SEC Risk Alert on Examinations: Who Gets Examined and Scope of Exams
September 12, 2023
On September 6, the SEC Division of Examinations (the “Division”) published a risk alert with more detail on how it selects investment advisers for examinations and its process for determining the specific risk areas and issues to address in examination.
It noted that it leverages technology to conduct bulk data collection and analysis at both an industry and adviser level, as well as utilizing disclosure documents such as Form ADV and Form PF. The risk alert is the second this year to address examination practices; a March 2023 risk alert provided an examination road map for new advisers and detailed a number of observations from recent exams. Releases for the recently proposed and adopted amendments to Form ADV and Form PF, as well as the much anticipated final Private Fund Rules, have also noted the anticipated use of such disclosures and rules in examination and enforcement. While some industry watchers have observed that the staff’s focus on rulemaking has slowed examination and enforcement activity, the staff have achieved a spate of recent settlements in connection with their sweeps on Marketing Rule compliance and Custody Rule violations. This latest risk alert signals that advisers should expect continued scrutiny in these areas and additional sweep exams shortly after the compliance dates for new Private Fund Rules. Advisers should take into account the recent enforcement cases and Division publications as they review their policies and procedures, disclosures, compliance controls and practices relating to the Marketing Rule and these other high priority areas for the SEC.
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