OCIE Launches Retirement-Targeted Industry Reviews and Examinations Initiative

As part of its 2015 Examination Priorities the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) included “examining matters of importance to retail investors and investors saving for retirement” to its initiatives. Based on this priority, the Retirement-Targeted Industry Reviews and Examinations (“ReTIRE”) Initiative has been created under which examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers and broker-dealers (collectively, “registrants”) will take place. OCIE will administer the examinations through the National Examination Program (“NEP”).

According to NEP’s June 22, 2015 Risk Alert (the “Risk Alert”) the examinations will focus on the following four (4) service areas offered by SEC-registered investment advisers and broker-dealers:

  • Reasonable Basis for Recommendations

Staff will assess whether registrants and their representatives have acted consistently with their obligations under federal securities laws and self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”) when making recommendations or providing investment advice.

  • Conflicts of Interest

Staff will review fees charged and services and associated fees provided to investors in relation to sales and account selection practices to identify material conflicts of interest.

  • Supervision of Compliance Controls

Controls, oversight and supervisory policies and procedures will also be evaluated by staff for compliance with applicable specific requirements under federal securities laws and SRO’s.

  • Marketing and Disclosure

Marketing materials such as brochures, sales and marketing materials, and retail investor disclosures will be reviewed by staff to assess that the materials are not deceptive or misleading.

While examiners will primarily focus on the four (4) services above they may assess additional areas based on other risks found during the examinations. Please refer to the Risk Alert for additional information about what NEP staff will be assessing during the examinations.

Jacko Law Group, PC (“JLG”) can assist in reviewing and assessing your firm’s practices and policies and procedures in relation to the ReTire Initiative.

For more information on this and other related subjects, please contact us at info@jackolg.com

or (619) 298-2880.

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