Category Archives: SEC
 

2019 SEC Examination Priorities

December 27, 2018

On December 20, 2018, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examination (“OCIE”) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released its 2019 Examinations Priorities for SEC registered investment advisers. After completing over 3,150 investment adviser examinations in 2018, a 10 percent increase over 2017, the SEC outlined several themes for the focus of investment adviser examinations which include the following:

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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 Fines Investment Adviser for Cybersecurity Failures

October 09, 2018

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently fined an Iowa-based investment adviser $1 million for alleged cybersecurity failures that led to a data breach that compromised the personal information of its clients. According to the SEC, information from over 5,600 of the investment adviser’s clients was obtained by criminals impersonating independent advisers. The SEC claims that the intruders gained access through weaknesses within the firm’s cybersecurity procedures. Some of these weaknesses had been exposed during previous fraudulent activity. The investment adviser allegedly failed to update and fix those issues.

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SEC Settles Charges of Undisclosed Conflict in Advisory Decision

September 06, 2018

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently announced that it has settled charges with an investment adviser firm. The SEC alleged that the investment adviser failed to disclose a conflict of interest. The settlement ended in payment of $8.9 million to the SEC by the investment adviser.

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SEC Fines Investment Adviser for Failing to Refund Unearned Fees When Client Terminates Advisory Services

July 26, 2018

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently settled with an investment adviser firm which allegedly had improperly refused to refund $131,000 in unearned advisory fees to 63 departing investment advisory clients. The SEC censured the investment adviser firm and imposed a $100,000 civil penalty on it. The SEC also imposed a $50,000 penalty on the investment adviser firm’s majority owner.

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SEC Targets Investment Adviser for Misleading Clients

June 19, 2018

On June 4, 2018 the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) issued a press release announcing the imposition of an $8 million civil penalty against an investment adviser in New York for failing to disclose conflicts of interest to its clients. The SEC also announced the filing of a litigated action against two investment adviser representatives of the firm for misleading clients and concealing material conflicts of interest. The investment adviser neglected to disclose agreements with product and service providers that led to the investment adviser receiving undisclosed compensation. The Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office said, “Investment advisers have an obligation to disclose direct and indirect financial incentives to clients.” Click here to read the SEC’s press release.

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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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