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

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

SEC Retail Investor Focus Turns Towards Registered Investment Companies

Earlier this year when the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) announced its 2018 examination priorities, OCIE stated that a core priority was to protect retail investors, including seniors and individuals saving for retirement. OCIE is now continuing this effort by focusing on mutual funds and exchanged-traded funds (together, the “Funds”) as the … Continued

SEC Alerts Investment Advisers to Review Solicitor Arrangements

On October 31, OCIE issued a new Risk Alert for investment advisers with solicitor arrangements. The SEC periodically releases risk alerts to notify the industry of deficiencies they are finding during examinations, and this latest alert puts investment advisers with solicitor arrangements on notice to check their solicitor agreements, policies and procedures, and disclosure documents. … Continued

Pennsylvania Sounds Warning Bell Over Client Credentials and Custody

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (PDOBS) has indicated in recent guidance two concerns related to investment advisers using client credentials to access a custodial account(s). In the letter dated September 25, 2018, PDOBS indicates that the use of client credentials may create custody and is considered to be a dishonest and unethical practice. … Continued

San Diego 2018 Conference Gallery

Ascendant/CSS San Diego Conference Another compliance conference is in the books. We had a great time in San Diego, and we think our attendees did, too. We hope to see you in Miami! (Click on photos to view full size.)  

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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.