September 18, 2018

Massachusetts Financial Services to Pay a $1.9 Million Civil Penalty for the Use of Misleading Marketing Materials

On August 31, 2018, the SEC announced that it settled charges against Massachusetts Financial Services related to allegations that it failed to disclose that some of its product marketing materials for its blended research equity strategy presented hypothetical back-tested portfolio results.

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September 18, 2018

Transamerica Entities to Pay $97 Million to Investors Relating to Errors in Quantitative Investment Models

On August 27, 2018, the SEC announced that it settled charges against four Transamerica-related entities for misconduct involving reliance on faulty investment models and ordered the entities to refund $97 million to misled retail investors.

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June 22, 2018

SEC Staff Provides No-Action Relief to Mutual Funds and Transfer Agents That Temporarily Delay Disbursement of Redemption Proceeds Based on Reasonable Belief of Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Other Vulnerable Adults

On June 1, 2018, the SEC staff granted the ICI’s request for assurance that it would not recommend enforcement action under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 against mutual funds or their SEC-registered transfer agents if they delay for more than seven days the disbursement of redemption proceeds under circumstances leading to the reasonable belief that financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults has occurred, is occurring, has been attempted, or will be attempted.

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June 22, 2018

SEC Modernizes Delivery of Fund Reports and Seeks Public Comment on Improving Fund Disclosure

On June 4, 2018, the SEC adopted new rule 30e-3, which creates an optional “notice and access” method for delivering shareholder reports. Under the rule, a fund may deliver its shareholder reports by making them publicly accessible on a website, free of charge, and sending investors a paper notice of a report’s availability by mail. Investors who prefer to receive a full report in paper may choose that option at any time free of charge. Funds may rely on the new rule beginning on January 1, 2021.

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May 11, 2018

SEC Division of Investment Management Director Makes Remarks at the PLI 2018 Investment Management Institute Program

Dalia Blass, the SEC’s Director of Division of Investment Management (“IM”), made remarks at the Practicing Law Institute’s 2018 Investment Management Institute program in New York on April 30, 2018. She discussed the recent SEC rule proposals on the standards of conduct for investment professionals, which she said seek…

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May 11, 2018

SEC Staff Updates FAQs on Upcoming Fund Reporting Changes to Address Form N-SAR Filing Obligations

The staff of the SEC Division of Investment Management (the “IM staff”) recently updated its frequently asked questions and answers (“FAQs”) document related to the investment company reporting modernization reforms adopted in October 2016 and revised in December 2017. Form N-SAR is scheduled to be rescinded on June 1,…

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May 11, 2018

SEC Proposes Amendments to Auditor Independence Loan Rule

On May 2, 2018, the SEC proposed amendments to its rule regarding the analysis of auditor independence with respect to lending relationships between the auditor and certain shareholders of an audit client. The proposed amendments would (1) focus the analysis regarding auditor independence solely on beneficial ownership rather than…

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April 20, 2018

Standards of Conduct for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers

On April 18, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) voted to propose two rules and an interpretation relating to the standards of care for investment advice provided by broker-dealers and investment advisers. The proposals seek to enhance the quality and transparency of investors’ relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers while preserving retail customer access to transaction-based brokerage accounts and a broad range of investment products.

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April 11, 2018

Reminder of Compliance Deadline for Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s Customer Due Diligence Rule

As a reminder, May 11, 2018 is the deadline for compliance with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)’s customer due diligence rule (CDD Rule). The CDD Rule strengthens existing customer due diligence requirements and requires mutual funds as well as banks, brokers and other financial companies to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers.

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February 9, 2018

OCIE Releases Its 2018 Examination Priorities

On February 7, 2018, the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") released its 2018 National Exam Program Examination Priorities. The examination priorities are broken down into five categories: (1) compliance and risks in critical market infrastructure; (2) matters of importance to retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement; (3) FINRA and MSRB; (4) cybersecurity; and (5) anti-money laundering programs.

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