The new SEC marketing rule calls to mind the Peter Parker principle: "With great power comes great responsibility." (Any Spider-Man fans out there?) The marketing rule consolidates two outdated rules and accounts for updated technology, like social media. It was a long time coming, providing a much-needed update to advertising regulations in place since 1961 and cash solicitation rules in place since 1979. Now, advisers can choose whether to implement the rule on or after the effective date of May 4, 2021, or wait until the compliance date of November 4, 2022. But here's the catch: advisers who act now must comply with the rule in its entirety; that is, no cherry-picking some rule requirements and ignoring others. It’s a big decision, and advisers aren’t taking it lightly.
On March 3rd, the SEC released its examination priorities for 2021. Here’s what they called out:
By Charles Black
Reality Check is an occasional blog post series we do where we analyze actual SEC enforcement actions or examination experiences and give you a summary of what to expect in the “real world.”
With every new regulatory policy or form, the first time implementing it is always challenging. There are no models to follow or examples to guide you. Fortunately for our readers, we’ve cleared away some of the high brush to give you a clearer path.
Joot’s compliance experts have completed nearly two dozen Form CRSs for our clients. Based on that experience, here are 10 things to keep in mind.
The words “SEC/FINRA exam” can trigger the jitters in most CCOs across the industry. They’re out to get me! Will they shut down my firm? Will I still have a job when they finish? Perhaps these thoughts and many others have crossed your mind when you got the dreaded phone call from your local SEC/FINRA office notifying you that you’ve been “selected” to go through an examination by their Staff.
What is the cost of non-compliance? How much should an RIA spend on compliance? Are these compliance tools and services worth it? The answers to these questions become clearer when we look at both the direct and indirect impact of examination and enforcement actions taken by the SEC.
1961, Was it really a "good year?" Some of us couldn’t say for sure since we weren’t even born yet! For those of us that were, gas was about 27 cents/gallon. John F. Kennedy was President and about to deal with the "Bay of Pigs" debacle which would tarnish his first year in office. East German authorities closed the border between East and West Berlin and construction of the Berlin wall would commence. Pampers were introduced as the world’s first disposable diaper. Oh, and the Securities and Exchange Commission published the first rule on advertising!
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) announced its 2020 examination priorities on January 7, 2020. OCIE releases this list on an annual basis in order to provide the industry with insights into areas it may focus on thorough the examination process. All the priorities listed on the 2020 list were also on the 2019 list, with some new additions. Which makes us wonder if anything will ever be taken off the list, or if there will just be new additions? Only time will tell.
Recent activity by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) highlight its continued focus on cybersecurity. In a Risk Alert issued by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”), the staff highlighted weak controls related to safeguarding customer information in network storage, including third-party providers.
Ah, welcome to the hot days of summer, which technically doesn’t start until June 20. But that didn’t stop temperatures around the U.S. from topping 95 degrees last week. Whew! And with that warm, beach weather comes the start of vacation season. So in case you forgot to pack that massive stack of reading material that you’ve been collecting since January, below are some articles for your reading pleasure. (Please note that subscriptions may be required for certain articles, sorry.)
At the beginning of June, the SEC announced settlements against 13 private fund advisers for failing to provide the required information in Form PF. Generally, Form PF requires information on private funds managed by investment advisers if the total assets of the private funds are over $150 million. The form, which became effective in 2012, asks for information on a private fund’s assets under management, strategy, performance, investments, and other areas. The form must be updated annually or when there is a material change to the information in the most recent filing. As stated in its orders, the SEC and other regulatory, such as the Financial Stability Oversight Council, use the information in Form PF to watch systemic risk in the private fund industry. Additionally, the SEC uses the form in regulatory exams and investigations. (Emphasis added.) The same is true for Form ADV.
IM Director's Recent Remarks on Standards of Conduct & Liquidity Risk Management
by Peter Michael Allen