SEC Issues MiFID II No-Action Relief and Allays Various Cross-Border Concerns

The SEC recently issued three no-action letters designed to provide market participants with greater certainty regarding their U.S. regulated activities as they engage in efforts to comply with the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).

In a recent client alert, I provided a summary of all three no-action letters and explain that as a result of these no-action letters, existing soft-dollar and commission-sharing arrangements may continue, subject to certain new restrictions. Click here to read the client alert.

As background, MiFID II will require, for impacted EU parties, that research be priced separately from execution, starting on January 3, 2018. This represents a significant change from the current practice, whereby research is generally supplied as part of a bundle of services, with no explicit charge.

Absent new U.S. regulations or other relief, this change had the potential to cause a significant number of problems for U.S. advisers, funds and clients dealing with EU parties.

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