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OCIE Issues Alert on Advertising Rule Compliance; SEC Posts Guidance on Pay Ratio Rule

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a Risk Alert identifying issues raised in deficiency letters recently sent to investment advisers and as part of an examination initiative that focused on advisers’ use of accolades in their marketing materials. Some of the most frequent deficiencies that OCIE identified included: misleading performance results; misleading one-on-one presentations; misleading claims of compliance with voluntary performance standards, and cherry-picked profitable stock selections. The SEC also issued guidance on the Pay Ratio rule, a Dodd-Frank measure which requires a company to disclose the ratio of the compensation of its principal executive officer to the median employee’s compensation. The guidance aims to assist companies in their efforts to comply with the pay ratio disclosure requirement, including in determining how to use statistical sampling methodologies and other reasonable methods in determining the pay ratio.