Ethics Securities & Exchange Commission

News & Analysis as of

Third-Party Risk Programs Should Focus on Offense, not Defense

Just 43 percent of organizations surveyed in NAVEX Global’s 2016 Ethics & Compliance Third Party Risk Management Report said they evaluated third parties before engaging with them—down from 68 percent in 2015....more

OCIE Staff to Examine Registered Advisers' Policies and Agreements for Whistleblower Rule Compliance

On October 24, 2016, OCIE published a risk alert noting that the SEC exam staff intends to examine registrants' compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act's whistleblower provisions. The alert noted recent enforcement actions...more

Landmark SEC Decision Cites Compliance, Diligence in Decision Not to Prosecute FCPA Violations

In a remarkable affirmation of the value of robust compliance and due-diligence programs, the Securities and Exchange Commission last month announced that it would not prosecute a U.S. company for potential violations of the...more

Good-Bye to Arnold Palmer and Revolutionizing Compliance

The golfing world and the world of beverages lost one of their giants earlier this week. I, of course, refer to golfing and beverage legend Arnold Palmer. The legend around the beverage is that at dinner one evening Palmer...more

Hallmark 8-Confidential Reporting and Internal Investigations

The FCPA Guidance has about as clear, concise and short a statement about hotlines than any other Tenet of an Effective Compliance Program. It states, “An effective compliance program should include a mechanism for an...more

Hallmark 3 – Oversight, Autonomy and Resources

I. Autonomy - The DOJ has made clear over the years the importance of this hallmark. In the FCPA Guidance it states, “In appraising a compliance program, DOJ and SEC also consider whether a company has assigned...more

Hallmark 2 – Code of Conduct and Compliance Policies and Procedures

The cornerstone of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance program is its written protocols. This includes a Code of Conduct, policies and procedures. In the FCPA Guidance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and...more

Compliance is a Business

Compliance is a business. That statement should not come as a shock or even a surprise to anyone who has worked in the corporate world. Every part of a business should work towards doing business. Yet many compliance...more

Second Circuit Tosses Gibson Dunn from Lynn Tilton’s Case for Some Reason or Another

You may know about Lynn Tilton’s fight with the SEC, which has accused (link is external) the Patriarch Partners chief of defrauding her investors. The SEC brought its case in administrative court (link is external), which...more

Compliance Training – Part II: Risk Ranking and Design

Yesterday I began what I thought would be a two-part series on compliance training.However, or perhaps more accurately, as usual, I got carried away so I am now off on a multi-part series on how to design, implement and...more

Compliance Training, Part I

In a recent Slate article, entitled “Ethics Trainings Are Even Dumber Than You Think”, author L.V. Anderson railed against what she termed box-checking training where companies put on training not to actually train employees...more

Do Former Prosecutors Make Good CCOs?

A number of companies have adopted the requirement that a new Chief Compliance Office come from the ranks of former federal prosecutors. I am not sure exactly why companies have adopted this requirement. Perhaps company...more

A New Direction For SEC Enforcement in 2016?

As the new year begins SEC Enforcement appears to be at a cross-roads. Commissioners have, or will, depart; there are, or will be, new appointees. The reconstituted agency will have to determine if its current...more

10 Trends & Takeaways from the 2015 SEC Whistleblower Report

On November 16, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its 2015 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program and, to no one’s surprise, the program is going strong awarding over $37M to...more

Preview of NAVEX Global’s 2015 Ethics and Compliance Virtual Conference

As 2015 draws to a close (where did the time go?), the 2016 planning season is in full swing. You likely already have an idea of initiatives you’ll want to tackle, but taking your ethics and compliance program to the next...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - Third Quarter 2015: Developing and Maintaining a Modern U.S. Compliance Program

When the SEC adopted Rules 38a-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (Investment Company Act) and 206(4)-7 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) in 2003 – which required registered funds and registered...more

The SEC’s Year of FCPA Enforcement

Say what you will – the SEC is making its mark this year in FCPA enforcement. So far, the SEC has brought nine separate enforcement actions, the latest with Bristol-Myers Squibb. I am sure we will see more before the end of...more

Compliance at the Tipping Point, Part I – The Yates Memo

This is the day that the US government traditionally celebrates Columbus’ discovery of the Americas, in the form of Columbus Day. My grandfather emigrated from Italy so he always took Columbus Day as his heritage day. My...more

TN Ethics Opinion Approves Lawyers’ Cloud Storage of Client Data

Tennessee has joined other states in formally approving lawyers’ cloud-storage of client-confidential data. The Board of Professional Responsibility (“BOPR”) held that lawyers ethically may use cloud storage for...more

Design Thinking in Compliance

In many ways the migration from Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) 1.0 to 2.0 and beyond is more than simply about the technical aspects of a CCO to the internal and external delivery of a compliance solution by the compliance...more

DOJ’s Warning to High-Tech Companies: SAP Official Pleads Guilty To FCPA Violation

When DOJ acts, they like to make a splash. While the FCPA Paparazzi have been lamenting the “slow down” in FCPA enforcement actions and the increase in case closings, DOJ still makes its mark when it acts, and I expect more...more

Does The Ratio Of CEO To Employee Pay Matter?

The SEC recently voted to require employers to disclose the pay gap between the CEO and his or her employees. Unions, investors, and other groups have increasingly been using this disparity to attack companies. As Fortune...more

SEC Fines Adviser $20 Million Based on Conflicts

Failure to disclose conflicts of interest and/or to comply with firm procedures are the predicates for a series of SEC enforcement actions involving regulated entities. The most recent example of these trends is an action...more

DOJ Hires Compliance Counsel to Assist in Charging Decisions

New Compliance Counsel Will Assess Effectiveness of Corporate Compliance Programs - Last week the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed it is hiring a compliance counsel to assist DOJ prosecutors in assessing the...more

SEC Issues Settled Enforcement Action Against Investment Adviser, its President and Senior Officers for Compliance Program...

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a cease and desist order (Order) on June 23, 2015, against Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management Inc. (Adviser), an investment adviser registered under...more

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