Category Archives: SEC Inspection
 

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 Is Focusing on ESG Investing by RIAs

March 05, 2021

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) made it abundantly clear this week that it will be focusing (i.e., exams and enforcement actions) on ESG investing by investment advisers firms (“RIAs”).

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SEC Announces 2020 Exam Priorities

January 16, 2020

On January 7, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) released its 2020 Examinations Priorities for SEC registered investment advisers. After completing over 3,089 investment adviser examinations in 2019, the SEC outlined several themes for the focus of investment adviser examinations which include the following:

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SEC Continues to Focus on Cybersecurity for Investment Advisers

August 02, 2016

As in 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Examination Priorities for 2016 identify cybersecurity as an area of “potentially heightened [market-wide] risk.” Citing the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) 2015 Risk Alert, the SEC promised to continue using its exams to evaluate investment adviser firms’ cybersecurity preparedness. Click here to read our blog on the OCIE Cybersecurity Risk Alert.

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SEC Examination Focus on Investment Adviser “Dual Registrants”

August 19, 2014

Earlier this year the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) National Exam Program (“NEP”) published its Examinations Priorities for 2014. “Dual Registrants” was listed as one of the most significant initiatives across the entire NEP. This is the second year in a row that the NEP has referenced dually registered investment advisers and broker-dealers in its published examination priorities. This focus does not only apply to firms that have both a broker-dealer registration and an investment adviser registration but it extends to any investment adviser firm whose representatives are also licensed as representatives with a broker-dealer. The 2014 release indicates that, “The convergence among broker-dealer and investment adviser representative activity continues to be a significant risk. For example, representatives of dual registrants, i.e., registrants that are both broker-dealers and investment advisers, and affiliated advisers and broker-dealers may influence whether a customer establishes a brokerage or investment advisory account. This influence may create a risk that customers are placed in an inappropriate account type that increases revenue to the firm and may not provide a corresponding benefit to the customer.”

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SEC Examination Priorities for 2014

February 19, 2014

On January 9, 2014, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) National Examination Program (“NEP”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) published its examination priorities for 2014. This report is published to “communicate with investors and registrants about areas the that the staff perceives to have heightened risk and to support the [SEC] mission to protect investors; to maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and to facilitate capital formation.”

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The Examiners are Coming – Is your Investment Adviser Ready?

July 01, 2013

Over the past year, we have written several articles warning investment advisers to prepare for regulatory examinations as both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and state securities regulators have indicated that investment advisers should expect to see an increase in the number of exams being conducted.  RIA Compliance Consultants is seeing the effects of more frequent investment adviser exams.  Lately, we have experienced an increase in the number of calls from clients and prospective clients because they have recently been trough an SEC or state investment adviser exam or have been notified by an SEC or state securities regulator that their investment advisers will be audited in the near future.  One of the most common inquiries we are receiving is regarding what we can do to assist with preparing or updating the investment adviser’s written policies and procedures.  Too often, we are hearing that, although the investment adviser has been registered for some time, the investment adviser does not have customized written supervisory policies and procedures or has not properly maintained current and customized policies and procedures.

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