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OCIE Risk Alert Highlights Advisers’ Frequent Compliance Shortcomings

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations recently issued a Risk Alert on five compliance topics most frequently identified in deficiency letters sent to investment advisers. OCIE said that the information is intended to assist advisers during their compliance reviews. The five compliance topics were: Compliance Rule, Regulatory Filings, Custody Rule, Code of Ethics, and Books and Records. OCIE reported some specific findings including: compliance manuals that were not reasonably tailored to the adviser’s business practices; advisers that did not follow their own compliance policies and procedures; and inaccurate disclosures and untimely amendments to Form ADV. OCIE noted that, as a result of its reviews, advisers took remedial measures such as enhancing written compliance procedures, policies or processes, changing business practices or devoting more resources or attention to compliance. OCIE also noted that it referred examinations to the Division of Enforcement for further action.