News & Analysis as of

SEC Registered Investment Advisers—A Review of 2016 and a Look at What’s Ahead for 2017

As we near the seventh anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), private equity and hedge fund advisers are subject to an ever-increasing degree of supervision...more

SEC Staff Issues Guidance Update and Investor Bulletin on “Robo-Advisers”

The staff of the Division of Investment Management (Staff) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a Guidance Update (Guidance) on February 23, 2017, on the subject of automated investment advisers...more

SEC Weighs In on Robo-Advisers: Disclosure, Suitability, and Compliance Obligations

The SEC’s Guidance recognizes that robo-advisers are fiduciaries, and provides suggestions on how they can meet the substantive requirements of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. ...more

Questions & Answers on State and Local Variations on the SEC Pay-to-Play Rule

Many states and municipalities have adopted laws and regulations that affect how investment managers may solicit investment advisory business, including investment in sponsored public and private funds, from the state...more

The Top Five "Gotcha" Deficiencies Plaguing Asset Managers and How to Avoid Them

Let’s start with this caveat: as we all know, under the still-new Trump Administration, priorities may and are likely to change. Now that we got that off our chest, it is nevertheless not the time to sit back and wait. The...more

SEC Staff Identifies Several Paths to “Inadvertent Custody” Under the Advisers Act Custody Rule

Last week, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) clarified its views on certain arrangements that can result in investment advisers having “custody” of client assets, as defined in rule 206(4)-2 (the...more

Funds Talk: March 2017

OCIE Highlights Frequent Topics for Compliance Deficiencies for Investment Advisers - On Feb. 7, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) published...more

SEC Staff Issues Guidance Update and Investor Bulletin on Robo-Advisers

On February 23, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC“) published information and guidance for investors and the financial services industry on the use of robo-advisers, described by the Staff as “registered...more

SEC's Division of Investment Management issues guidance for "robo-advisers" – key takeaways

The Staff of the SEC's Division of Investment Management (IM), in conjunction with the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), has issued its second Guidance Update of 2017. [1] This Guidance focuses on...more

Personal Advice for Robo-Advisers: Beef Up Disclosure and Compliance

Robo-advisers, those automated bots that offer up personalized investment advice with little, if any, human contact, face increased regulatory scrutiny as they grow more popular. After monitoring and engaging them for...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

FinCEN is extending its campaign to press title insurance companies to reveal the real buyers behind shell companies that pay cash for high-end real estate deals in select cities around the country....more

Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert on the Five Most Frequent Compliance Topics Identified in...

On February 7, 2017, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (OCIE) published a Risk Alert listing of the five compliance topics most frequently identified in deficiency...more

OCIE Issues Alert on the Five Most Frequent Compliance Topics Identified in Examinations of Investment Advisers

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, or OCIE, has published a list of the five compliance topics most frequently identified in deficiency letters that are sent to SEC-registered investment advisers....more

Ten Investment Advisory Firms Violate SEC's Pay-to-Play Rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that ten investment advisory firms agreed to pay penalties in the tens of thousands of dollars to settle SEC charges that they violated the SEC’s pay-to-play rule,...more

SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert on Multi-Branch Adviser Initiative

Investment advisers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may use a variety of business and organizational models, which may include structures with one or more branch offices. In announcing its...more

SEC Releases 16 New FAQs on Form PF

On January 18, 2017, the SEC released 16 new FAQs relating to Form PF. Of these 16, 3 relate to general filing information and the remaining 13 are specific to particular sections of Form PF. As a reminder, Rule 204(b)-1...more

Enforcement Focus on Advisers’ “Cherry-Picking” Continues

The SEC banned the managing member and chief compliance officer of a registered investment adviser from the securities industry for illegal “cherry-picking” investments among the adviser’s managed accounts. The SEC staff...more

Investment Management Update

SEC Issues Guidance on Mutual Fund Fee Structure - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management recently issued a guidance update addressing disclosure issues and certain procedural...more

SEC, USAO Charge IA Who Covered-up Referral Fee

The cover-up is virtually always worse than the underlying conduct. History is replete with instances where improper or even wrongful conduct was severely aggravated by an effort to conceal the conduct. ...more

Court Upholds SEC on “Backtested” Investment Strategy Illustrations

An investment adviser seeking to show how a particular investment strategy would have performed during specified time periods would be well advised to: use only historical performance data and not a mix of historical...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

FHFA Issues Final Rule on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Duty to Serve Underserved Markets - On December 13, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final rule implementing the Duty to Serve provisions...more

SEC Issues No-Action Letter Regarding Relief from Registration under Advisers Act for Adviser to Affiliated Foundation

On December 8, 2016, the Chief Counsel’s Office of the Division of Investment Management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission“) provided “no-action letter” assurance to CenturyLink Investment Management...more

SEC Charges Adviser With Concealing True Value of Accounts

When investment advisers and brokers misrepresent the value of the account to a client it is frequently because something untoward has occurred – huge trading losses, misappropriation or other malfeasance. The Commission’s...more

Hedge Fund Seeks Absolution from the SEC Claiming the Potential Pay-to-Play Penalty Doesn’t Fit the Violation

Pershing Square Capital Management has found itself in the unenviable position of having to seek absolution from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the consequences of an unintended $500 pay-to-play error by one of...more

SEC Principal Trading Rule Exemption Set to Expire at Year’s End

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated in August that it intends to permit the expiration of rule 206(3)-3T (Rule) under the Investment Adviser Act of 1940 (Advisers Act). The SEC originally...more

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