On December 16, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)  issued a Press Release highlighting its regulatory accomplishments during 2011.  FINRA makes clear its goal is two-fold:  protecting investors and bringing transparency to financial markets.  The release demonstrates for senior management, risk management and compliance managers the additional arsenal FINRA is employing to beef up its oversight of broker-dealers and their registered reps.  So far, for … Read more

With a renewed focus on analytics and more readily available data, expect the SEC’s scrutiny of investment advisers, including advisers to mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity funds, to get  tougher. In December, in a speech before the Consumer Federation of America’s Financial Services Conference, the SEC’s Director of Enforcement, Robert Khuzami, once again emphasized many of the organizational … Read more

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Director of Enforcement, Robert Khuzami, today, issued a press release regarding a New York federal district court’s recent rejection of an SEC’s settlement with Citigroup.  Khuzami announced that the SEC is appealing the lower court’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In the Citigroup case, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff refused … Read more

For next year, the SEC has announced it will be enhancing its CCO Outreach program to include both chief compliance officers and senior personnel of investment advisers and investment companies will.  The program will occur on Jan. 31, 2012, at the SEC’s Washington D.C. headquarters and will also be webcast.  By adding senior personnel, the SEC says the change is aimed at emphasizing the need for compliance awareness … Read more

FINRA Sanctions Eight More Firms.  FINRA’S  recent announcement that it had sanctioned eight more firms and 10 individuals, and ordered restitution totaling more than $3.2 million, for selling interests in private placement offerings without having a reasonable basis for recommending the securities is yet another warning to firms that fail to conduct adequate due diligence on alternative investment products. NASD Conduct … Read more

In its continual focus on the importance of effective risk management for broker-dealers (as well as investment advisers) the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations and FINRA have issued a National Exam Risk Alert aimed at providing broker-dealer firms with information on developing effective policies and procedures for branch office inspections.  In addition to reminding firms of their … Read more