Jen counsels clients on a wide range of securities regulatory matters, including fiduciary duty and conflicts of interest, standards of conduct, disclosure obligations, risk management and internal controls, advertising and social media, regulatory examinations and enforcement defense. She assists clients in transactions involving regulated entities and in performing strategic business reviews to benchmark existing controls and prepare for regulatory examinations.
Jen is a leading practitioner in digital investment advice and the use of FinTech in the asset management industry. She frequently assists clients in developing and offering innovative new products and services, including through separately managed account programs. Her practice also focuses on guiding clients through the interpretation and implementation of new rules and the consideration of emerging regulatory issues such sustainability and ESG.
Jen provides practical advice that is informed by her in-house legal experience supporting the asset management and private wealth businesses of global financial services firms. Her clients include all manner of investment advisers, broker-dealers, dual registrants, sponsors of private investment funds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds, research providers, and technology companies.
Representative Legal Matters
- Performed regulatory due diligence and counseled a leading independent financial planning and investment management firm in its acquisition of an investment adviser offering financial planning, investment management, and tax planning and preparation services.
- Advised a number of clients on the implementation of Regulation Best Interest governing the standard of conduct that applies to broker-dealers providing advice to retail investors, as well as the updated SEC interpretation of investment adviser fiduciary duty. Assisted clients in interpreting and implementing the applicable regulatory standards and in reviewing the products and services they provide to retail investors and the associated conflicts of interest, compensation, and disclosure.
- Represented a global financial services firm in responding to an SEC examination request concerning the application of certain custody rule requirements to investment advisory programs made available to plan sponsors through the firm's defined contribution and plan recordkeeping business. The SEC closed the examination with no findings.
- Represented the asset management group of a large industry trade association in commenting on comprehensive amendments to the Advisers Act rules regulating investment adviser advertising and referral arrangements.
Prior to joining the Firm, Jen:
- Represented a large retail investment adviser on a strategic review of applicable policies, procedures, and controls of new business to evaluate preparedness for a potential SEC examination.
- Successfully persuaded the SEC Staff to close an examination of a dually registered investment adviser and broker-dealer in connection with the fee billing practice of householding the assets of related advisory accounts to qualify for higher breakpoints and reduced advisory fees.
- Represented multiple investment advisers and dual registrants in connection with the SEC's mutual fund Share Class Selection Disclosure (SCSD) self-reporting initiative. The SCSD initiative targeted the adequacy of disclosures by financial services firms of conflicts of interest when recommending mutual fund share classes that pay distribution fees (12b-1 fees) to the firms or their affiliates, when lower cost share classes are available.
- Represented multiple financial services firms as regulatory counsel in performing due diligence on the acquisition and subsequent integration of digital investment advisers.
- After multiple referrals of examination findings were consolidated, successfully resolved SEC Enforcement matter charging multiple compliance failures and breaches of fiduciary duty by affiliated dual registrant firms, including failure to disclose the conflict of interest present by the selection of higher cost mutual fund share classes, which lower cost share classes were available, and reverse churning issues.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- New York City Bar Association, Investment Management Committee - Member
- New York~United States
- District of Columbia~United States
- Pennsylvania~United States
- Widener University (JD) (1997)
- Lehigh University (BA, magna cum laude) (1992)
- Co-author, "United States: Finally, an actual regulator steps into the cryptocurrency area - NYS DFS issues stablecoin guidance," Baker McKenzie, June 2022
- Co-author, "United States: The SEC'S proposed climate-related disclosure - Understanding the financial statement metrics," Baker McKenzie, April 2022
- Speaker, "What Does the SEC’s Focus on ESG Mean for Investment Advisers?," Investment Adviser Association, 14 December 2021
- Author, "Division of Examinations Revisits Investment Adviser Fee Calculations," Baker McKenzie, November 2021
- Co-author, "Elevator Talk: Amy Greer and Jennifer Klass," Mutual Fund Observer, November 2021
- Co-author, "United States: SEC requests comment on broker-dealer and investment adviser digital engagement practices," Baker McKenzie, September 2021