About a month ago, the SEC announced a settlement in a modest little case that has, nevertheless, managed to garner a lot of attention.  This is a result of the fact that one of the respondents was the CCO, i.e., the Chief Compliance Officer, of the co-respondent RIA.  Determining the particular circumstances under which CCOs

Last week I posted a blog about the dangers of not heeding findings made during a regulatory exam, at least findings of clear, undisputable compliance issues that cannot be meaningfully defended. Today I am writing to highlight a corollary rule: if one customer points out the existence of a real problem, again, a clear problem

Happy New Year!  I hope you had an enjoyable holiday season.  At least happier than that of JP Morgan Securities, which, right before Christmas, got to write checks to the SEC and the CFTC totaling $200 million.  That’s a lot, even for JPMS.  How did this happen?

Well, the story starts with a very old,

My job frequently requires that I explain to someone – whether my client, an ALJ, an arbitration panel, even a regulator – the fundamental difference between a broker-dealer and an investment advisor.  An IA operates pursuant to a fiduciary duty; a BD, on the other hand, even with the advent of Regulation BI, largely has

Most securities regulations, by design, create a gray world where compliance is not crystal-clear, but, rather, subject to interpretation.  After all, what you think constitutes “reasonable” supervision and what FINRA or the SEC think is reasonable may very well be two extremely different things.  Indeed, it is the existence of subjective standards of conduct like

My friend and former colleague, Brian Rubin, publishes annually his analysis of FINRA Enforcement cases, spotting trends in terms of the number and types of matters it brings, the sanctions meted out, etc.  It is an excellent tool, and eagerly anticipated by lots of us who practice in this industry.  One of the hard parts

Thanks to Heidi for today’s post. – Alan

Today, the SEC put out its 2021 Exam Priorities, available here.   It is about 40 pages long and covers a lot of topics.  While I encourage everyone to read through the document, here are the primary focus items for 2021:

Overarching Themes / Focal Points:

  • Regulation