Today, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its July 2008 ComplianceAlert letter which identifies and describes common deficiencies and weaknesses that SEC examiners have found during compliance examinations of SEC registered investment advisers/mutual funds, broker-dealers, and transfer agents. The release, which is considered official comment from the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations and other select SEC department staff, provides valuable guidance for registered investment advisors trying to navigate the regulatory maze. In the release, the SEC provides guidance on four major areas: (1) personal trading by advisory staff; (2) proxy voting and funds’ use of proxy voting services; (3) valuation and liquidity issues in high yield municipal bond funds; and (4) soft dollar practices of investment advisors.
The release was prepared based on information gathered from certain risk-targeted examination reviews. It was written as a tool for Chief Compliance Officers and provides valuable tips and techniques for developing customized compliance programs. While some of the guidance provided by the SEC may have little practical application depending on the specific arrangements of your registered investment advisor, the release is still an excellent resource and should be read by every Chief Compliance Officer. You can read the entire release by clicking here.
Since passage of Rule 206(4)-7, which requires all SEC registered investment advisors to: (1) develop written compliance programs; (2) assess those programs on at least an annual basis; and (3) designate a Chief Compliance Officer, the SEC has made a more concerted effort to interact and be proactive with Chief Compliance Officers through tools such as ComplianceAlerts and the CCOutreach program. However, complying with SEC rules and regulations is a daunting challenge. RIA Compliance Consultants, Inc. can help your registered investment advisor navigate the regulatory maze. Visit our website or contact us to learn more about our suite of compliance consulting services.