Lucia Ends Almost Decade Long Battle with The SEC

The SEC announced on June 16, 2020 that they have agreed to a Settlement with Raymond J. Lucia, Sr. and Raymond J. Lucia Companies, Inc. after litigation ensued for almost eight years as a result of a cease-and-desist order in 2012 concerning a marketing strategy employed by Lucia and his San Diego based investment advisory firm. The strategy involved using alleged materially misleading testing to promote the success of the strategy. This settlement comes after the case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Lucia on the issue of improper appointment of the administrative law judge to his hearing. Despite the favorable ruling, the settleme... Read More

How Firms Can Work to Protect Senior Investors

Baby boomers are growing older, and that is transforming our national demographics. By 2035, it is estimated that 78 million senior citizens will live in the United States. The median age of U.S. citizens would rise from 38 today to 43 by 2060.

Those baby boomers also control a lot of assets, including more than half... Read More

How to Prepare for an SEC Examination

No matter how smoothly your firm operates or how diligent your compliance team is, the prospect of an SEC examination strikes fear, stress and anxiety into investment advisers and registered investment companies. Because regulations are constantly in flux, it's difficult to fully gauge how your compliance policies and procedures stand up to the requirements. For some firms, the first real test of their compliance program's effectiveness happens during an SEC examination. Unfortunately for those firms, about Read More

The Impact of GDPR on the Asset and Wealth-Management Industry

Regarded as the largest data regulation act in modern European history, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has taken the compliance world by storm.  Adopted in April of 2016, the new regulation addresses the mounting concern over the use and security of private consumer information online — with its sight set on a complete regulatory overhaul. GDPR becomes effective on May 25, 2018. As that date rapidly approaches, it's no surprise that questions and concerns for GDPR and the wealth-management industry have blossomed. As written, GDPR's impact on fund, inve... Read More

Why Is Cybersecurity Important for Investment Advisers?

cybersecurity-investment-advisers Cybersecurity remains vital for investment advisers. As new cyber threats are identified, cybersecurity will remain paramount for these advisers both now and in the future. The PricewaterhouseCooper (PWC) “State of Information Security Survey 2016” revealed 91 percent of businesses currently follow a risk-based cybersecurity framework. Investment advisers, meanwhile, must be able to identify the key issues associated with cybersecurity as well as the best ways to manage these problems. Fortunately, cybersecurity guidance is readily available — but... Read More

Guide to SEC Investment Adviser Registration

Guide to SEC IA Registration Becoming a registered investment advisor (RIA) is not merely an industry best-practice. In most cases, it's a regulatory obligation that stamps more than security and quality assurance onto your services — it means you or your advisory firm stay in operation.

About Vigilant

Under the Dodd-Frank regulatory act of 2010, updates were made on the registration qualifications and certification process for investment advisors. These updates now outline the parameters under which an inves... Read More

Stock Market Analyst Barred for Illegally Cashing In On His Research Reports

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a stock market analyst with insider trading prior to the publication of research reports and articles he authored with the false disclaimer that he wasn’t trading in the companies being covered.  He agreed to settle the charges and be barred from trading in penny stocks for the rest of his life.

The SEC alleges that Jason Napodano, who headed a division called Zacks Small Cap Research within a larger investment research firm, misled investors in penny stocks by representing that he wasn’t trading or holding positions in the companies he was writing about while secretly trading the same stocks based on nonpublic information about the publication date of his research.  In an effort to evade detection, Napodano allegedly limit... Read More

SEC Announces Enforcement Initiatives to Combat Cyber-Based Threats and Protect Retail Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced two new initiatives that will build on its Enforcement Division’s ongoing efforts to address cyber-based threats and protect retail investors. The creation of a Cyber Unit that will focus on targeting cyber-related misconduct and the establishment of a retail strategy task force that will implement initiatives that directly affect retail investors reflect SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s priorities in these important areas.

Cyber Unit

The Cyber Unit will focus the Enforcement Division’s substantial cyber-related expertise on targeting cyber-related misconduct, such as:

  • Market manipulation schemes involving false information spread through electronic and social med... Read More

Pharmaceutical Company Paying Penalty for Misleading Investors About Sales Metric

The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed fraud charges against a Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company that exaggerated how many new patients actually filled prescriptions for an expensive drug that was its sole source of revenue.

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, now a subsidiary of Novelion Therapeutics, has agreed to pay a $4.1 million penalty to settle the charges that it misled investors on multiple occasions in 2013.  The SEC’s complaint alleges that Aegerion told investors that the number of unfilled prescriptions for Juxtapid was not material and the “vast majority” of patients receiving prescriptions ultimately purchased the drug.  The SEC alleges that Aegerion’s records reflect that it was actually around 50 percent of prescriptions that resulted in actual... Read More

SEC Announces Agenda for October 12 Investor Advisory Committee Meeting

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the agenda for the October 12 meeting of its Investor Advisory Committee.  The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room at SEC headquarters at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C., and is open to the public.  The meeting will be webcast live and archived on the committee’s webpage for later viewing.

The committee will hold three panel discussions covering blockchain technology and implications for securities markets, law school clinic advocacy efforts on behalf of retail investors, and electronic delivery of information to retail invest... Read More

SEC Suspends Trading in Company Purporting Involvement in Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

The Securities and Exchange Commission today suspended trading in a company amid questions surrounding its statements about sending response teams and equipment to help with Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery efforts in Houston and surrounding areas.

The SEC’s trading suspension order says that a recent press release issued by Texas-based Grupo Resilient International claimed that the company added a “FEMA approved contractor” to the board of its subsidiary and was deploying workers and preparing to deploy a network of mobile broadband trailers to assist in relief efforts.

The SEC’s order also says there are questions regarding the adequacy and accuracy of statements made by the company on ot... Read More

SEC Adopts Interpretive Guidance on Pay Ratio Rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved interpretive guidance to assist companies in their efforts to comply with the pay ratio disclosure requirement mandated by Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Under the Commission’s rule implementing the pay ratio requirement, companies are required to begin making pay ratio disclosures in early 2018. 

“It’s our priority to make sure that we implement disclosure rules mandated by Congress in a way that is true to the mandate and, to the extent practicable, allows companies to use operational data and otherwise readily available information to produce the disclosures,” said Chairman Jay Clayton.  “Today’s guidance on... Read More