Robust Product Due Diligence: It’s A Necessity, Not an Option!

New product offerings continue to proliferate as Wall Street strives to meet consumer demand. What is driving this process? Among other factors, today’s low interest rate environment has all investors chasing yields into potentially unknown territory, perhaps without fully understanding all of the risks involved. Increasingly, institutional investors, who are generally sophisticated investors experienced at evaluating risks, are seeking higher yielding investments by allocating more dollars to alternative investments such as hedge or private equity funds. Meanwhile, retail investors, who may not be experienced at evaluating these risks, continue to be deeply concerned about accumulating sufficient assets to generate retirement income, thereby nudging them to take on more risk to generate higher returns and, many would argue, without understanding the risk vs. reward trade-off. An investment adviser or registered representative also must have the relevant experience to evaluate such risks.

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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

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