In September 2017, the OCIE issued a Risk Alert notifying advisors of the most common deficiencies related to the Advertising Rule. Interestingly, all the deficiencies identified involved misleading performance advertising. The takeaways from the Risk Alert are detailed below. Misleading Performance Results. The Staff observed advisers that presented performance results without deducting advisory fees. The…

Text messaging. We’re all doing it. It’s not only easy to do, but also a highly effective and efficient way to communicate. According to a survey conducted by Smarsh, a firm specializing in cloud-based archiving solutions, text messaging is the most requested channel for business use by employees in financial firms, up over 20 percent…

Beginning on October 1, 2017, investment advisers will be expected to comply with the various new disclosures required on the Form ADV. Earlier this summer, the SEC released additional guidance for investment advisers and compliance professionals in the form of frequently asked questions (“FAQ”) to help answer any remaining questions advisers may have on how…

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has recently caused quite a flurry among automated traders with its proposed Regulation Automated Trading (“Regulation AT”). The days of pit trading are long gone. Automated trades involving algorithms now make up a substantial portion of U.S. markets. Trading disruptions, unfortunately, have steadily increased as the use of automated…

Although business continuity plans (“BCPs”) have been an SEC expectation, on June 28, 2016 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed a rule that would require all SEC registered investment advisers to adopt and implement a business continuity and transition plan. The rule would not only require SEC registered investment advisers to adopt and implement…

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…

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)…

FINRA shares many of the same 2016 priorities as the SEC with the notable addition of examining firm culture. Each of FINRA’s regulatory priorities can be broken down into the following five categories: (1) protecting the individual investor; (2) protecting the industry from market-wide risks; (3) using data analytics to identify signals of potential illegal…

One of the SEC’s FY 2016 top priorities is to examine approximately 14% of all registered investment advisers. Doing so will require hiring an additional 225 examiners. To streamline its efforts, the SEC will be focusing on examining advisory firms that have never been examined. In FY 2014, the SEC examined 10% of approximately 11,500…

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