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Risk Alert OCIE publishes top five investment adviser compliance issues found during examinations

MARK D. PERLOW, PARTNER, SAN FRANCISCO, DECHERT, MICHAEL L. SHERMAN, PARTNER, WASHINGTON, D.C., DECHERT, ASHLEY N. RODRIGUEZ, ASSOCIATE, WASHINGTON, D.C., DECHERT

The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a National Exam Program Risk Alert on 7 February 2017 (Risk Alert), highlighting the “five compliance topics most frequently identified in deficiency letters that were sent to SECregistered investment advisers” in a sample of over 1,000 examinations during the prior two years. The deficiencies or weaknesses concerned requirements of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) and rules thereunder related to: compliance, regulatory filings, custody, codes of ethics, and books and records.1 After identifying the topics, the Risk Alert provides examples of typical issues identified by examiners. The Risk Alert encourages advisers to review their compliance programs and states that “where appropriate, the staff referred examinations to the Division of Enforcement for further action.” The registered entities within OCIE’s oversight include more than 12,000 advisers with nearly $67 trillion in assets under management.2 In late 2016, OCIE’s then-director indicated that OCIE had bolstered its examination staff for advisers and investment companies by about 20% for fiscal 2017, and he referred to advisers as a fast-growing group of registrants that were not subject to a selfregulatory organization.3

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Informing the Hedge Fund Community. With access to some of the industry’s biggest names and an astute and talented group of writers and contributors, The Hedge Fund Journal has established itself as a trusted source of information on the hedge fund industry.