April 12, 2018: The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) issued a Risk Alert to highlight recurrent deficiencies observed in their recent examinations of investment advisers’ policies and procedures governing client fee and expense assessments. The deficiencies were identified by OCIE while conducting more than 1,500 investment adviser examinations over the past two years. This Risk Alert emphasizes the importance of advisers’ provision of clear and thorough disclosures in Form ADV and client investment advisory agreements. The Risk Alert further underscores prior Commission guidance relating to adviser obligations to develop, implement, and test effective risk-based compliance policies to minimize the risk of misrepresentation in client communications and the risk of misappropriation in the management of client assets.
Most Frequent Compliance Issues – Advisory Fees and Expenses
The following issues were deemed to be significant and prevalent in nature, although they do not constitute all fee and expense-related findings detected by OCIE.