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SEC Marketing Rule Is Hottest Compliance Topic for Second Year: Survey

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For the second year, compliance officers at advisory firms say the Securities and Exchange Commission’s marketing rule is their No. 1 chore, according to the Investment Adviser Association’s just-released 2022 Investment Management Compliance Testing Survey.

Advertising/Marketing was identified by 78% of survey respondents as the “hottest” compliance topic — up 20 percentage points from last year, the report said.

The SEC recently launched an email campaign reminding registered investment advisors about the upcoming Nov. 4 compliance date for the amended marketing rule — and steps they’ll need to take to comply.

Cybersecurity followed with 67% while climate change/ESG climbed to third in compliance officers’ list of hot topics, named by 50% of respondents.

The Investment Management Compliance Testing Survey is a joint project of the IAA, ACA Group and Yuter Compliance Consulting.

Compliance professionals at 425 investment advisor firms participated in the survey.

All firm sizes were represented — with 21% of respondents managing less than $1 billion in assets, 41% managing $1 billion to $10 billion, and 37% managing more than $10 billion.

Close to half (42%) of responding firms reported having between 11 and 50 employees, which is consistent with industry data showing that most RIAs are small to midsize businesses.

According to the poll, 32% of the survey respondents said that their firm provides advice and/or recommendations on rollovers from ERISA plans.

82.86% of respondents also said they rely on DOL’s fiduciary exemption, PTE 2020-02, to provide rollover advice and/or recommendations.