Thought 2020 (and all its glory) slowed the SEC Down? Think again.

On November 2nd, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) released their 2020 Annual Report. Contrary to popular belief, amidst all of the curveballs that 2020 threw our way (including the pandemic), the Division had a busy, record-breaking year of “vigorously enforc[ing] the federal securities laws to protect investors and […]

PPP The Sequel

Have you heard about the second round of PPP COVID relief?  Do you want to know how it is different (and better) than the first?  Here is what you need to know. Background At the end of 2020, Congress passed into law the “word salad” known as The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits […]

A holiday present from the SEC: The Marketing Rule

After 40 years since the adoption of the Investment Advisers Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced some long overdue changes to the rules regulating advertising (Rule 206(4)-1) and cash solicitation (Rule 206(4)-3). This holiday surprise from the SEC merges the two antiquated rules into a single “Marketing Rule” (the “Rule”), expands the definition of “advertisement” to permit testimonials and endorsements, addresses third-party ratings and performance advertising, […]

Don’t Rule Out the Top Guns..

The SEC doesn’t back down from a fight no matter the size of the players. Wells Fargo took a hit recently. The SEC charged former Wells Fargo CEO and Chairman John G. Stumpf and former head of Wells Fargo’s Community Bank Carrie L. Tolstedt for their roles in misleading investors about the success of the […]

They’re setting their scope for the next kill

The SEC hasn’t slowed down their hunt for harmed investors. Oh, no. As of late, more than $3 million has been returned to said investors after the SEC settled actions against three investment advisory firms and two dually-registered broker-dealer and advisory firms for violations that related to unsuitable sales of complex exchange-traded products to retail […]

Social Dilemma: SEC Edition

With recent increase in the usage of electronic communication, we thought it necessary to touch on what the SEC is focusing their attention on. RIAs use various forms of electronic communication and its important to remember to comply with the Investment Advisers Act. There are certain obligations when personnel engage in electronic messaging. Here are […]

Now your advisors are working from home. So, have you reviewed their remote/branch office?

As more aggregation takes place in the industry, more firms are supervising advisors located throughout the country.  With the pandemic, this trend has only expanded leaving the operations of the business to be conducted nationwide. The SEC has been reviewing this trend with great interest and growing concern. It has put in place initiatives  to look at RIAs that are […]

COVID-19 Brings Risks – and we aren’t talking Health Risks

Advisers registered with the SEC have faced several challenges through the Coronavirus pandemic. These have come operationally, technologically, commercially, and so on. The OCIE has put forth great efforts to continue operating as normal through this time and have worked to make sure that advisers could work in normal operational procedures without major disruptions. The […]

“Law without penalty is advice.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that Interactive Brokers LLC will pay an $11.5 million penalty to settle charges it repeatedly failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for U.S. microcap securities trades it executed on behalf of its customers. FINRA and CFTC also announced settlements with Interactive Brokers related to anti-money laundering failures […]

SEC Adopts Amendments to Procedures for Exemptive Relief

The SEC is frequently receiving applications for exemptions or other relief for funds. These exceptions provide important economic benefits to funds and their shareholders, encourage financial innovation, and increase the variety of opportunities for investors.  So on July 6, 2020 the SEC adopted amendments to the Exemptive Applications procedures. This will help create a quicker […]