Paradigm Shift in SEC Exams, Benefits of a Mock Exam

For investment advisers currently going through an SEC exam, the process likely bears little resemblance to exams of old. Call it the new normal, a paradigm shift, or simply the effects of the SEC having to do more with less, but anecdotal evidence among those now experiencing the exam process suggests some interesting new trends. … Continued

Transparency Spreads to FINRA Exam Findings

On December 6, 2017, FINRA did something it has never done before: It released a summary report of its examination findings. While FINRA has annually released an examination priorities letter, this report is a first for examination findings. Why now? Credit FINRA’s new president and CEO, Robert W. Cook..  Since joining FINRA in 2016, Cook … 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

SEC Discloses Cybersecurity Breach That May Have Led to Insider Trading

The determination of hackers to exploit existing cybersecurity vulnerabilities of government agencies and businesses shot to the forefront again last Wednesday, when SEC Chair Jay Clayton revealed that the commission’s EDGAR database had been hacked in 2016 through a software vulnerability in the test filing component of the system. According to Clayton, the breach was … Continued

SEC Cyber Sweep Highlights Areas In Need of Improvement

The results of the SEC’s second cybersecurity sweep examinations are in, and they paint a picture of an industry that has come to grips with the need to address cybersecurity risk, but where the canvas is incomplete in many respects.

Colorado Joins New York in Mandating Cybersecurity Controls for Financial Institutions

On the heels of the recently adopted New York State Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulation (23 NYCRR 500), Colorado has followed suit with its own set of protections. The Colorado Division of Securities has issued cybersecurity regulations applicable to broker dealers and investment advisers registered with the state, which are codified in Sections 51-4.8 … Continued

Latest Content

Past Conference Speaker Inspiration for The Rock’s Next Blockbuster

If you attended Ascendant’s 2016 San Diego conference,  you will no doubt remember our outstanding keynote speaker, Jeff Glasbrenner. Jeff is a below-the-knee amputee who was fresh off becoming the first American amputee ever to scale Mount Everest. In San Diego, he spoke about turning challenges into triumphs, and about succeeding in the face of … Continued

Relief at Last – New Guidance on Inadvertent Custody

The SEC quietly provided additional guidance to the industry about inadvertent custody in supplemental responses to the Custody Rule FAQs. In Question II.11 and II.12, the SEC stated that it would not recommend enforcement against an adviser that does not have a copy of a client’s custodial agreement, and does not know or have reason … Continued

Cayman Islands Update AML Regulations for Private Equity

The Cayman Islands has further bolstered its anti-money laundering (“AML”) and countering of terrorist financing (“CTF”) rules. The new AML/CTF rules become effective on May 31, 2018 and will affect, among others, unregulated investment entities—such as private equity firms—domiciled in the Cayman Islands. The deadline to appoint AML officers, however, is September 30, 2018 for … Continued

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