Our last post explained the two basic alternatives for managing derivatives risks under new Rule 18f-4 by qualifying either as a Limited Derivatives User or a VaR Fund. This post outlines the essential differences between VaR Funds and Limited Derivatives Users, primarily that the former must adopt a derivatives risk management program (a “DRM Program”) while the latter need only have policies and procedures.
The SEC’s Division of Investment Management has posted Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response FAQs (the “FAQs”), which have been updated through April 14, 2020. The FAQs summarize and provide links to various forms of relief granted by the SEC and the Division to registered investment companies and investment advisers. A list of the questions addressed is provided below.
On January 27, 2020, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released observations on cybersecurity and resiliency (the “Observations”). In them, OCIE presented several key cybersecurity issues that industry participants should seek to address such as the construction and implementation of a comprehensive cybersecurity program, the prevention of unauthorized access to systems, the theft of information, responding to cyber incidents, and vendor management. In doing so, OCIE highlighted elements of successful cybersecurity efforts.
This post continues our discussion of the Risk Alert released on August 7, 2017, by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) regarding conclusions drawn from its yearlong review of the cybersecurity practices of 75 asset management firms and funds. The sweep, deemed OCIE’s Cybersecurity 2 Initiative, covered broker-dealer, investment adviser, and investment company practices during the period from October 2014 through September 2015.
On August 7, 2017, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) released a Risk Alert summarizing its conclusions from a year-long review of the cybersecurity practices of a 75 firms — including broker-dealers, investment advisers and investment companies. The sweep, OCIE’s Cybersecurity 2 Initiative, ran from September 2015 to June 2016 and covered the review period from October 2014 through September 2015. It follows OCIE’s 2014 Cybersecurity 1 Initiative, during which the staff examined a different group of firms from January 2013 to June 2014. The Risk Alert that followed the first sweep was released in early 2015.
The focus of OCIE’s second sweep was asset management firms’ written cybersecurity policies and procedures and, critically, their implementation. While the Risk Alert acknowledges that cybersecurity preparedness has improved across the industry since the first sweep exam, it emphasizes that significant deficiencies persist. The Risk Alert identifies common elements of policies and procedures that the staff regards as robust controls. The Risk Alert also stresses that, going forward, OCIE will increase its review of firms’ implementation of appropriately-tailored policies; merely having well‑drafted policies “on the books” but not applied will not suffice.
This post continues my discussion of the IM Guidance Update released on January 6, 2016, in which the SEC staff urges boards to consider the following factors in meeting the staff’s expectations of boards, vis-à-vis Rule 12b-1 and Rule 38a-1, in overseeing the use of fund assets to cover what the staff has dubbed “Sub-Accounting Fees” for recordkeeping, sub-transfer agent, and other purely administrative services (“Sub-Accounting Services”) that intermediaries provide to shareholders:
Since the SEC’s mutual fund distribution sweep examination began in 2013, the industry has become increasingly focused on the various types of payments made to intermediaries selling fund shares and providing services to shareholders. Fund assets may, of course, be used to compensate intermediaries for marketing and other distribution-related costs, including “shelf space” on sales platforms, only under a board-approved Rule 12b-1 plan. Outside of a 12b-1 plan, Fund assets may be used to cover what the SEC has dubbed “Sub-Accounting Fees” for recordkeeping, sub-transfer agent, and other purely administrative services (“Sub-Accounting Services”) that intermediaries provide to shareholders.