May our experience be your guide

Expertise

Our SEC compliance service consultants have 25 years of cumulative RIA compliance experience, managing issues, on both the adviser’s side and the consultant’s side. Jointly, our team has experience in:

  • SEC compliance
  • GIPS compliance and verification
  • SAS 70 (now known as SOC 1) policy and procedure audits

It is through this hands-on experience that our consultants have developed the skills of truly listening to client’s pain points, addressing their issues and concerns proactively, and applying the SEC rules and regulations to each firm. We understand that there is not a “one size fits all” solution and take into consideration the unique circumstances of each of our clients to apply the rules as practically as possible.

Certifications

  • CIPM – Certificate in Performance Measurement
  • CPA – Certified Public Accountant
  • CSCP – Certified Securities Compliance Professional
  • IACCP® – Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional

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Find Out More About Our SEC Compliance Consultants

Photo of Elizabeth L. Cope Elizabeth L. Cope MANAGING MEMBER; CPA, CIPM, CSCP

Liz’s Story
I was first introduced to the financial industry a couple of years out of college while working at an internationally recognized specialty CPA firm, completing GIPS verifications. Having my CPA license lead me into completing and managing all the firm’s SAS 70 (now SOC I) audits. Completing the SAS 70 audits is where I really started to understand the operations of investment advisers and how the rules and regulations were actually applied. In 2005, the firm decided to offer SEC compliance consulting services, as a direct result of the new Compliance Program Rule (establish written policies and procedures, review them annually, and assign a Chief Compliance Officer to oversee and administer). As a young professional, I saw an opportunity to excel and volunteered to develop this service unit. For two weeks, I locked myself up in a conference room reading the “Blue Book” (authors Lemke and Lins) from front to back and developed the first edition of the Compliance Organizer that we use today to administer the annual review. I then streamlined the process across the firm’s clients. From there it was just getting my hands dirty, experience after experience, listening to clients’ pain points and working through each issue one at a time. In 2010, a group of us spun out of this accounting firm, bringing the consulting business with us, and for seven years, I continued refining my skills and our services under Focus 1 Associates LLC (Focus 1). In October 1, 2017, I took what I see as my last career step and spun out of Focus 1 with my team Katie Mogan and Christene Sismondo to develop SEC Compliance Solutions. The goal is to further refine our service offering. I am a believer that my clients always come first. I take great pride and joy in helping them navigate the complicated waters of compliance and develop a system that is doable and practical.

Biography
Elizabeth has over 15 years of experience working with investment advisers of all sizes, across all asset classes, within the United States and parts of Asia and Europe. She currently assists investment advisory firms and their CCOs with policies and procedures development, regulatory filings, annual review planning and oversight, forensic testing, marketing material reviews, and mock SEC examinations.

Prior to July 2010, Elizabeth worked for an internationally recognized GIPS compliance and verification specialist firm collectively managing hundreds of GIPS verifications, SAS 70 audits, surprise custody examinations, hedge fund audits, mock SEC exams and compliance consulting engagements on a global basis. It is through this experience that she gained an in-depth understanding of the investment industry and strengthened her skills as a consultant. It is her goal to provide each client with practical compliance solutions that allow them to enforce a strong culture of compliance and in turn, focus on what they do best… manage money and service their clients.

Education & Honors
B.S. in Business Administration, emphasis in Accounting, from Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

  • Vice President of the Accounting Students Association
  • Outstanding Accounting Student of the Year Award

B.S. in Computer Information Systems, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM)
Certified Securities Compliance Professional® (CSCP)

Memberships
CIPM Association
National Society of Compliance Professionals
Oregon Society of CPAs

Personal Information
When Elizabeth isn’t solving a compliance problem, she can be found spending time with her husband and three kids, running, snowboarding, or basically anything that involves activity. Elizabeth formed the Ethan Jostad Foundation, a non-profit organization benefiting childhood cancer, in honor of her nephew who passed from cancer at the age of nine. She currently serves on the Board and as Treasurer. She also formed Southern Oregon Baseball, a non-profit organization established for a competitive youth travel baseball team.

Photo of Katie R. Mogan Katie R. Mogan SENIOR COMPLIANCE CONSULTANT; IACCP®

Katie’s Story
In January of 2008, I started working as a compliance associate for my first RIA, which had over $4b of AUM in private funds. I quickly saw how a strong compliance program and a partnership between compliance and senior management could guide a firm through a financial crisis. I worked with the board to create a strategic plan for the firm and assisted the firm in re-organization efforts resulting from the crisis. As the firm dissolved in 2011, I moved on to another RIA with over $5b of AUM in private funds as a Vice President, Compliance Officer. I lead the research and implementation process of AIFMD and Form PF. I saw the burden regulatory requirements place on advisers when a cookie-cutter solution does not fit the mold of a more “unique” adviser. What is the best execution for fixed income trades, and how do you document and test it for your annual review?

In 2013, my family and I relocated, and I found a home with an RIA to SMA, WRAP, and private clients. I partnered with operations to broaden my knowledge of back-office processes and reworked the existing compliance program to be practical and applicable to my firm’s business model. I inserted myself into the daily work lives of my employees, encouraging a culture of “always ask compliance.” My motto was, “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” My door was always open, and my goal of making SEC compliance a forethought instead of an afterthought was quickly achieved. When the day arrived that every compliance person dreads, the SEC exam, I was ready. As a firm, we made our way through the exam. I never thought I would be grateful for an SEC exam, but the experience was, to this day, one of the most valuable learning points of my career.

In 2016, I moved to the consulting side, taking a position with Focus 1, the predecessor to SEC Compliance Solutions. In the summer of 2017, Liz approached me about starting a new firm. My career goals are to be a key player and valuable partner in any business for which I work. I would be able to work with clients, develop and nurture new relationships, and play a key role in the new business. How could I say no?

Biography
Katie has over 10 years of RIA compliance experience working as a compliance officer and compliance manager for investment advisers and has played a key role in SEC examinations. At SCS, she is responsible for conducting forensic testing for annual compliance reviews and mock SEC examinations, including reviewing marketing materials, reviewing and updating ADVs Parts 1, 2A, and 2B, conducting trade testing, and consulting with clients.

Katie’s experience includes working for investment advisers to mutual funds; sub-advisers to wrap programs; and firms with long/short equity and fixed income hedge funds, consisting of master-feeder structures with government entities, charitable organizations, family offices, and institutional and high-net-worth clients.

Her responsibilities have included updating and filing ADVs; spearheading and enhancing compliance programs; reviewing and updating compliance manuals; annual review testing and reporting; and transitioning a compliance program to an automated, cloud-based system.

Katie collaborated with CEOs, portfolio managers, head traders, directors of marketing, and outside counsel to facilitate compliance regarding firm trading and best execution, review and approval of marketing materials, AIFMD preparations, forms and filings, agreements and other legal documents, as well as implementation of policies in response to new SEC rules and regulations.

Katie has first-hand experience on the adviser’s side of SEC examinations and investigations. She was an integral part of a routine SEC examination, where she responded to request lists, spoke directly with SEC staff, participated in interviews, and was fundamental to the post-examination process of initiating new policies and procedures as required by the exam. Additionally, Katie assisted with two SEC investigations for two different firms, assisting in document production and organization.

Education & Honors
BA in political science, minor in art history and French, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

  • Graduated Cum Laude

Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) certificate through National Regulatory Services (NRS).

Personal Information
When Katie is not chasing her two kids around, she can be found running, hiking, exploring new places or enjoying the places she loves with her husband and their family. Katie was born and raised outside of Boston and loves New England. She was born into a car-enthusiast family, growing up at the racetrack, and loves attending Formula 1 races with her husband. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® and the American Cancer Society are causes close to Katie’s heart. She is the proud daughter of a U.S. Army Veteran.

Photo of Zachary Fenno Zachary Fenno Compliance Associate; J.D.

Zach’s Story
After moving back to the Midwest after being in Providence for 4 years, I started law school in St. Paul, Minnesota. Throughout my time there, I explored many different areas of law but found I was most interested in compliance after joining a pilot compliance program at my law school. During this year, I completed an internship with a local energy company where I focused on reducing unnecessary compliance costs. This program showed me how compliance is a great area to combine my legal analysis and passion for helping businesses succeed.

After law school, I worked for a software company that provided services to the energy industry. I wore many hats during my time there, from customer relations to managing a team of attorneys, and working across multiple departments to ensure compliance with all current and upcoming federal regulations. Working with compliance and IT gave me the skills needed to apply strict regulations to unique situations.

Another passion I found in law school was working with small businesses and non-profits to achieve their dreams. I decided to take all I had learned from helping others and started a business with my partner, making gourmet cheesecakes. After a year of operations, my partner was offered a position he couldn’t pass up, and we decided to put this dream on hold for now.

Fortunately, I found SEC Compliance Solutions (SCS) and have been with the firm since March 2018. I am excited to bring my legal background and compliance experience to SCS in order to help our clients.

Biography
Zach has 5 years of compliance and legal experience in various fields from federal energy regulations like FERC and NERC to personal information data breaches. At SCS, he is responsible for conducting forensic testing, such as email and marketing material reviews, consulting on issues surrounding data regulation like the GDPR, and supporting the rest of the SEC Compliance Solutions team.

Education
B.S. in Classics and B.S. in Religious Studies from Brown University, Providence, RI

J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, with a focus on Compliance and Small Business

Personal Information
In his free time, Zach enjoys going to dog parks, seeing local shows, and playing his cello.

Photo of Gretchen Sturdivan Gretchen Sturdivan Compliance Associate

Gretchen’s Story
My first introduction to the financial industry was in 2015, when I began working for RVK, Inc. in an administrative capacity. I wore many hats and sought to absorb as much information as I could about the industry. Within a year, I was providing multi-departmental support, including working with the compliance and business development departments. I most appreciated the ever-changing, dynamic world of compliance and am now soaking it up in my role as a Compliance Associate with SEC Compliance Solutions.

Biography
Gretchen has nearly 4 years of administrative, compliance, and business development experience. She has worked in the investment consulting and management industry since 2015, for SEC Compliance Solutions, LLC and previously, RVK, Inc., an investment consulting firm.

Her experience at RVK, Inc. included managing quarterly compliance reporting, writing and reviewing requests for proposals, providing executive-level support, expense reporting, training new employees, establishing a Community Outreach volunteer program, and participating in the planning and execution of firm events.

At SCS, Gretchen assists clients with their annual compliance reviews and mock SEC examinations by conducting forensic testing, reviewing for proper authorization and appropriate disclosures and practices in accordance with regulatory requirements as well as the policies and procedures the client has in place. She conducts reviews and testing on a wide array of firm operations, such as firm and personal trading practices, client contract and marketing material disclosures, and the appropriate application of client investment guidelines and restrictions for client reporting and billing.

Education & Honors
B.A. in German Language and Literature, Minor in Religion, from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA.

  • Graduated Magna Cum Laude
  • Fulbright Scholar, Teaching Grant, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Personal Information
In her spare time, Gretchen enjoys being outside in nature or in the kitchen with her husband and camera. She likes to coordinate volunteer experiences with friends and family, particularly with Friends of Trees and the Oregon Food Bank! She also has fun doing yoga, creating art, making music, reading, learning languages, traveling, photographing her cat, and partaking in all things vegan.