Do State Regulators Have Authority to Enforce OFAC Sanctions?

The enforcement of OFAC-administered sanctions by a state agency—even against banks by a banking regulator operating in a dual banking system—raises fundamental constitutional and other legal questions. Chief among them is the overarching question of whether U.S. states have authority to directly or effectively enforce OFAC-administered sanctions, particularly independently and prior to enforcement by competent federal authorities—namely OFAC. This question and some of the legal issues and policy and practical considerations appertaining to it are discussed in detail in a forthcoming publication. This document provides a summary preview of some of the key legal issues discussed in that publication. Additional summary previews may be provided separately. Continue reading…

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New Rules of Business Conduct Regulation Require Fresh Risk and Compliance Thinking

Traditionally businesses have looked to contractual terms, industry groups, legislatures, regulators and other conventional authorities to identify and manage commercial, legal, and compliance requirements and risks. In today’s interconnected, information rich, and reputation-conscious business world, this model is outdated and insufficient. It creates blind spots that can expose businesses to commercial, legal, and compliance risks from sources that traditional models ignore, misunderstand, or underestimate. Democratization of Business Conduct Standards In the same ways that the internet and social media have enabled non- “establishment” actors to communicate and amplify political messages, these and other tools of the information/new media age have enabled non-traditional actors to effectively influence business conduct standards. As… Read More

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Who’s Who Legal Recognizes Hdeel Abdelhady for Corporate: M&A and Governance

May 2016 Who’s Who Legal has recognized Hdeel Abdelhady for Corporate: M&A and Governance, in its 2016 listing of the world’s leading lawyers.  Who’s Who Legal is a global listing of top lawyers who are selected for inclusion by surveying private practitioners, general counsel, and other in-house counsel in all the major jurisdictions. Only those attorneys who receive the greatest number of recommendations are selected. Hdeel Abdelhady is MassPoint’s Founder and Principal.

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Foreign Investment in U.S. Agriculture Under Scrutiny

Foreign Investment in U.S. Agriculture Raising National Security Concerns The 2013 sale of American pork producer and processer Smithfield Foods to China’s Shuanghui International aroused concern among some U.S. lawmakers. The $4.7 billion deal ($7.1 billion including debt), was and remains the largest acquisition of a U.S. business by a Chinese entity. This year, some U.S. lawmakers are again raising concerns about a Chinese firm’s acquisition of an agricultural company: the proposed $43 billion acquisition by state-owned China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) of Syngetna AG , the Swiss agrochemicals company that does substantial business in the United States. If completed, the Syngenta deal would “transform ChemChina into the world’s biggest supplier of pesticides and… Read More Continue Reading

Entrepreneurial Governance Creates Value for Emerging Markets Enterprises

Money is Not Enough Emerging Markets Enterprises Need Entrepreneurial Governance to Achieve Strategic Objectives in a Changing Environment Changing Economic and Operating Conditions Compel Strong Governance Absolute and relative economic gains in emerging markets in recent years have propelled many private and state-owned Emerging Markets Enterprises (EMEs) to the forefront of global business. With cash and willingness to spend and take on risk in a financial crisis-stricken world, many EMEs expanded, while many developed economy enterprises retreated.  Today, changing economic conditions—e.g., waning investment in emerging markets, sustained commodities price and demand declines, expected U.S. interest rates rises—may blunt EMEs’ financial edge.  As relative financial strength declines, strong enterprise governance will… Read More Continue Reading

U.S. Sectoral Sanctions Targeting Russian Financial Services: OFAC Directive 1

United States Adds Russian Direct Investment Fund, Other Russian Financial Services Actors to Sectoral Sanctions List Certain Financing, Debt, and Equity Transactions Remain Prohibited; Action Relevant to U.S. Persons and Non-U.S. Persons (particularly Middle East- and Asia-based) Sanctioned Status Made Explicit On July 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) made explicit the sanctioned status of certain entities operating in Russia’s financial services sector by adding them to the Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List (SSIL).The SSIL identifies parties subject to U.S. Sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy (Sectoral Sanctions) within the framework of Ukraine/Russia-related sanctions adopted in response to events in Ukraine.[i]… Read More

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Cross Compliance for Financial Institutions: Anti-Corruption – Anti-Money Laundering Nexus

Enforcement authorities in the US and Asia reportedly are investigating financial institutions for potentially corrupt employment and business relationships with family members of government officials. The investigations underscore policy links between anti-corruption and anti-money laundering regimes where dealings with Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are involved. This article, published by Hdeel Abdelhady in Butterworths Journal of Banking and Financial Law, briefly discusses the pending investigations and the anti-corruption-AML policy nexus, and suggests, with respect to PEPs and more generally, that financial institutions facilitate fluidity in their compliance programs to allow for the sharing of information and adaptation of compliance protocols across (sometimes impermeable) internal functional and disciplinary lines. Read more... Continue Reading

Nile Water Dispute: Egypt, Ethiopia and The Grand Renaissance Dam

Hdeel Abdelhady was a guest on WVON Radio Chicago’s African Diaspora Today. She and fellow guest Dr. John Mbaku of the Brookings Institution took part in an engaging discussion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Egyptian and Ethiopian positions, and related issues.  

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