From the January 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

B/D Briefings News & Products

On December 1, 2008, Securian Financial Group's acquisition of Capital Financial Group, Inc. and its broker/dealer affiliate, H. Beck, Inc., closed. The acquisition, announced in September, has received the required regulatory approvals. CFG's senior management team will remain in place and the firm will continue to operate independently out of its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. Securian said the transaction will not cause layoffs at either firm...

Currently, municipal securities investors who want ongoing disclosure information about a municipal bond must first locate it on their own at one of the four Nationally Recognized Municipal Securities Information Repositories (MSRB), according to the SEC. This process, however, causes investors to face fees and delays due to documents being delivered by mail or fax. To address this, the SEC approved rule amendments that designate the MSRB as the central repository for ongoing disclosures by municipal issuers. Under a separate MSRB rule change, its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system would make these disclosures available to investors in the same manner that the SEC's EDGAR system does for corporate disclosures. EMMA will operate as a consolidated, online portal where investors can access, for free, all of the information produced by municipal bond issuers about their bonds. Offering documents, real-time trade prices, and education resources already are available on EMMA at www.emma.msrb.org. In order to provide adequate transition time, the SEC's rule amendments and the MSRB's rule change will be effective on July 1, 2009...

M Financial Group has named Ken Ehinger as the new president and CEO of M Holdings Securities, Inc. He will oversee all aspects of M Financial's broker/dealer, and will be part of M Financial's executive leadership team, working closely with the M Holdings Securities Advisory Committee. Ehinger is the founder of KRE Strategic Counselors, which provides development and growth strategies for financial services companies, associations, and wealth management practices...

The SEC announced settlements of an enforcement action against eight former employees of Fidelity Investments' equity trading desk, who will collectively pay more than $1 million to settle charges for improperly receiving travel, entertainment, and gifts paid for by outside brokers courting business from Fidelity. The Commission instituted administrative proceedings on March 5, 2008, against 10 former Fidelity employees, including former vice president and head of the trading desk, Scott DeSano. The SEC found that DeSano and former Fidelity equity traders Timothy Burnieika, David Donovan, Edward Driscoll, Jeffrey Harris, Christopher Horan, Steven Pascucci, and Kirk Smith violated the federal securities laws by accepting prohibited compensation from brokers including private jet trips, lodging, and premium sports tickets.

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