Kotz Lays Down the Law to SEC in Wake of Madoff Failure

Inspector General delivers laundry list of improvements to Enforcement Division

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from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Trading Practices and Errors When SEC-registered investment advisors conduct annual audits of firm policies and procedures, they should pay close attention to trading practices.  Though usually not required to, state-registered advisors should look at their trading practices and revise policies that do not fully protect clients.
  • 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.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's inspector general, David Kotz, gave SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, a list of 21 improvements the enforcement division should make in the wake of the Commission's failure to detect and prevent the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

The enforcement division concurred with Kotz's recommendations--which focused on establishing formal guidance for evaluating tips and complaints as well as properly training staff--and Kotz told the enforcement division that he'd like to see, within the next 45 days, a "written corrective action plan" that includes responsible officials or points of contact, timelines for completing required actions, and milestone dates addressing how the division will address recommendations cited in Kotz's report.

A copy of Kotz's 21 recommendations can be viewed here.

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