Trading & Markets Counseling

Christian R. Bartholomew attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (202) 669-3038
T: (202) 220-1940
F: (202) 661-7059
Larry E. Bergmann attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (202) 480-7222
T: (202) 661-7032
F: (202) 661-7059
Katherine Cooper attorney profile image

New York, NY

T: (212) 880-3630
F: (212) 825-9828
James Dombach attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (202) 834-2080
T: (202) 661-7019
F: (202) 661-7059
Joseph C. Lombard attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (312) 543-7750
T: (202) 661-7028
F: (202) 661-7059
Thomas J. McGonigle attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (202) 680-4941
T: (202) 661-7010
F: (202) 661-7059

New York, NY

T: (212) 880-3624
Paul A. Merolla attorney profile image

New York, NY

C: (646) 522-3529
T: (212) 880-3960
F: (212) 922-2870
Brian M. Walsh attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (202) 480-5921
T: (202) 661-7030
F: (202) 661-7059
For more information visit Our Team page.

Looking Forward

In 2019, the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets (T&M) continued to tackle thorny issues, such as market data reform, the transaction fees pilot, market quality for thinly-traded stocks, Regulation Best Interest, CAT implementation, and exchange applications to list cryptocurrency-related ETFs. FINRA and other SROs continued to focus on algorithmic trading, code development, and market access controls. T&M issued a surprising and welcome no-action letter that takes a “sandbox” approach to facilitating competition in the clearing agency space and incorporating blockchain technology.

We expect more of the same in 2020. Cybersecurity, FinTech issues, market access, and manipulation (such as “layering”) will continue to receive a good deal of attention and will likely continue to be key issues covered during regulatory examinations. We expect continued SEC and FINRA focus on conflicts of interest and expect further clarification on Regulation BI. We expect that more requests for regulatory “sandbox” pilots will be submitted to T&M and that the Commission will take action on proposed major amendments to Rule 15c2-11 that governs OTC market making.

Finally, we believe the SEC will continue to focus on SRO governance, fees, and risk management. As exchanges expand in the U.S. equities space (e.g., the Long Term Stock Exchange and the prospective Members Exchange or MEMX), and seek to incorporate novel technology in exchange operations (as in the proposed Boston Security Token Exchange), we expect that the resulting liquidity diffusion and operational issues will continue to draw the attention of legislators, regulators, and pundits alike. Volatility will continue to be a key factor in 2020, as will the reaction of global markets as various geopolitical issues play-out, including major trade issues and the U.S. presidential election. In addition to good theater, as the U.S. contest continues to gain speed it will likely feed additional market uncertainty which typically drives volatility.