Investment Company Services

Ascendant Compliance Management offers an array of compliance services to support open and closed-end investment companies. We partner with investment companies and their sponsors to provide the assistance required to meet regulatory obligations under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and other federal securities laws. Ascendant’s services are tailored to your needs and include:

  • Assessing an investment company’s risks
  • Developing a compliance calendar for the investment company
  • Conducting compliance program reviews pursuant to Rule 38a-1
  • Developing due diligence programs and performing assessments of an investment company’s services providers, including investment advisers, sub-advisers, fund administrators, distributors and transfer agents
  • Reviewing and drafting policies and procedures
  • Conducting mock SEC exams
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of business continuity and cybersecurity programs
  • Delivering customized training programs

Ascendant also provides assistance with conducting focused reviews on specific topics, such as:

  • Evaluating compliance with portfolio guidelines and trading policies
  • Reviewing fund distribution practices, including:
    • Load structures
    • Rule 12b-1 plans
    • Selling and servicing agreements
    • Sub-TA and other recordkeeping arrangements
    • SSAE16 and FICCA report analysis
    • Fund advertising
  • Examining fees and expenses vis-à-vis disclosure documents and policies
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the investment company’s Code of Ethics and conflicts of interest policies
  • Serving as independent consultant in connection with SEC remediation plans
  • Reviewing fund valuation policies and procedures

Using our proprietary Ascendant Compliance Manager, we can help fund sponsors:

  • Catalog policies and procedures
  • Develop a risk assessment “heat map” showing the highest risk activities and controls to mitigate
  • Review fund transactions for affiliated trades, window dressing and portfolio pumping

Please contact us for information regarding outsourced CCO support for Investment Companies.


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SEC and FINRA 2019 Examination Priorities

The SEC and FINRA have recently released their examination priorities for 2019. These releases provide insight into regulatory priorities and serve as guidance for a firm in evaluating its compliance program. We will discuss topics covered in these releases, including: Protecting retail investors Fees and expenses Disclosure Conflicts of interest Suitability Protecting senior investors Trading … Continued

SEC Reopened After 35-Day Government Shutdown

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton announced on Saturday, January 26 that with an agreement reached to end the government shutdown, the “Commission has resumed normal staffing levels and is returning to normal operations.” In total, about 94% of the commission’s approximately 4,400 employees had been furloughed during the 35-day shutdown, according to its operations plan. In a … Continued

FINRA Rolls Out New Central Registration Depository Functionality; Annual Verification Deadline Nears

FINRA first introduced enhancements to the Central Registration Depository (“CRD”) on October 1, 2018, which were rolled out in support of FINRA’s restructured qualification examination program as well as the adoption of consolidated FINRA registration rules. The new enhancements were intended to also more easily assist member firms with satisfying their reporting and compliance obligations. … Continued

SEC’s Latest Risk Alert Focuses on Electronic Communications

The SEC’s most recent risk alert, “Observations from Investment Adviser Examinations Relating to Electronic Messaging,” issued on December 14, 2019, focuses on the use and maintenance of electronic communications for business purposes. The purpose of the alert is to remind advisers of their obligations related to personal use of electronic messaging and the requirements for … Continued

SEC OCIE Issues 2019 Examination Priorities

Well ahead of the New Year, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced its 2019 examination priorities. In keeping with OCIE’s four “pillars” of promoting compliance, preventing fraud, identifying and monitoring risk, and informing policy, the Dec. 20 release provides a preview of key areas where OCIE intends to focus its limited … Continued

Highlights of 2018: Predictions for 2019

Our annual year-end review covers investment adviser compliance highlights from 2018, and makes 2019 predictions. We will highlight enforcement actions and SEC risk alerts for retail advisers, private fund managers, and institutional wealth managers. Using these as road markers, our predictions are designed to lead reasonable and effective compliance program development. Evaluate 2018 Compliance and … Continued

A New View of How Technology Will Change the Emerging Crytpo-Economy

From the top of the world, it’s amazing what you can see.  I recently had the opportunity to travel to the United Arab Emirates to speak in Dubai at the 7th Edition of the Alternative Investment Management Summit. While I was there, I took a few moments to ride to the top of the Burj … 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.