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Communiques

The latest compliance news from SEC3 and CCO3.

Recent SEC Speech Highlights Continued Focus on Private Equity

December 05, 2014

In her recent keynote address at the Columbia Law School Conference on Current Issues in Securities Regulation (November 21, 2014), Commissioner Kara Stein stressed the importance of transparency in securities markets including private equity, a market in which, as she indicated, most of the investors are public and private pension funds, endowments, and foundations holding the money of teachers, policemen, firemen and public and private universities. Although these institutional investors are typically sophisticated, the degree of sophistication varies between investors representing small state plans as opposed to large university endowments. In addition, even institutional investors do not possess OCIE’s enhanced access to a registrant’s records, so they would all benefit from robust disclosure. Thus, transparency is an important investor protection tool. Commissioner Stein voiced her concern that disclosures in private equity lack rigor.

Read more: Recent SEC Speech Highlights Continued Focus on Private Equity

 

Annual ADV Registration Fee Deadline

November 12, 2014

Registered investment advisers with state filings are required to annually renew their state ADV registration or their state notice filings of their federal ADV. They are also required to annually renew the state registrations of their investment adviser representatives.

Read more: Annual ADV Registration Fee Deadline

 

Custody Rule Violations - Deliberate and Inadvertent

November 04, 2014

On October 29, 2014, the SEC charged a registered investment adviser, its two principals and the chief compliance officer with repeated violations of the Custody Rule (Rule 206(4)-2 under the Advisers Act). The advisory firm managed a number of pooled investment vehicles and failed to distribute audited financial statements to investors within the 120-day window from fiscal-year end as mandated by the Custody Rule.

Read more: Custody Rule Violations - Deliberate and Inadvertent

 

SEC Announces Record Number of Enforcement Cases in 2014

October 22, 2014

The SEC announced that for its fiscal year that ended in September, it filed a record 755 enforcement actions covering a wide range of misconduct, and obtained orders totaling $4.16 billion in disgorgement and penalties. By contrast, in FY 2013, the SEC filed 686 enforcement actions and obtained orders totaling $3.4 billion in disgorgement and penalties. In FY 2012, the SEC filed 734 enforcement actions and obtained orders totaling $3.1 billion in disgorgement and penalties.

Read more: SEC Announces Record Number of Enforcement Cases in 2014

 

New SEC Guidance for Investment Advisers’ Obligations Regarding Proxy Voting

July 22, 2014

The SEC’s Divisions of Investment Management and Corporation Finance recently provided guidance (the “Guidance”) to investment advisers regarding their obligations in voting client proxies and retaining proxy advisory firms. The Guidance also covered proxy advisory firms directly regarding their reliance on popular exemptions from the federal proxy rules. In doing so, the regulators addressed the interplay between advisers’ fiduciary obligations and the Proxy Voting Rule. They also clarified that proxy advisory firms, when creating voting guidelines for advisers and institutional investors and acting to apply those guidelines in voting proxies, might jeopardize their ability to rely on exemptions from federal proxy rules.

Read more: New SEC Guidance for Investment Advisers’ Obligations Regarding Proxy Voting

 

Steps Directors Can take to Avoid SEC Enforcement

July 08, 2014

SEC Chair Mary Jo White recently shared steps directors can take to meet various SEC expectations. At the annual Stanford Directors’ College, Chair White highlighted the important role directors play in the eyes of the SEC and set out her planned agenda to discuss:

Read more: Steps Directors Can take to Avoid SEC Enforcement

 

Understanding SEC Enforcement

May 22, 2014

One of the main goals of any registered firm is to avoid an enforcement action.  The more you know about trends with regard to enforcement cases, the better equipped you are to succeed in that endeavor.  The good news is that the SEC is being more transparent with the industry than ever before with regard to goals, focus areas and its approach to enforcement.

Read more: Understanding SEC Enforcement

 

SEC Risk Alert - Cyber Security

April 18, 2014

As if April 15th wasn't bad enough? In addition to it being Tax Day, the U. S. Securities Exchange Commission's ("SEC") Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a Risk Alert discussing the planned sweep exams that will assess registrant cyber-security readiness and to gather information related to recent experiences with cyber threats.

Read more: SEC Risk Alert - Cyber Security

 

If You Have Never Been Examined by the SEC, Get Ready

February 24, 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Thursday, February 20th that its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is launching an initiative directed at investment advisers that have never been examined, focusing on those that have been registered with the SEC for three or more years.

Read more: If You Have Never Been Examined by the SEC, Get Ready

 

SEC National Exam Program 2014 Exam Priorities

January 10, 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s National Examination Program (“NEP”) has released 2014 examination priorities which can be found here. Much of what has been announced is a reiteration of prior focus areas. NEP-wide initiatives (not specific necessarily to the particular type of registrant) include fraud detection and prevention; corporate governance; conflicts of interest; enterprise risk management; technology; dual registrants; new laws and regulations, including general solicitation of private funds under Rule 506(c) under the Securities Act of 1933; and retirement vehicles.

Read more: SEC National Exam Program 2014 Exam Priorities

 

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Communiques

79 Advisers Self Report and $125 Million Returned to Investors

In line with the OCIE’s National Exam Priorities targeting its examination efforts to prevent harm to retail investors the SEC announced March 11, 2019, that it would be returning $125... read more »

CFTC Releases Exam Priorities

In a first time release, stemming from agency initiatives to improve its relationship with regulated entities, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced its 2019 Examination Priorities for registrants... read more »

FINRA’S Box of Chocolates

While we know you prefer a box of chocolates today instead of this industry update on compliance, this one is a gift and hence, will not add to your ever-growing... read more »

A Motivated Agency: The SEC Closing the Loop on the Edgar System Cyber Breach

You may recall after Clayton took the helm as Chairman at the SEC, the agency disclosed that it had its own cyber breach and the Edgar system was compromised. Today,... read more »

Examiners Take Reprieve with Gov’t Shut Down, But CCOs Must Carry On

These government shut downs don’t usually go on indefinitely. Before we blink an eye, examiners will be back on the beat. CCOs must stay vigilant. On December 20th the SEC’s Office... read more »

Pre-Dating & Back-Dating are Equally Risky

The SEC today suspended three accountants formerly of BDO USA LLP for improper professional conduct during its 2013 audit of AmTrust Financial Services Inc., an exchange-listed insurance company. According to the... read more »

Events

Chief Compliance Officer Roundtable: Breakfast Briefing - November 8, 2018

When: November 8, 2018 Where: Blank Rome LLP | The Chrysler Building | 405 Lexington Avenue | New York, NY 10174 | 22nd Floor Boardroom | Phone: 212.885.5000 Schedule: 9:00-9:30am - Networking...

Dorsey PF 2018 Symposium

When: September 26, 2018 (8:30 am - 6 pm Where: Dorsey & Whitney LLP | 51 W. 52nd Street | New York, NY 10019 Directions > SEC3’s President, Janaya Moscony will join...

Chief Compliance Officer Roundtable: Breakfast Briefing - June 14, 2018

When: June 14, 2018 Where: Blank Rome LLP | The Chrysler Building | 405 Lexington Avenue | New York, NY 10174 | 22nd Floor Boardroom | Phone: 212.885.5000 Schedule: 9:00-9:30am - Networking...

Webinar: 2018 SEC Exam Priorities & Recent Exam Highlights

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet with us in person to discuss the topics that matter most to you. Tobin S. Cochran, Managing Member/President of Focus 1 Associates, LLC and...

Chief Compliance Officer Roundtable: Breakfast Briefing - February 7, 2018

When: February 7, 2018 Where: Blank Rome LLP | The Chrysler Building | 405 Lexington Avenue | New York, NY 10174 | 22nd Floor Boardroom | Phone: 212.885.5000 Schedule: 9:00-9:30am - Networking...

Upcoming Events - September & October 2017

Upcoming Events Don’t miss the opportunity to meet with us in person to discuss the topics that matter most to you. SEC3 is teaming up with industry experts in NYC to discuss...

May 23, 2017 - Webcast: WannaCry Ransomware: Were You Really Protected or Just L…

When: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 | Schedule: 12pm - 1pm EST Who: Paul Caiazzo, CEO and Co-Founder, TruShield Security Solutions Michael Brice, Founder, BW Cyber Services John Lukan, Managing Director, SEC Compliance Consultants, Inc. We...

June 14, 2017 - Compliance Breakfast Briefing

8:30-9:00am - Networking and Continental Breakfast 9:00-10:30am - Program Location: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP | 600 Travis Street | Suite 2310 | Houston, TX Barry Barbash from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP,...

June 13, 2017 - Compliance Breakfast Briefing

8:30-9:00am - Networking and Continental Breakfast 9:00-10:30am - Program Location: Haynes and Boone, LLP | 2323 Victory Avenue | Suite 700 | Dallas, TX 75219 Validated parking is available in the garage attached...

May 31, 2017 - Chicago

9:00-9:30 a.m - Networking and Continental Breakfast 9:30-11:00 a.m - Program Location: Baker & McKenzie LLP | 300 East Randolph Drive | Suite 5000 | Chicago, IL 60601 Kristin Gonzalez and Jerome Tomas...

May 17, 2017 (NYC WIMF)

This event is by invitation only. Please email info@seccc.com to learn more.

May 15, 2017 (NYC Chief Compliance Officer Roundtable)

9:00-9:30am - Networking and Continental Breakfast 9:30-11:00am - Program Location: Blank Rome LLP | The Chrysler Building | 405 Lexington Avenue | New York, NY 10174 | 22nd Floor Boardroom | Phone:...

Webcast: The Most Insidious Cybersecurity Threat Is Also The Least Understood

When: Tuesday, April 25th | Schedule: 12pm - 1pm EST Who: Paul Caiazzo, CEO and Co-Founder, TruShield Security Solutions Michael Brice, Founder, BW Cyber Services John Lukan, Managing Director, SEC Compliance Consultants, Inc. Ransomware, the...

CCO Liability (Part III): Managing Liability Webinar

In this webinar, panelists discuss indemnifications and insurance as potential remedies to address the direct financial risks to a CCO. Attendees will learn: What terms and conditions should Chief Compliance Officers be...

Webinar: CCO Liability (Part III): Managing Liability: Navigating Indemnities an…

When: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Schedule: 11:00am ET / 10:00am CT / 9:00am MT / 8:00am PT / 7:00am AT Description of Webinar: The National Society of Compliance Professionals is pleased to host...