Risk Alert: Common Reg S-P Deficiencies

Risk Alert: Common Reg S-P Deficiencies

22 July 2019

  Once again, the SEC has provided insight into exam deficiencies.  This time, it’s regarding Reg S-P. Reg S-P requires, among other things, that registered investment advisers: provide customers with a copy of the Firm’s Privacy Notice initially and annually, if there are changes; provide customers with an option to opt out of personal informationRead More »

Risk Alert: Use of Third Parties for Network Storage

Risk Alert: Use of Third Parties for Network Storage

02 July 2019

As a reminder, a “Risk Alert” is the SEC’s way of giving you a heads up about patterns of deficiencies during recent examinations.  They can help you stay on top of your game. On May 23, 2019, the SEC issued a risk alert on utilizing third parties to host and store records.  Using a thirdRead More »

Key Take-Aways from Recent Industry Conferences: Senior Investors & Private Funds

08 May 2019

  We wanted to share with you the common themes we’ve observed among the recent industry conferences we attended.  Let us know if we can help you with any of these topics. Senior Investors It was discussed that the SEC views senior investors as the most vulnerable investor group and considers it the investment advisers’Read More »

Compliant Advertising: Breaking it Down – Part 1: The Foundation

29 April 2019

The topic of Advertising is one of the most challenging areas for CCOs.  The challenge begins with the SEC’s definition of “advertisement.”  It’s confusing and outdated. The way that the rule is written makes you feel like you have to run through a flow chart of questions every time you write something, meet with someone,Read More »

5 Tips to Simplify a CCO’s Heavy Workload

5 Tips to Simplify a CCO’s Heavy Workload

03 April 2019

    In all of my experience, working with CCOs as a compliance consultant, the one common sentiment they share is overwhelm.  Especially those who wear multiple hats (which is most of the CCOs I work with). If that’s you, you probably ask yourself, “How do I fit all of this in?!” In first quarter,Read More »

Overcoming the Challenges of SEC Compliance around Electronic Messaging

Overcoming the Challenges of SEC Compliance around Electronic Messaging

01 March 2019

  Did you see the SEC’s Risk Alert on Electronic Messaging? We did!  And let us start by saying, this Risk Alert was actually really helpful! A lot of times, the SEC issues Risk Alerts that tell you the issues they’re seeing in recent SEC examinations and remind you of your compliance obligations, but theyRead More »

Resources for How to Address the SEC’s 2019 Focus Areas

Resources for How to Address the SEC’s 2019 Focus Areas

21 February 2019

Each year, the SEC publishes their exam priorities.  This provides advisers with transparency in OCIE’s examination program and highlights areas that the SEC believes are of heightened risk. Unlike last year (when OCIE announced a focus on cryptocurrencies) there is nothing brand new this year that we haven’t seen in previous years.  It’s kind ofRead More »

Attention Advisers & Sub-Advisers to Mutual Funds and ETFs

Attention Advisers & Sub-Advisers to Mutual Funds and ETFs

04 February 2019

Advisers to the securities listed below are on the SEC’s radar for examination.  Do you manage: an index fund that tracks custom-built indexes? a smaller ETF? an ETF with little secondary market trading volume? a fund with higher allocations to certain securitized assets? a fund that underperforms significantly relative to peer groups? a newer mutualRead More »

2019 RIA Compliance Calendar & Filing Deadlines

2019 RIA Compliance Calendar & Filing Deadlines

02 January 2019

The purpose of this compliance calendar is to help you keep track of regulatory filing deadlines for 2019.  To receive reminders, make sure you join our mailing list! 2019 SEC Regulatory Deadlines for Investment Advisers The filing deadlines are listed below in chronological order, with additional details of RIA form and filing obligations toward theRead More »

Senior Investors, SEC Exams, and Your Fiduciary Duty

Senior Investors, SEC Exams, and Your Fiduciary Duty

13 December 2018

The focus on retirement accounts and senior investors has been on the SEC’s National Exam Priorities for years.  However, it is especially so this year, and as the US population ages and more baby boomers enter retirement, the focus and concern for senior investors will continue to grow. Do you have a direct relationship withRead More »

Advice on the SEC’s Cash Solicitation Rule Risk Alert

Advice on the SEC’s Cash Solicitation Rule Risk Alert

20 November 2018

On October 31st, the SEC specifically addressed the Cash Solicitation Rule in its risk alert titled, “Halloween Risk Alert.”  Well, now we know the SEC has a sense of humor… or is trying to.  But in all seriousness, when OCIE issues a risk alert, you should take note. Why…?  Because OCIE’s risk alerts are issued asRead More »

Key lessons from Another Adviser’s mistakes…

Key lessons from Another Adviser’s mistakes…

04 October 2018

In September 2018, an advisory firm was charged by the SEC and had to pay fines of $1 million dollars. Laying the Foundation This advisory firm is dually-registered (Broker Dealer and RIA).  For a five-year period, independent contractors were provided access to client information through a remote web portal.  The independent contractors used their ownRead More »

How to Navigate the SEC’s Best Execution Risk Alert

How to Navigate the SEC’s Best Execution Risk Alert

02 August 2018

“Best execution,” is a subjective target that is difficult to measure, rank, or define.  In general, best execution is the effort of an adviser, to seek best price while also factoring in: expertise, sophistication, speed, and “the full range and quality of a broker-dealer’s services including, among other things, the value of research provided asRead More »

Good News!  The SEC made a U-Turn on Inadvertent Custody

Good News! The SEC made a U-Turn on Inadvertent Custody

25 June 2018

The SEC recently updated the Staff Responses to Questions About the Custody Rule (“Custody FAQ”).  And this time, it’s a relief! As you probably recall, in February 2017, the SEC said that advisers may have “Inadvertent Custody” due to language that is in the agreement between the custodian and the client, which caused much angstRead More »

SEC 2018 Exam Priorities – How do they affect you?

SEC 2018 Exam Priorities – How do they affect you?

16 March 2018

If you’re an RIA, this article is for you.  Have you taken a peek at the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) National Exam Program Examination Priorities for 2018?  (Look for a fun acronym for that once we get through all the good stuff.)  Below, we summarize the examination priorities relevant to registeredRead More »

2018 RIA Compliance Calendar & Filing Deadlines

2018 RIA Compliance Calendar & Filing Deadlines

27 February 2018

Don’t miss a deadline!  We’ve put together a compliance calendar to help you keep track of regulatory filing deadlines and update your compliance calendar for 2018.  You might want to bookmark this one! SEC Regulatory Deadlines for Investment Advisers We have included the filing deadlines in chronological order.  Additional details, including definitions and descriptions ofRead More »

How to Prepare for ADV Part 2A Updates

How to Prepare for ADV Part 2A Updates

07 February 2018

Haven’t looked at your ADV Part 2A in months? Staring at your computer screen, wondering where to start? Check out our ADV Part 2A checklist. Did you have any major changes to your firm’s business in 2017? Make a list! Have you opened or closed any new products or funds in 2017? Do your productsRead More »

ADV Part 1 Changes

ADV Part 1 Changes

07 February 2018

On October 1, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) amended the ADV Part 1 to obtain more information on registered investment advisers. As the annual amendment date (March 31st, 2018) closes in, we want to summarize important changes and remind you of important practices this filing season. SCS Suggests As you start yourRead More »

Cryptocurrencies… are they considered a security?

Cryptocurrencies… are they considered a security?

03 January 2018

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton recently issued a statement about the highly discussed topic of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) on December 12, 2017. He addressed main street investors and market professionals, which includes investment advisers and broker-dealers, among others. Clayton warned market professionals to review SEC investigative reports and subsequent enforcement actions. The conclusionRead More »

What is going on with the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule?

What is going on with the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule?

15 October 2017

As it stands today, the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule has been delayed to July 1, 2019. This delay to the ruling is a direct result of President Donald Trump’s executive order requesting the Department of Labor to conduct a review of the rule. Even though the rule is delayed, the DOL has stated that advisers mustRead More »

Advertising Risk Alert

Advertising Risk Alert

01 October 2017

An adviser’s use of marketing materials continues to be an area of high concern for the SEC, and with good reason. Marketing materials are how you showcase your firm to the world. They’re used to obtain investors, to grow the business, and find new opportunities. And you better believe the SEC is going to reviewRead More »