The DOL Fiduciary Rule (the “Rule”) that will require all advisors to act as fiduciaries with their ERISA clients is rule that was constructed over the course of more than six years by the Obama Administration. Since the Rule was proposed in April 2015, it has been vehemently opposed by many Republicans who believe it…

On February 7, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) released a risk alert identifying the five compliance areas most commonly cited in deficiency letters sent to SEC-registered investment advisers (“RIA”). The risk alert focuses on deficiency letters from more than 1,000 RIA audits conducted over the past two years. This…

Despite mounting regulations, pressure on corporate leadership to run a compliant and ethical organization, and headline-making consequences of corporate misconduct, unethical behavior seems to persist within the financial industry. A survey of the US and UK financial services industries conducted by the University of Notre Dame and Labaton Sucharow LLP concluded, “Numerous individuals continue to…

Part 3 of a 3-part Series Operational Due Diligence (“ODD”) has grown in importance significantly for institutional investors looking to invest in funds. Prior to 2008, ODD played an insignificant role compared to investment due diligence (“IDD”) when it came to investors making their final investment decisions. Because of the 2008 financial crisis and the…

On August 25, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted amendments to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”) and Form ADV to enhance and improve the reporting requirements for registered investment advisers (“RIAs”). The Amendments become effective on October 1, 2017. According to the Adopting Release, the purpose of the Amendments is…

Does your firm routinely solicit investors and/or co-investors? Does it market its funds to endowments, pension funds and high net worth individuals?  Does your firm advise companies on mergers and acquisitions and debt offerings? If your firm receives compensation for any of these services, then you could be engaging in broker-dealer activities for which registration…

“Full transparency of fees and conflicts of interest is critical in the private equity industry and we will continue taking action against advisers that do not adequately disclose their fees and expenses.”  –Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Over the past several years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been…

Yesterday, at the direction of President Obama, the Department of Labor (Department) released its final fiduciary rule which it believes will better protect consumers. The rule is expected to have a dramatic impact on the financial industry. First, the rule expands the definition of who is deemed a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security…

March 30 is the deadline for registered investment advisory (“RIA”) firms to file Form ADV annual updating amendments. RIAs should meticulously review their Form ADV Parts 1 and 2 to ensure that all information is accurate, consistent and complete. Executives, including CCOs, who have intentionally or inadvertently misstated or failed to disclose material information on…

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations has released its Exam Priorities for 2016. Exam priorities and initiatives launched in 2015 will continue to hold the spotlight in 2016 as new risk-based initiatives address systemic issues. Each regulatory topic can be broken down into the following four categories: (1) protecting the individual investor; (2)…

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