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Business Law Newsletters

Breakpoints in Mutual Fund Charges

Mutual funds may offer "breakpoints" in their front-end sales load. Thus, a fund that charges a fee of five percent for investments up to $25,000 may charge only four percent for investments from $25,000 to $50,000 and three percent for investments over $50,000. The fund has breakpoints at $25,000 and $50,000.

Director and Officer Liability under ERISA

Under ERISA, ”employers” must make all necessary contributions to multi-employer pension plans pursuant to the plans’ terms or the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. Every employee benefit plan must have a funding procedure and fully explain how and under what circumstances payments are to be made to the plan. If these responsibilities are not carried out or carried out in an untimely manner, a civil enforcement action can be brought against the plan or the employer. An "employer" is defined as "any person acting directly as an employer, or indirectly in the interest of an employer, in relation to an employee benefit plan.

Interval Investment Funds

Interval funds are a type of closed-end fund that offers to buy shares in the fund back from investors at stated intervals and in stated amounts. However, shareholders are not obligated to sell their shares back to the fund.

“Mini” Tender Offers

Tender offers for less than five percent of the stock of a company have been labeled mini-tender offers. Such offers are subject to some regulation but are not subject to the full range of rules enacted to protect investors who own stock in a company for which a full tender offer is made. Thus, while a mini-tender offer may include a premium over market price for a selling shareholder, the lack of all of the protections provided for recipients of a full tender offer suggests a more cautious view of the merits of the mini-tender offer.

SIPC Protection for Investors

Investors who engage in securities transactions through a brokerage firm that is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (or SIPC) receive protection for cash and securities held by the brokerage firm for the accounts of the investors. The SIPC covers up to $500,000 in losses of such cash and securities per investor with a $100,000 limit on the amount of cash in an account that is covered.