Compliance Help From the SEC

New alerts give CCOs a heads up on exam issues

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Conducting Due Diligence of Sub-Advisors and Third-Party Advisors Engaging in due-diligence of sub-advisors isn’t just a recommended best practice— it is part of the fiduciary obligation to a client. An RIA should be extremely reluctant to enter a relationship with a sub-advisor who claims the firm’s strategy is proprietary.
  • Agency and Principal Transactions In passing Section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act, Congress recognized that principal and agency transactions can be harmful to clients. Such transactions create the opportunity for RIAs to engage in self-dealing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is now providing a ComplianceAlert letter to chief compliance officers of SEC-registered firms to help them learn more about the common deficiencies and weaknesses that the SEC examiners find during exams.

The ComplianceAlert letter, compiled by SEC staff, is available on the SEC Web site. According to the SEC, the letter summarizes select areas that SEC examiners have recently reviewed during examinations, describes issues that were found, and encourages firms to review compliance in these areas and implement improvements as appropriate. Additional ComplianceAlert letters will be made available on the SEC's Web site (

The first ComplianceAlert letter provides information concerning recent examination findings with respect to investment advisers' performance advertising and business continuity planning; with respect to broker/dealers' compliance with Regulation SHO; and sales of collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate investment trust products, and Section 529 College Savings Plans.

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