Today, we offer our “Friday List,” an occasional feature summarizing a topic significant to investment management professionals interested in regulatory issues. Our Friday Lists are an expanded “Our Take” on a particular subject, offering our unique (and sometimes controversial) perspective on an industry topic.
The SEC hates wrap programs. Nobody at the SEC has actually said that, but the regulator’s actions support that conclusion. Nearly every year, OCIE targets wrap programs as an exam priority. Over the last couple of years, the Enforcement Division has brought case after case alleging that wrap programs violated applicable provisions of the Advisers Act. In response, we have advised compli-pros at firms that offer wrap programs to conduct serious reviews and testing to make sure their programs don’t become Enforcement examples. Today, we offer 10 reasons why the SEC hates wrap programs.
10 Reasons Why the SEC Hates Wrap Programs
- Weak due diligence: Wrap Sponsor Pays $97 Million for Inadequate Due Diligence
- Favoring affiliates: Adviser Didn’t Fully Disclose Financial Incentive to Recommend Affiliated Wrap Program
- Reverse churning: Wrap Sponsors to Pay over $9.5 Million to Settle Share Class and Reverse Churning Charges
- Overbilling: Large Wrap Sponsor Pays $18.3 Million for Compliance Problems in Business Sold 8 Years Ago
- (Not) best execution: Wrap Sponsors Fined for Failing to Disclose Trading Away Commissions
- Step-out trading: Wrap Sponsor Did Not Evaluate Trading Away by Portfolio Managers
- Trading away: Wrap Sponsor Fined for Failing to Monitor Trading Away Practices
- Double-charging: Failure to Heed Compliance Consultant’s Recommendations Results in Enforcement Action
- Lower share classes available: Wrap Sponsor Failed to Update Compliance Policies for Lower Share Classes
- Inadequate Form ADV disclosure: SEC Imposes $300,000 Fine for Wrap Program ADV Missteps