April 8, 2019
Shareholder Communications Coalition Files Comment Letter to Improve the U.S. Proxy System
The Shareholder Communications Coalition sent a comment letter to the SEC with recommendations for interim improvements to the U.S. proxy system.
April 8, 2019
Shareholder Communications Coalition Submits Proxy Advisory Firm Recommendations
The Shareholder Communications Coalition (SCC) sent a letter to SEC Commissioner Elad Roisman, with recommendations for Commission regulation of proxy advisory firms.
November 13, 2018
NIRI Files Comment Letter in Advance of SEC Proxy Process Roundtable
The National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) submitted comments to the SEC regarding its upcoming Roundtable on the Proxy Process, to be held on November 15, 2018.
August 8, 2018
CMFI Submits Comment Letter on SEC Regulation
Best Interest Proposal
In a comment letter filed with the SEC, the Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors (CMFI) advocates that the SEC require all broker-dealers to register as investment advisers if they: (1) provide personalized investment advice about securities to retail investors on an ongoing basis; or (2) receive asset-based compensation or third-party fees from mutual funds and/or their advisers.
January 5, 2017
Four Areas of Focus When Overseeing Mutual Fund Distribution Fees and Practices
Niels Holch published a column in Fund Board Views regarding the responsibilities of mutual fund directors in overseeing broker-dealer distribution fees and business practices.
November 28, 2016
Amicus Brief Filed in Citizens Against Reservation Shopping v. Jewell
Holch & Erickson LLP filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving an off-reservation casino in the State of Washington. This brief was filed on behalf of four Federally-recognized Indian tribes located in California.
October 21, 2016
CMFI Submits Comment Letter to SEC on Rule 22c-2
The Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors (CMFI) submitted a comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as a part of the agency's review of Rule 22c-2. This SEC Rule permits mutual funds to receive information from broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries about the identities and transactions of fund shareholders purchasing shares through non-transparent omnibus accounts.
April 15, 2016
CMFI Submits Comment Letter on Proposed SEC Transfer Agent Rules
The Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors (CMFI) filed a comment letter with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), regarding its proposed transfer agent rules. CMFI advocated that the SEC require broker-dealers to provide mutual funds with greater transparency within omnibus accounts, to ensure proper enforcement of regulatory rules and compliance with prospectus policies and procedures.
February 12, 2015
Niels Holch Named As Panelist on SEC Proxy Voting Roundtable
Niels Holch, Partner in Holch & Erickson LLP, was named today as a panelist on the SEC's Proxy Voting Roundtable to be held on February 19, 2015. Holch was invited to participate in the second panel, discussing ways to improve retail investor participation in the corporate proxy process. Click on this link for more information about the SEC Proxy Voting Roundtable: http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/proxy-voting-roundtable.shtml
November 5, 2014
California Prop 48 Tribal Gaming Measure Defeated
Voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed a Native American tribe near Fresno to build a Las Vegas-style casino off its reservation, a proposal portrayed by opponents as a precedent-setting referendum expanding gaming beyond tribal lands. Read more here.
November 2, 2014
N.D. Tribe to Drill Own Wells
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation is planning to drill the first tribe-owned oil wells on its North Dakota reservation next year. Read more here.
October 29, 2014
Grand Ronde Tribes continue fight against Cowlitz Tribe casino
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde continues to oppose a proposed casino in neighboring Washington. The tribe operates the Spirit Mountain Casino on its reservation in Oregon. The facility draws patrons from the Portland area, about 60 miles away. Read more here.
October 6, 2014
Sovereignty by the Barrel
By 2009, oil companies had leased most of the land on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation for exploration and drilling. Since then, the tribal government has received tax revenue and royalties from energy production, but over 80 percent of the proceeds from that production goes to off-reservation firms and their investors. Read more here.
September 8, 2014
SEC Assessment of mutual fund risk could lead to more disclosure
The Securities and Exchange Commission has started to work on rules that could require more transparency about mutual fund portfolio holdings and limit their use of alternative investment strategies, according to a story in today's Wall Street Journal. Read more here.
September 4, 2014
Fund payments to brokerages draw SEC scrutiny
The tens of millions of dollars in annual fees that mutual
fund companies pay to brokerages and their financial advisers to encourage sale of certain funds to retail investors are growing in size and variety, but the phenomenon is largely invisible to investors. Read more here.
August 1, 2014
Industry Cautiously Optimistic After SEC Rewrites MMF Rules
Nearly six years after the Reserve Fund infamously "broke the buck" and more than four years after the money-fund industry and regulators implemented a series of fundamental reforms to money-market funds a divided Securities Exchange Commission voted 3-2 last week to require prime and tax-free institutional funds to float their net-asset-values and to allow fund boards to impost liquidity fees on early redeemers and to "gate" fund redemption in times of market stress. Read more here.
July 1, 2014
New SEC Guidance Concerning Proxy Advisory Firms a Good First Step
Business Roundtable today welcomed the new guidance for proxy advisory firms and their investment adviser clients provided by the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Read more here.
May 22, 2014
Rubio’s Obamacare-Like Retirement Model is Flawed
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has several excellent ideas for improving the retirement savings and security of older Americans. However, his recent proposal to open up the federal Thrift Savings Plan to non-government workers is not one of them. Read more here.
February 18, 2014
SEC Should Revamp Its Fair-Funds Process
The SEC has distributed to mutual fund investors most of the $3.5 billion it collected in enforcement penalties for market-timing and late-trading violations first identified in 2003. Read more here.
November 12, 2013
Holch Awarded Third Patent on Pari-Mutuel Slots Platform
On November 12, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Niels Holch his third patent for inventing a gaming platform that permits slot machine players to play casino games against each other--like Best Hand Poker--using a pari-mutuel format. This new platform replaces the traditional fixed-odds pay table, where casino players compete for winnings against the house. Review the patent here.
October 9, 2013
Massachusetts Probes Sales of Puerto Rico Bonds
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William Galvin launched an investigation Wednesday into sales of Puerto Rico's bonds to Massachusetts residents, saying he was concerned local investors may be unaware of all the risks they are taking on. Read more here.
September 27, 2013
CMFI Offers Solution to MMF Omnibus-Account Challenge
Many of the nearly 1,450 letters commenting on the money-market fund proposal released in June by the Securities Exchange Commission, and virtually all of the substantial letters have addressed the complications of distinguishing between retail and institutional funds and the significant operational challenges of complying with the Commission's two main alternative proposals. Read more here.
September 9, 2013
Move over, 401(k): IRA fees are what really hurt
You've likely heard the complaint: Retirement plan fees are too high and are cutting into your long-term investment returns. Read more here.
July 3, 2013
Cayuga Indian Nation reopens Union Springs gaming facility
The Cayuga Indian Nation reopened its bingo hall in Union Springs today after an eight-year hiatus. The move comes as the Cayugas are fighting a new agreement between New York State and the Oneida Indian Nation that grants exclusivity to the Oneidas to run gaming operations in a 10-county area in Central New York. Read more here.
June 12, 2013
Cayuga Nation takes action on gaming rights deal
The Cayuga Indian Nation says it's prepared to take legal action against the exclusive gaming rights agreement between the Oneida Indian Nation and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Read more here.
June 10, 2013
The War Against the Mutual Fund 1 Percent
When you think of the one percent of mutual funds, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the small percentage of funds able to outperform the index. Now there's a war being waged against the one percent of mutual funds—no, not those few able to beat the S&P 500, but those few savers "rich" enough to get the attention of budget battle wonks in Washington as Congress and the White House haggle over ways to add tax revenue and reduce the federal deficit. Read more here.
June 5, 2013
Business Leaders Press SEC to Address Shareholder Communications, Proxy Advisory Firms
Testifying today on behalf of the Business Roundtable-led Shareholder Communications Coalition, Niels Holch, Executive Director of the Coalition, told members of the House subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must reform the shareholder communications and proxy voting system to enable direct communications with shareholders, improve transparency and accountability and ensure that shareholder votes are verifiable and auditable. Read more here.
May 1, 2013
How Much Hidden Fund Fees Cost You
Mutual funds remain one of the best investment vehicles for individual investors, but many shareholders are unaware of the hidden fees that are being paid to large, traditional brokers for overseeing mutual fund investments in their accounts. Read more here.
April 10, 2013
Money Fund Reform Faces Omnibus Account Dilemma
Some form of redemption restrictions is the best way to protect money market funds from a liquidity crisis and restore investor and regulator confidence in money funds. Read more here.
April 4, 2013
Righting a wrong
Over several decades, the Alabama Coushatta Tribe of East Texas has walked its own version of the Trail of Tears. Ironically, one of the tribe's great frustrations for nearly 40 years has been in collecting a $270 million "recommendation" by a U.S. court that Congress pay compensation for illegal development of 5 million acres of tribal lands by Washington. Read more here.
March 30, 2013
Tribe to U.S.: Forget the payment, let us open casino
For decades the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe fought hard to make the federal government acknowledge that it illegally developed more than 5 million acres of the tribe's aboriginal land. Read more here.
December 11, 2012
SEC Action Seen as Wake Up Call on Fund Valuations
Federal regulators' civil charges against eight former board members of Morgan Keegan & Co. mutual funds mark a rare effort to hold a fund's board accountable for a manager's alleged misdeeds. Read more here.
November 15, 2012
Targa Resources Expands Footprint with $950 Million Bakken Shale Midstream Acquisition
Targa Resources Partners LP announced today that it has agreed to acquire 100% of Saddle Butte Pipeline, LLC's ownership of its Williston Basin crude oil pipeline and terminal system and its natural gas gathering and processing operations for cash consideration of $950 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments and certain contingent payments. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Read more here.
August 7, 2012
Holch Awarded Second Patent on New Pari-Mutuel Slot Machine Platform
On August 7, 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Niels Holch his second patent for inventing a gaming platform that permits slot machine players to play casino games against each other, instead of against the house. This new wagering system permits electronic casino games to be played on a cashless, account-based platform that uses a pari-mutuel format. Review the patent here.
August 4, 2012
Lucrative Gambling Pits Tribe Against Tribe
A pitted gravel road snakes through the forest to the Enterprise Rancheria of the Maidu Indians’ sole piece of tribal land about 15 miles east of here in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Broken trailers and a hot tub rejiggered to irrigate a garden sit in a clearing, the few acres of flat land where a handful of people live in houses in disrepair. Read more here.
July 7, 2012
Only a handful of off-reservation casinos have been approved
The 1988 law passed by Congress has always allowed off-reservation casinos. But they’re extremely rare, with only a handful approved by the federal government. Read more here.
June 14, 2012
Why Mutual Fund Guardians Are Failing
When Charles Schwab's popular YieldPlus bond fund started to tank during the financial meltdown, the fund's problems went beyond the queasy markets. Read more here.
April 26, 2012
Investors can rein in college savings plan fees
Rising college costs have become a campaign issue. President Obama spoke at three campuses this week vowing to keep student loans affordable. Read more here.
January 9, 2012
Proposed Cascade Locks casino site back on the market
An agreement between the Port of Cascade Locks and the Warm Springs Tribe concerning 60 acres of industrially zoned land that would have been home to a proposed off-reservation casino lapsed as of Jan. 5. Read more here.
October 15, 2010
Enerplus Closes Purchase of Bakken Oil Assets in North Dakota
Enerplus Resources Fund is pleased to announce the closing of the previously disclosed purchase of 46,500 net acres of land in North Dakota prospective for Bakken crude oil for $456 million before closing adjustments. Read more here.
April 13, 2010
Holch Awarded Patent for First Pari-Mutuel Slot Machine System in the United States
On April 13, 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Niels Holch a patent for inventing the first gaming platform to permit slot machine patrons to play casino games against each other, instead of playing for prizes against a fixed-odds pay table. This wagering system uses a pari-mutuel payout system in place of the traditional house-banked payout format. Review the patent here.