Category Archives: Risk Alert
 

SEC Risk Alert – Wrap Fee Programs

July 26, 2021

SEC Risk Alert on Use of Wrap Fee Accounts by Investment Advisers

On July 21, 2021, the Division of Examinations (the “Division”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Risk Alert about its assessment of investment adviser firms associated with wrap fee programs.SEC Building The SEC identified multiple areas where the investment advisers examined were deficient in their policies, procedures, and practices related to wrap fee programs, and further noted a range of industry practices that investment advisers might consider adopting to meet their fiduciary duty when recommending and managing wrap fee programs.

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SEC Risk Alert – Large Trader & Form 13H Obligations for Investment Advisers

December 29, 2020

On December 16 2020, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Risk Alert about its assessment of the compliance practices of SEC-registered investment advisers and broker dealers with regard to Rule 13h-1, which was adopted to help the SEC identify and obtain information on certain market participants (referred to as “Large Traders”) that conduct a substantial amount of trading activity as measured by volume or market value, in national market system (“NMS”) securities. In the Risk Alert, OCIE noted that some advisers and broker dealers it examined were unaware of the rule or its specific requirements and, consequently, is encouraging all SEC-registered investment advisers and broker-dealers to review and update their compliance policies and procedures, as needed, to ensure compliance with Rule 13h-1. Click here to read the SEC’s Risk Alert for Large Trader Obligations.

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SEC Risk Alert – Investment Adviser Firms with Multiple Branch Offices

November 23, 2020

On November 9 2020, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”)  of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Risk Alert about its assessment of the compliance practices of SEC-registered investment advisers that have multiple branch offices. In its Risk Alert, the SEC noted that its Multi-Branch Initiative (“Initiative”) focused on investment advisers practices relating to compliance programs and supervision, with a particular focus on the Code of Ethics Rule, Custody Rule, and fiduciary obligations relating to fees, expenses, and advertising. The SEC also evaluated how supervised persons at branch locations provided investment advice, focusing on oversight of investment recommendations, management and disclosure of conflicts of interest, and allocation of investment opportunities.

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SEC Risk Alert – Supervising IARs and Conflicts of Interest Deficiencies

July 31, 2019

On July 23, 2019 the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examination’s (“OCIE”)  of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Risk Alert about its assessment of the oversight practices of SEC-registered investment advisers who employ or employed individuals with disciplinary histories. Of the over 50 advisers that were examined,  nearly all of the examined advisers received deficiency letters. The OCIE exams did not focus solely on supervisory practices as they relate to the individuals with prior disciplinary histories. Instead, OCIE reviewed the advisers’ supervisory practices firm-wide. OCIE’s findings relate to all investment advisers regardless of whether they have someone with a disciplinary history. The deficiencies identified related to compliance and disclosure issues, including undisclosed conflicts of interest.

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SEC Risk Alert – Compliance Issues Related to Regulation S-P – Privacy Notices and Safeguard Policies

May 07, 2019

On April 16, 2019, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a risk alert about “Compliance Issues Related to Regulation S-P – Privacy Notices and Safeguard Policies” to encourage investment adviser firms to review their written policies and procedures to, “ensure compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements.”

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SEC Risk Alert – Electronic Messaging

December 19, 2018

December 17, 2018 the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a new National Exam Program Risk Alert Relating to Electronic Messaging. The purpose of the risk alert is to remind SEC registered investment advisers of their obligations when their supervised persons use electronic messaging and to help SEC registered investment advisers improve their systems, policies, and procedures by sharing the SEC staff’s observations from its investment adviser examinations.

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SEC Risk Alert – Frequent Advisory Fee and Expense Compliance Issues

April 13, 2018

On April 12, 2018, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Risk Alert, “Overview of the Most Frequent Advisory Fee and Expense Compliance Issues Identified in Examinations of Investment Advisers.” The risk alert provides a list of compliance issues frequently identified in OCIE examination deficiency letters  relating to fees and expenses charged by SEC registered investment advisers.  Click here to read the SEC’s Risk Alert.

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SEC Risk Alert: Observations from Cybersecurity Examinations of Investment Advisers

August 14, 2017

On August 7, 2017, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Risk Alert which details its examination of the cybersecurity preparedness of 75 broker-dealers, investment advisers and investment companies in the U.S.  In comparison to prior cybersecurity examinations, this exam involved more active testing and validation of the firms’ procedures and controls related to cybersecurity. Click here to read the Risk Alert.

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