When Policies, Procedures and Testing Protocols Aren’t Enough…

The Compliance Program Rule continues to be a powerful tool for SEC enforcement, recently used by the SEC to address trading away in wrap accounts, misappropriation of retail client assets, and the misuse of an omnibus account. Advisory firms had written policies and procedures and testing protocols, but they were not good enough; are yours? … Continued

SEC’s Exam Priorities Offer Insight Into National Exam Program

On February 7, 2018, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) issued their 2018 Examination Priorities (see Ascendant’s summary here). In addition to defining their examination priorities for the year, the OCIE staff offered some insight into the National Exam Program.  Specifically, they defined the following five principles in executing their exam priorities: … Continued

Surprise, Surprise: SEC Conducting Unannounced Exams

The Boston Regional Office of the SEC has recently conducted roughly 20 unannounced visits to registered investment advisers in the region. This fact, confirmed during the recent meeting of the New England Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Association (NEBDIAA), is in keeping with the SEC’s renewed focus on a more robust examination program. While onsite, the … Continued

ComplianceCast: Advertising & Marketing Compliance

Have questions on Advertising and Marketing Compliance? Ascendant’s Samantha Addonizio and Peter Guarino take a look at The Rules, Hot Topics & Reviewing Tips for compliance professionals. This complimentary ComplianceCast covers the following topics: Investment Adviser Advertising Rules and No-Action Guidance Performance Advertising – General Requirements, Model Performance & Hypothetical Back-tested Performance Use of Third-Party Performance … Continued

CCO Liability – Line in the Sand

The defense of a CCO's reputation against liability claims costs significant money, and adds up whether you did something wrong or not, sparking the potential need for an individual liability policy.

Latest Content

Placing Ethics and Compliance in the Foreground of Business Decision-Making

Thinking about how to make ethics and compliance part of a business’s decision-making can prove to be challenging. By nature, compliance professionals are often results-oriented, focusing on a binary end-result; either you are in compliance, or you are not. That focus is important, but emphasizing process is also vital, John Walsh, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland … Continued

What Am I Looking At? Making Sense of Your Cyber Testing Reports

It’s no surprise that Compliance and IT do not speak the same language. Compliance staff often speak in terms of regulations and policies, whereas bits and bytes are the language of IT staff. This distinction is clear when it comes to cybersecurity risk management, as the compliance and IT audiences are looking for different takeaways … Continued

It Takes a Village – Preparing for a Regulatory Exam

Advanced planning for a regulatory exam remains a vital step in ensuring the compliance team is prepared when the exam teams comes knocking. At the recent Ascendant/CSS fall conference in San Diego, Allison Fraser moderated the conference’s capstone session on the topic, joined by Bryan Bennett, the Associate Regional Director in the examination program in … Continued

The ‘Next Frontier’ in Investment Advice

We live in a world filled with dramatic change on a scale we’ve never seen before. The speed and magnitude of change in so many areas is fueled by technology. The sheer number of processes and functions we’re able to address simply from our phones has upended so many different industries, including travel, entertainment, and … 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.