All broker dealers have recordkeeping obligations required by Rule 17a-4(b)(4) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Among the list of required obligations is communication recordkeeping. This includes incoming as well as outgoing communications with respect to the broker dealer. Further instructions were given by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) in FINRA 11-39 and later in FINRA 17-18. This is noted because over the course of the past years, the hybrid work environment has become the norm. With this, more and more communication software and applications have become available to the public to ease the transition between working from Read more about Communication Recordkeeping in the Day of the Hybrid Workforce[…]
On September 22, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against 15 wall street broker-dealers and one affiliated investment adviser for widespread and longstanding failures by the firms and their employees to maintain and preserve electronic communications during January 2018 through September 2021 review period. You can read the commissions summary and links for all 15 orders here. Below are some of the key finding and takeaways. Attestations Alone Don’t Protect the Firm What’s key about these charges is that many of the Firm’s had procedures, training and even attestations in place for all Associated Persons to document and Read more about Electronic and Technology Takeaways from SEC’s Billion Dollar Penalties[…]
On October 28, 2020, FINRA filed a proposed rule change to amend Rules 5122 (Private Placements of Securities Issued by Members) and 5123 (Private Placements of Securities) that would require members to file retail communications concerning Private Placement offerings. Previously, Rules 5122 and 5123 required all offering documents to be filed with FINRA. However, they weren’t specific enough to include all documents that should have been considered offering documents, such as retail communications.
Associated person disclosures and attestations are not a “one size fits all” list of documents. The purpose of disclosures and attestations is to educate your employees on the expectations of the firm based on firm procedure and regulatory mandates. Another important purpose is to give representatives a chance to know relevant updates and changes that may require pre-approval and/or added compliance responsibilities.
COVID-19 has bought a “new normal”. From stay-at-home orders and teleworking requirements to market volatility, consumer worry, and delayed public disclosure, the face of the industry will be forever changed. In light of this, Registered Investment Advisor compliance departments should consider reviewing the landscape of the Code of Ethics requirements.