Core Compliance Blog Spotlight

SEC Proposes Amendments to OTC Securities Quotations

Over the past several years, The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has brought hundreds of enforcement actions over violations of federal securities involving over-the-counter (OTC) securities, resulting in tens of millions in harm to retail investors. In an effort to increase retail... Read More
Core Compliance Blog Spotlight

SEC Charges Investment Advisers for Failing to Disclose Conflicts of Interest

Strategic Planning Group (“SPG”) agreed to settle charges with The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for failing to disclose a conflict of interest by consenting to a cease-and-desist order, censure, and civil penalties of $200,000. Its principals, David A. Rourke and Jarrod A. Sherman... Read More

FINRA Announced Its 2017 Exam Priorities

January 13, 2017

According to Robert W. Cook, since becoming the president and CEO of FINRA in August 2017, he has “been engaged in an ongoing ‘listening tour’ meeting with member firms, regulators and investor groups, among others.”  In the cover letter he issued announcing the release of FINRA’s 2017 Regulatory...

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End of Year is Almost Here – Are You Prepared?

December 19, 2016

2016 is speeding to a close, so to assist advisory firms in preparing for year-end compliance requirements, along with certain upcoming regulations, CCLS recently published a Risk Management Update (“RMU”) that contains a year-end compliance checklist.  While it’s not all inclusive, the checklist...

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The Next Iteration of Fraudulent Disbursements

December 15, 2016

Criminal activity is constantly evolving.  Fraud emanating from a compromised email account is fairly well known and most firms have implemented authentication procedures to address fraudulent third-party wire transfers.  However, another threat has recently gained traction in the financial...

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Mary Jo White Stepping Down as Chair of Securities and Exchange Commission

November 17, 2016

On November 14, 2016, Mary Jo White, SEC Chair, announced her plans to step down at the end of the Obama Administration. During her tenure, the SEC brought more than 2,850 enforcement actions and obtained judgements and orders that tallied more than $13.4 billion in monetary sanctions. Although...

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Department of Labor Issues First Set of FAQs on DOL Fiduciary Rule

October 31, 2016

On October 27, 2016, the DOL issued highly anticipated guidance on the Conflicts of Interest Rule in the form of FAQs that address the exemptions.  The Director of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”), Phyllis Borzi, indicated this is the first of three sets of FAQs and the second...

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Don’t Get Too Close: Auditor Independence Failures Result in SEC Enforcement Actions

September 22, 2016

Recently, the London-based public accounting firm Ernst & Young, along with a senior partner and an auditor agreed to pay approximately $9.3 million in settlement charges after SEC investigations determined that there had been violations of auditor independence rules.  According to the news release...

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SEC Sweep Results in 13 Enforcement Actions Against Advisers for Advertising a Third-Party’s False Performance Claims

September 20, 2016

On August 25, 2016, the SEC issued press release 2016-167 detailing the results of an enforcement sweep leading to settlements with thirteen investment advisers for advertising a third-party’s false performance claims.

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SEC Amends Rules Under Investment Advisers Act

September 09, 2016

At the end of August, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a release amending a number of rules under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), as well as Form ADV, which is the registration and reporting form for investment advisers.  The SEC outlined in their release...

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NFA Updates to Self-Examination Questionnaire

August 23, 2016

On August 15, 2016, the National Futures Association (NFA), the self-regulatory organization for the U.S. derivatives industry, made revisions to its Self-Examination Questionnaire that is required to be completed annually by Financial Commission Merchants (FCMs), Forex Dealer Members (FDMs),...

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SEC Files Complaint Against Former Professional Football Player

August 15, 2016

On August 10, 2016, the SEC filed a complaint in federal court against Merrill Robertson Jr., a former Philadelphia Eagles football player, with defrauding investors.  Mr. Robertson, along with Sherman C. Vaughn, Jr., and the company they co-owned, Cavalier Union Investments LLC, allegedly promised...

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