20, 2016

    SEC, MSRB Fight GOP’s Challenge To New Pay-To-Play Rule

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board told the Sixth Circuit on Monday that it doesn’t have jurisdictional standing to consider the Republican Party’s challenge to new rules that increase pay-to-play restrictions on municipal advisers, saying the rules were created “by congressional will” and not by a final SEC order that can be appealed.

  • December 20, 2016

    Neustar Settles SEC Investigation Over Severance Clause

    Technology company NeuStar Inc. has agreed to pay $180,000 to end allegations that it violated a whistleblower protection rule by restricting what former employees were allowed to say about the company, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday.

  • December 20, 2016

    Energy Co. To Pay SEC $1.4M Over Whistleblower Firing

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reached its first settlement over internal-whistleblower retaliation Tuesday, with an Oklahoma energy company agreeing to pay $1.4 million, subject to a bankruptcy plan, to resolve claims it fired a worker for whistleblowing and used restrictive separation agreements.

  • December 20, 2016

    SIFMA, ABA Air Worries Over CFTC Cross-Border Swaps Rule

    The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the American Bankers Association and other swap market interest groups urged the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday to hit the brakes on proposed definitions for U.S. and foreign entities under cross-border swap rules, underscoring potential harm to the U.S economy and potential regulatory overreach.

  • December 20, 2016

    Schulte Roth Withdraws As Patriarch’s Counsel In Zohar Suit

    Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP told a New York federal judge Tuesday that it will no longer represent Lynn Tilton’s Patriarch Partners in a breach of contract case against investment funds previously managed by Patriarch, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

  • December 20, 2016

    Chancery Won’t Revive Suit Over OM Group’s $1B Apollo Sale

    Delaware’s Chancery Court has said it will not allow OM Group Inc. shareholders to reargue their recently dismissed suit targeting the company’s board members over its $1 billion buyout by Apollo Global Management, finding that the court adequately considered the evidence at hand.

  • December 20, 2016

    Tokai Hopes To Move $97M Suit Over IPO To Mass. Fed. Court

    Tokai Pharmaceuticals Inc. Monday sought to move a putative class action by investors claiming it withheld important drug testing information prior to its $97 million initial public offering to a Massachusetts federal court Monday.

  • December 20, 2016

    4th Circ. Says FINRA Challenge Must Go To SEC First

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday found microcap broker-dealer Scottsdale Capital Advisors Corp. can’t challenge the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s power in federal court, because Congress gave exclusive review of FINRA rules and decisions to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • December 20, 2016

    Citibank Renews Bid To Dodge $2.3B RMBS Class Action

    Citibank NA on Tuesday again asked a New York judge to toss a proposed class action accusing the bank of ignoring pervasive problems with residential mortgage-backed securities, saying precedent from a recent state appellate ruling supports its contention that the suit is inadequately pled.

  • December 20, 2016

    Bondholders Dismissed From Bank Libor Conspiracy MDL

    A New York federal judge Tuesday dismissed a class of bondholders from multidistrict litigation accusing big banks of rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate, saying their alleged antitrust injuries were not caused by the banks.

  • December 20, 2016

    Bankrupt Oil Co. Gives Preferred-Share Action The Slip

    A Manhattan federal judge dismissed a class action lawsuit against New Source Energy Partners LP and underwriters over the company’s $40 million 2015 preferred-share offering Monday, finding that the bankrupt oil and gas portfolio’s risk-disclosures were “precise” and “exhaustive” and did not run afoul of the securities laws.

  • December 20, 2016

    Morgan Stanley Pays $7.5M For Customer Protection Offenses

    Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC agreed to pay $7.5 million Tuesday to settle allegations it violated the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Customer Protection Rule when using customer cash as collateral on loans used to finance hedging swap trades.

  • December 20, 2016

    Del. Supreme Court Upholds Chancery On TC Pipeline Case

    Bare claims of unfairness cannot overcome a partnership’s valid “special approval” shields for company decisions, Delaware’s Supreme Court said Monday in a ruling that rejected a master limited partnership member’s appeal of a losing challenge to a $446 million TransCanada Pipelines deal.

  • December 20, 2016

    $2.5M CFTC Spoofing Settlement Gets Green Light

    An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday signed off on a deal that settles a yearlong legal dispute between the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and a Chicago-based trader accused of placing spoof bids on futures markets and who has now agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve the suit before a trial.

FINRA Election Mirrors Presidential Race?

Bob Much FINRA Board Member

Ex-Bear Stearns Partner Pledges To Make FINRA Great Again

FINRA, aka Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the SRO that serves as overseer of the securities brokerage industry and broker-dealers at large has completed the election campaign and voting process for electing individuals to its Board and the election winners include a former Bear Stearns partner as well as a current senior exec of hedge fund complex Bridgewater Associates.

Per WSJ-The chief executive officer of a San Francisco investment bank prevailed in a hard-fought election to join the board of Finra, the front-line regulator of stockbrokers, knocking off an incumbent and a well-known challenger who campaigned on the message that rigid oversight is choking small firms.

Bob Muh, the CEO of Sutter Securities Inc. and a former Bear Stearns partner, narrowly defeated three other candidates to win a seat on the board of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He beat the second-place candidate, Stephen Kohn of Lakewood, Colo., by just three votes, according to people familiar with the matter. Robert Keenan, a sitting board member who also upset an incumbent when he won his last election in 2013, placed third. Mark Howells, a broker based in Scottsdale, Ariz., also competed in the race.

Finra, one of the country’s most powerful financial regulators, allows the industry it oversees to elect some of its officers. While Finra isn’t a government agency and ultimately answers to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Congress has sanctioned its role as a standard-setter and rule-enforcer for the brokerage industry.

Finra’s bylaws require that a majority of its 24-member governing board have no industry ties. But Finra reserves three board seats to represent its 3,550 small-firm members. That board structure has fostered the unusual dynamic of candidates campaigning for office at the overseer by vowing to lighten its oversight.

Turnout in the election was about 43%, meaning about 1,500 of Finra’s small-firm members voted, people familiar with the matter said. (For the full WSJ article, click here)

A more colorful take on the above is courtesy of DealBreaker’s Jon Shazar:

t may surprise you (but probably shouldn’t) to learn that there are some people who think FINRA’s doing too good and too thorough a job regulating broker-dealers. That it’s really nobody’s business if a broker levies an unspoken lap dance fee. That its website is actually too up-to-date and too easy for clients to use to find out about the levying of unspoken lap dance fees. That the problem isn’t FINRA’s habit of whitewashing what broker records are available, but that there are just too many disciplinary actions being taken that require whitewashing. These people are called FINRA members, specifically its 3,550 small-firm members. And because self-regulation is a hilarious carnival of ineptitude and bad optics, these small firms get to elect a representative to FINRA’s board, to represent their interest in going unregulated to the greatest extent possible.

These triennial contests have all the hallmarks of a real political campaign: websites, mudslinging, throw-the-bums-out mentalities. Unsurprisingly, they also look an awful lot like a local Tea Party meeting, with candidate trying to one-up the other in making deregulatory promises they’ll never be able to keep in the face of the 23 other FINRA board members who don’t think it’s a great idea to provocatively antagonize customers, the press and the Securities and Exchange Commission at every turn.

This year, the bum getting thrown out was Robert Keenan, elected three years ago on the platform that the previous bum wasn’t doing enough to get these regulatory pencil pushers off their goddamned backs, and who was felled by the same sword. But the winner—who will get to serve alongside fellow new FINRA director and Bridgewater exec Eileen Murray—wasn’t the most fire-breathing of the candidate. Instead, by a margin of all of three votes out of 1,500 cast, the small folks of FINRA picked a 78-year-old former Bear Stearns, Bob Muh, partner to carry the doomed torch.

Mr. Muh, 78 years old, was seen as a moderate and experienced voice in a campaign in which Mr. Kohn accused Mr. Keenan of playing fast and loose with campaign rules and not pushing back hard enough against regulations that brokers oppose….

“I certainly can’t call it a landslide or a mandate, but I’m delighted I’ll have the chance to convince the independent directors on the board of some the changes that are need for the small firms,” Mr. Muh said in an interview Monday after Finra announced the results.