Last week, at the Securities Enforcement Forum in Washington, DC, senior staff of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement shed light on risks that asset managers and fund boards should be aware of. Their comments followed a record enforcement year resulting in more than $4 billion in disgorgement and penalties. Fueled in part by data collection technology, the SEC brought 868 enforcement actions the past fiscal year. Approximately 20% involved investment advisers or investment companies, the highest percentage in history, including one that found a private equity adviser to be acting as an unregistered broker/dealer, and others that involved alleged insufficient disclosure around accelerated monitoring fees.
Read more here: SEC Enforcement Staff Touts Year of Firsts and Big Data
On October 19, 2016, FINRA filed with the SEC a proposed rule change that would amend FINRA Rule 4512 (Customer Account Information), and adopt new FINRA Rule 2165 (Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults). The proposed amendments to FINRA Rule 4512 would require broker-dealers to make reasonable efforts to obtain the name and contact information for a “trusted contact person” for a customer’s account. In addition, new FINRA Rule 2165 would permit (but not require) broker-dealers to place temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities from the accounts of certain senior investors, as well as other investors with diminished capacity, when there is a reasonable belief of financial exploitation.
This rule proposal fits squarely within FINRA’s recent focus on protecting senior investors, particularly with FINRA’s recent launch of the “Securities Helpline for Seniors,” and should remain a continued regulatory focus moving forward.
SEC Chief of Staff, Buddy Donohue’s speech at the National Society of Compliance Professionals’ 2016 National Conference.
Andrew J. Donohue’s speech
SEC OCIE Director, Marc Wyatt, delivered the keynote address at the National Society of Compliance Professionals’ 2016 National Conference.