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SEC Warns Advisers about Fee and Expense Practices

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations has issued a Risk Alert detailing investment adviser failures to properly calculate and disclose fees and expenses.  OCIE cites failures to properly value assets, thereby leading to overbilling, using the incorrect fee rate, and billing based on the wrong time period.  OCIE also details faulty disclosure practices including Form ADVs that do not reflect actual billing practices and failures to fully disclose compensation arrangements.  OCIE also highlights fund sponsors that misallocate expenses.  The OCIE findings result from issues identified in deficiency letters issued in recent SEC exams.  The Risk Alert advises that firms take action by reimbursing clients and enhancing policies and procedures.

OUR TAKE: These Risk Alerts often precede enforcement actions.  Compli-pros should review their fee billing and disclosure practices in anticipation of an OCIE sweep.