On June 19, 2012, Grant Thornton hosted a symposium that highlighted recent regulatory developments impacting brokerage firms, including brokers that have hedge funds as clients. The aim of the symposium was to arm broker-dealers with valuable information and tools to help them do business in an increasingly regulated industry. The panelists addressed a number of current issues facing the broker-dealer industry, including: capital requirements for broker-dealers; new fiduciary standards for broker-dealers; the impact of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act; regulatory uncertainty surrounding the Volcker Rule; new rule changes impacting broker-dealers; best execution; and the use of social media. This article summarizes highlights from the symposium on the foregoing topics. For hedge fund managers, this discussion is relevant for at least two reasons. First, hedge fund managers routinely interact with broker-dealers in connection with prime brokerage activities, obtaining leverage, borrowing shares to sell short, custody, derivatives transactions and a wide range of other activities. Second, some hedge fund managers have affiliated broker-dealers. See “Is the In-House Marketing Department of a Hedge Fund Manager Required to Register as a Broker?
,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 10 (Mar. 18, 2011).