Posts from 2020.
SEC Examination Focus: Four Considerations for Vendor Relationships Within Your Business Continuity Plans (BCP)

Dedicated to investor protection and still fully operational nationwide, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections Examinations (“OCIE”) announced that examinations will continue via online and virtual correspondence, in their most recent updated announcement on March 23, 2020.

Old, Familiar Fraud Found in New, Innovative Investments

On January 24, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged a California-based couple with orchestrating a seven-year, nearly billion-dollar Ponzi scheme involving alternative energy credits through their solar generator companies.

An Important Lesson About Marketing Materials and Risk

One of the hallmarks of a fiduciary is following through on the service you promise to deliver, acting in the best interests of your client, and providing factual information.

Getting Ahead of the Curve: FINRA’s Areas of Focus for 2020

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a government-authorized not-for-profit organization that oversees U.S. broker-dealers to ensure that everyone can participate in the market with confidence. Every year, FINRA publishes its areas of focus for the ongoing execution of its mission to protect investors and market integrity.

Posted in FINRA
Internal Control Failures Cost MetLife $10 million in SEC Settlement

MetLife, Inc. has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10 million in order to settle charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that it violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the federal securities laws.

Another Technology Company Settles SEC Charges Over ICO Violations

Blockchain of Things (“BCOT”), a technology company, has agreed to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) without registering it as a securities offering or qualifying for any registration exemptions.  The settlement requires BCOT to agree to a cease and desist order, pay a $250,000 civil fine, return funds to any investors who file a request, and register the tokens as securities.

SEC Proposes Updated Definition of Accredited Investor, Qualified Institutional Buyer

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) voted to propose amendments to its definition of an “accredited investor,” which, if approved, will allow more investors access to invest in private offering opportunities.

How to Avoid Legal Problems and Foster a Culture of Regulatory Compliance

You’re the CEO and are about to onboard a new advisor at your financial advisory firm. You want to make a lasting impression and set the proper tone.

Inside the SEC’s Proposed New Rules for Financial Advisor Advertising

Advisory firms are encountering more competition than ever when it comes to building their client base. Many firms would make an additional spend on marketing and advertising strategies (including use of solicitors and social media to attract younger clients) but often are concerned about SEC regulatory scrutiny and limitations imposed on registrants.

A Costly Failure to Follow Written Policies and Procedures

On November 22, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") ordered Channing Capital Management, LLC ("Channing"), a registered investment adviser located in Illinois, to pay a $50,000 civil penalty for failure to enforce its own written policies and procedures. This specific case underscores the importance of following the safeguards you put in place to protect all clients at all times.

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