We emphasize practicality and creativity in an area that is complex and heavily regulated.


Navigating State Regulation of ESG Investments

Ropes & Gray is pleased to share an interactive website offering resources for monitoring the rapidly evolving legal and regulatory landscape concerning what role, if any, ESG factors should play in managing public retirement plan assets, and other related developments. Visit the website often for new developments and thought leadership. Sign up for our state retirement plan ESG investment updates mailing list here to receive updates.

ERISA Compliance Handbook

The revised edition of Ropes & Gray’s ERISA Compliance Handbook for Asset Managers includes consideration of key issues such as conflicts of interest, current market practices, a new chapter on ERISA fidelity bonds, and many other updates..

Working with our leading investment management and funds practices, we have developed an extensive and comprehensive ERISA and Title I practice. We represent a wide range of investment management and fund clients – helping them stay out of ERISA or live under it, as they choose.

With the substantial growth in pension assets, the consolidation of the financial services industry, and the rapid development of new products and services, investment managers face increasing challenges dealing with a complex and far-reaching statutory regime. Consequently, we are frequently called upon to apply creativity and insight, as well as technical experience, in order to find ways to bring products and services to market.

We have experience with an extremely wide variety of fiduciary issues, from the perspective of fund formation, corporate transactions by funds, investment managers, plan investors, institutions designing financial products and financial institutions engaged in proprietary activities.

Our services run the full range of fiduciary advice, including day-to-day counseling, advising on investments, advising in special circumstances, and working on exemptive and interpretive matters with the Department of Labor (DOL). Some examples of our work in this area include: 

  • Establishing “best practices” for fiduciary conduct and scope of activities 
  • Guiding clients through implementation of the DOL's new “fiduciary advice” rules
  • Negotiating swaps, ISDAs and similar instruments 
  • Implementation of DOL operating exemptions such as QPAM, INHAM and broker-dealer-related 
  • Compliance with disclosure rules in connection with “service provider” compensation and Form 5500 Schedule C 
  • Representation before the DOL and IRS in connection with an audit, enforcement action or application for exemptive relief 
  • Negotiation with PBGC in transactional settings 
  • Application of “VCOC,” “REOC” and “25 percent test” rules
  • Evaluating ABS/MBS ERISA eligibility
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