Posts in Policies and Procedures.
Proactive Risk Mitigation

Given the current regulatory landscape, good intentions just aren’t good enough. Companies need to be actively protecting themselves and their personnel from liability.

Five Investor Protections to Remember When Finalizing FINRA Pre-dispute Arbitration Agreements

Investment advisers should promptly review language used in mandated pre-dispute arbitration agreements in response to Regulatory Notice 21-16 recently issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Notice serves as a cautionary yellow light for firms that may be inclined to limit investor protections by improperly including adviser-friendly terms that ignore specific FINRA disclosure requirements.

Compliance Steps Fiduciaries Should Take Now to Help Ensure Continued Adherence with the DOL’s New ERISA Exemption

Professionals who work with “Plans”, as defined under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and for those that recommend certain investments to individual retirement accounts (“IRA”), such individuals must be mindful to update their firm’s policies and procedures now that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is proceeding with the adoption of a fiduciary exemption that can impose restrictions upon and prevent fiduciaries from engaging in certain activities.

What the SEC Really Wants to Find in Your Firm’s Compliance Manual

It’s that time of year again for many investment advisory firms when Compliance departments often spend the end of the calendar year reviewing their policies and procedures to meet the annual requirements set forth in Rule 206(4)-7, better known as the “Compliance Rule” under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. 

SEC Charges Morgan Stanley Smith Barney with Providing Misleading Information to Retail Clients

On May 12, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (“MSSB”) agreed to settle charges that it provided misleading information regarding transaction costs and services to retail clients in its wrap program for the period from 2012 to 2017.

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.

Charging Fees for Inactive Accounts can be as Problematic as Churning

In a noteworthy action resulting from a lack of action in monitoring client accounts, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") fined three Raymond James entities $15 million for failing to conduct promised suitability reviews for certain advisory accounts invested in unit investment trusts ("UITs").

OCIE Risk Alert: Guidance for Compliance, Supervisory and Disclosure Procedures

The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released a risk alert outlining findings of examinations it conducted as part of its Supervision Initiative...

While exchange-traded funds (ETFs), a hybrid investment product, have been a staple of modern investing since the early 90s, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been slow to create a proper regulatory framework for this $3.4 trillion market....

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