Category Archives: Compliance

SEC’s amendments to Rule 10b5-1 and new state privacy laws — ACA Regulatory Updates

February Regulatory Updates from Cari Hopfensperger at ACA Group:

Topics include:

  • News for All Firms
    • SEC Amends Rule 10b5-1 Restricting Insider Trading
    • State Privacy “Class of 2023” – Several New Privacy Laws Taking Effect
  • News for Investment Advisers
    • 10 States Now Require IARs to Complete Annual Continuing Education
    • Form 13F Amendments to Make Data More Usable Take Effect
  • News for CPOs/CTAs
    • NFA Reminds Members to Confirm Exemption Status of Entities They Do Business With
  •  Lessons Learned
    • SEC Fines Service Provider $5 Million for Securities Fraud: Service Providers Beware!
    • I’m Ready for My Close-Up: Former PM Leverages Investment to Get His Daughter in the Movies
    • Adviser Keeps Revenue Sharing on the Down Low – and Gets SEC Smackdown

Read more here.

SEC’s Division of Examinations 2023 Priorities

The SEC’s Division of Examinations recently released its Examinations Priorities 2023 report.  In fiscal year 2022, they examined approximately 15% of the registered investment adviser population, and over 360 broker-dealers examinations, and, together with FINRA, they examined nearly half of the approximately 3,500 registered broker-dealers in fiscal year 2022.  They continue to focus on their “four pillars”:  (1) promote compliance; (2) prevent fraud; (3) monitor risk; and (4) inform policy.

ACA’s take on the priorities can be found here.

 

 

Fiduciary Duties and ESG — Is it really Everything, Everywhere All at Once?

SEC 40 Act lawyers and those in the ESG space will want to take note of Commissioner Uyeda’s speech published on Jan 27 (SEC.gov | ESG: Everything Everywhere All at Once) in which he lays out an adviser’s fiduciary duty as a battleground for future discussion about ESG investments.  Uyeda says “… an adviser can only pursue an ESG investment strategy if the client expresses a desire to pursue such a strategy after receiving full and fair disclosure regarding the salient features of the strategy, including the strategy’s risk and return profile.” It will be interesting to see if Chair Gensler looks for an opportunity to respond to Uyeda’s remarks.  Don’t be surprised if we see remarks by Chair Gensler that address an adviser’s duty more generally and not just in connection with established an ESG investment strategy. Maybe something along the lines of yes, an adviser can only pursue an ESG investment strategy where a client expresses such a desire, but as a general matter all advisers should be at least considering ESG factors as they do other important data points when making an investment.  Lots more to come……

SEC’s 2024 Investor Advocate Objectives Report

Section 4(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), 15 U.S.C. § 78d(g), requires the Investor Advocate to file two reports per year with the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.  A Report on Objectives is due no later than June 30 of each year, and its purpose is to set forth the objectives of the Investor Advocate for the following fiscal year. This report contains a summary of the Investor Advocate’s primary objectives for Fiscal Year 2024, beginning October 1, 2023. A Report on Activities is due no later than December 31 of each year, and it describes the activities of the Investor Advocate during the preceding fiscal year. For Fiscal Year 2023, the activities and accomplishments of the Office will be reported not later than December 31, 2023. Here is a link to the FY24 Report on Objectives

SEC proposes service provider oversight requirements for investment advisers

On October 26, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new Rule 206(4)-11 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act), which would prohibit SEC-registered investment advisers from outsourcing certain services or functions to service providers without meeting minimum requirements. At the same time, the SEC also proposed certain related amendments to Rule 204-2 under the Advisers Act and Form ADV.

Proposed Rule 206(4)-11 (Proposed Rule) would require investment advisers to conduct due diligence prior to engaging a service provider to perform certain services or functions. It would further require advisers to periodically monitor the performance and reassess the retention of the service provider in accordance with due diligence requirements to reasonably determine that it is appropriate to continue to outsource those services or functions to that service provider.

Read more here.