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There’s No Doubt - Private Fund Regulation is Here to Stay

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2021 Examination Priorities, in the  last five years the number of Registered Investment Advisers the SEC Division of Examinations oversees increased from about 12,000 to more than 13,900, and the assets under management of RIAs increased from approximately $67 trillion to $97 trillion.

Because of the totality of assets managed, RIAs are always going to be a priority for the SEC. Examinations are not going anywhere. The Division has made significant process, staffing and technology updates to keep up with the growth and increase RIA coverage. In 2020, a year where COVID forced a mid-year switch to remote examinations, Division coverage of RIAs was 15%.

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Compliance Checklist for Registered Investment Advisers

First and foremost, Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs) are held to a standard of fiduciary duty by the SEC. As defined by the SEC, RIAs must act in the best interests of their clients, should not engage in activities that are in conflict with the interest of the client, and must provide a full disclosure of all material facts to clients and prospective clients.

To prove that they are able to meet these standards, RIA firms must have solid compliance programs in place.

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MNPI Remains a High Risk Area for Compliance

Failing to adequately manage Material Non-Public Information (MNPI) remains a high risk area for compliance, as evidenced by recent actions in the U.S. and the U.K. A private equity firm paid $1 million to settle SEC charges for failing to implement effective Insider Trading compliance policies. The FCA published a Decision Notice fining a former CEO £658,900 for market abuse and banning him from future roles linked to regulated activity.

To avoid hefty fines and actions, firms must have comprehensive and actionable policies and procedures around the management of MNPI and insider lists to minimize risk.

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Using Technology to Build a Culture of Compliance

Compliance professionals are aware that creating a strong culture of compliance should be a priority for their organizations. Yet what exactly does that mean for firms—and how can they prove to regulators that a culture of compliance is in place? That’s a question that I cover frequently with the firms that I work with.

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Constraints and Pressures Facing Compliance Today

What are the most significant pressures facing compliance programs in 2021? And where are the largest constraints? An audience of Chief Compliance Officers and General Counsel were asked those questions during the during the webinar Compliance Budgeting: Reducing Risk by Doing More With Less.

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