Cyber Crimes – Don’t Forget to File that SAR!

  Stopping, or even slowing, the proliferation of cyber-event related criminal activities remains a chief goal in the broker-dealer and investment advisory communities. As pointed out in a 2016 advisory released by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCen”), “Cyber-events targeting financial institutions often constitute criminal activity and can serve as means to commit a wide range of … Continued

DOL Rule Extension to Overlap with SEC Consideration of Fiduciary Standards

Following the Department of Labor’s November 27, 2017 announcement of an 18-month extension to the existing Fiduciary Rule transition period, the industry will enter a period of further study for proper standards for disclosure or elimination of conflicted compensation arrangements. That’s a mouthful right there. The Obama administration’s March 31, 2017 implementation of various new prohibited … Continued

Schedule 13D/13F Clarity on ETF Issues

Do I need to file a 13D or 13G if my client accounts hold in excess of 5% of an ETF? Generally, no. The SEC has granted no-action relief to ETFs with respect to compliance with Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act. Section 13(d) was designed to require disclosure when holders begin to accumulate … Continued

New Remedy Coming for SEC’s Custody Rule?

The SEC’s Custody Rule continues to be a common source of confusion and a landmine for noncompliance. Custodial paperwork has caused huge headaches for investment advisers, who are not a party to the agreement and may not even have a copy of the custodial new account paperwork. The issue with existing guidance is that it … Continued

SEC Issues MiFID II No-Action Relief

Some industry anxiety was assuaged on October 26 with three no-action letters that offer relief for some US regulated broker-dealers and investment advisers regarding European MiFID II regulations. The letters followed consultation with the European authorities, and are designed to address concerns that investors could lose access to valuable research. MiFID II is a series of regulations … Continued

Regulatory Changes Impacting RICs and Service Providers

A year ago, the SEC adopted Investment Company Reporting Modernization Rules and Forms, as well as rules pertaining to liquidity risk management programs and swing pricing. New forms N-Port and N-Cen along with amendments to Regulation S-X significantly change the current reporting regime for most registered investment companies (RICs) because they require more comprehensive disclosure and … Continued

Publicly Available Information Heightens Need for Cybersecurity Vigilance

For any business, “ports” that allow for communication generally need to be open (for example, ports 80 and 443 for websites, and port 500 for VPN access). While most of these ports allow you to engage in critical functions, there are often ports that remain open despite being unneeded or unused. These available ports present … Continued

Best Practice Tips for the Use of Expert Networks in Investment Research

In general, an expert network platform facilitates the exchange of information between “experts” and investment professionals. Unfortunately, certain industry participants have misused expert networks, and in many insider trading cases, the analysts sought to cultivate relationships with experts outside of a structured platform. At the recent Ascendant Compliance Management Conference “Compliance Disruptors: Seismic Shifts of … Continued

Ascendant’s Jackie Hallihan Honored at NSCP 30th Anniversary Celebration

On October 16, hundreds gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP), which was founded in 1987 by Ascendant Partner Jackie Hallihan. NSCP is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and support to compliance professionals in the financial services industry throughout the U.S. and Canada. … Continued

Ascendant Compliance Conference Takeaways: 10 Tools of Behavioral Ethics

Hope and fear play a major role in behavior ethics. Behavior ethics is teaching us that we are teaching ethics all wrong. We cannot rationally try to persuade people to act ethically. People see themselves as ethical, but often don’t see the ethics of the situation. Behavior ethics gives us tools to help people make a … Continued

Latest Content

Cyber Crimes – Don’t Forget to File that SAR!

  Stopping, or even slowing, the proliferation of cyber-event related criminal activities remains a chief goal in the broker-dealer and investment advisory communities. As pointed out in a 2016 advisory released by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCen”), “Cyber-events targeting financial institutions often constitute criminal activity and can serve as means to commit a wide range of … Continued

DOL Rule Extension to Overlap with SEC Consideration of Fiduciary Standards

Following the Department of Labor’s November 27, 2017 announcement of an 18-month extension to the existing Fiduciary Rule transition period, the industry will enter a period of further study for proper standards for disclosure or elimination of conflicted compensation arrangements. That’s a mouthful right there. The Obama administration’s March 31, 2017 implementation of various new prohibited … Continued

Schedule 13D/13F Clarity on ETF Issues

Do I need to file a 13D or 13G if my client accounts hold in excess of 5% of an ETF? Generally, no. The SEC has granted no-action relief to ETFs with respect to compliance with Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act. Section 13(d) was designed to require disclosure when holders begin to accumulate … Continued

New Remedy Coming for SEC’s Custody Rule?

The SEC’s Custody Rule continues to be a common source of confusion and a landmine for noncompliance. Custodial paperwork has caused huge headaches for investment advisers, who are not a party to the agreement and may not even have a copy of the custodial new account paperwork. The issue with existing guidance is that it … Continued

SEC Issues MiFID II No-Action Relief

Some industry anxiety was assuaged on October 26 with three no-action letters that offer relief for some US regulated broker-dealers and investment advisers regarding European MiFID II regulations. The letters followed consultation with the European authorities, and are designed to address concerns that investors could lose access to valuable research. MiFID II is a series of regulations … Continued

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Ascendant works together with clients to identify and assess critical needs through customized plans. If you need assistance with compliance functions, regulatory services, cybersecurity or technology tools, we’d love to speak with you.