Articles Posted in Client Alert

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We urge our clients to consult Pillsbury’s comprehensive COVID-19 Resource Center for information regarding Responding to a Global Crisis, Business Interruption, Cybersecurity, Employer Concerns and other general matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also recommend the following specific measures to mitigate risks of business interruption and regulatory noncompliance resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registered Investment Advisers

Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) and Vendor Management. As part of its fiduciary duty to clients, a registered investment adviser is required to adopt and implement BCPs to reduce risks that could result in business interruption. Accordingly, in anticipation of the potential spread of COVID-19, many investment advisers have activated portions of their business continuity and crisis management plans, including, for example, through teleworking. As part of implementing BCPs, investment advisers should review third-party vendor contracts and outsourcing relationships in order to be prepared for disruptions that may affect them through back doors. Cloud-based services and other technology also should be reviewed and tested in light of increased demand for access arising out of teleworking. Communications with brokers and custodians should be reviewed to minimize the risk of communication and reporting failures that could harm clients.

Filing Extensions for Investment Adviser Regulatory Reporting. The SEC issued emergency orders on March 13, 2020, providing temporary relief to investment advisers and investment companies from certain filing, disclosure delivery and governance requirements (e.g., Form ADV, 13G, CPO-PQR). Each form of relief was conditioned on actual coronavirus-related hardships and requires notice to the SEC’s Division of Investment Management of reliance on such relief and the reasons for reliance. The SEC issued modified conditional orders on March 25, 2020 that provide investment advisers and certain investment funds additional time with respect to meeting certain filing and delivery requirements and holding in-person board meetings, if they are unable to meet the deadlines due to circumstances related to current or potential effects of COVID-19.  The new orders supersede the SEC’s original emergency orders issued on March 13, 2020, and extend the time period covered by the temporary exemptive relief until June 30, 2020.

An adviser’s applicable filing and delivery obligations under the relief must be satisfied no later than 45 days after the original due date for filing or delivery (as was provided in the original exemptive order); however, the new order generally makes the temporary exemptive relief available for filing and delivery obligations that would have been due between March 13, 2020 and June 30, 2020 (unless further extended).

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Pillsbury’s Investment Funds and Investment Management team is available to assist with compliance and risk management related to COVID-19.  Please contact your client relationship attorney for additional information regarding your obligations.

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Registered and Exempt Reporting Firms:

The deadline for the annual update of Form ADV is approaching.  We have previously notified you regarding filing obligations that were due between January 1 and March 1.  Below is a recommended compliance and filing deadline table addressing registered firms’ obligations for the remainder of the calendar year.  Let us know if you need any assistance.

Annual Compliance Deadlines

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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, see the Pillsbury articles and webinar regarding our recommendations. If you have not already, at this point you should:

  • Review and/or activate your business continuity plan
  • Review your vendor relationships and assess any stressors
  • Shore up cybersecurity protections and be vigilant regarding heightened risks
  • Assemble a response team for immediate, intermediate and long-term plans

Please contact us with any of your needs.

Read this article and additional Pillsbury publications at Pillsbury Insights.

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The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a broad statute which imposes new data privacy obligations on certain companies that do business in California, will become effective on January 1, 2020. Fund managers and other investment advisers (“Advisers”) and certain of their affiliates that are currently subject to data privacy laws pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) or the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) may have additional obligations to consider and prepare for as the CCPA compliance deadline approaches.

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This is a reminder about the upcoming annual compliance deadlines that may or may not apply to you.

Please click HERE to open a summary chart of the filing deadlines.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or need assistance with any of these filings.

Sincerely,

Pillsbury IFIM Group

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In a press release issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 20, 2018, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced its 2019 Examination Priorities.

This year’s examination priorities, although not exhaustive, are divided into 6 categories:

  1. Compliance and risk at registrants responsible for critical market infrastructure;
  2. Matters of importance to retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement;
  3. FINRA and MSRB;
  4. Digital assets;
  5. Cybersecurity; and
  6. Anti-money laundering programs.

Read the OCIE 2019 Examination Priorities in full HERE.

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This is a reminder that the 2019 IARD account renewal obligation for investment advisers (including exempt reporting advisers) starts this November.  An investment adviser must ensure that its IARD account is adequately funded to cover payment of all applicable registration renewal fees and notice filing fees.

Key Dates in the Renewal Process:

November 12, 2018 – Preliminary Renewal Statements which list advisers’ renewal fee amount are available for printing through the IARD system.

December 17, 2018 – Deadline for full payment of Preliminary Renewal Statements.  In order for the payment to be posted to its IARD Renewal account by the December 17 deadline, an investment adviser should submit its preliminary renewal fee to FINRA through the IARD system by December 14, 2018.

December 28, 2018 – January 1, 2019 – IARD system shut down.  The system is generally unavailable during this period.

January 2, 2019 – Final Renewal Statements are available for printing.  Any additional fees that were not included in the Preliminary Renewal Statements will show in the Final Renewal Statements.

January 21, 2019 – Deadline for full payment of Final Renewal Statements.

For more information about the 2019 IARD Account Renewal Program including information on IARD’s Renewal Payment Options and Addresses, please visit http://www.iard.com/renewals.asp

Please contact us if you have questions.

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Covered businesses will need to update policies and procedures for responding to customer inquiries about collection, use, sale and disclosure of customers’ personal information or face stiff enforcement actions.

Takeaways

  • The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 provides consumers with broad rights to control use of their personal information by covered businesses.
  • Covered businesses will need to review and revise their existing privacy policies to make the required disclosures and to provide two methods for customers to inquire about use of their personal information.

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Read this article and additional Pillsbury publications at Pillsbury Insights.

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The future of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary rule is in limbo following the Fifth Circuit’s decision striking it down “in toto.”

Takeaways

  • The future of the Fiduciary rule is uncertain, particularly in light of the Fifth Circuit’s decision vacating the rule.
  • Retirement plan fiduciaries should continue to stay apprised of the viability of the Fiduciary rule with an eye towards the services provided by their plans’ investment advisors.
  • Industry experts are hopeful that the DOL and SEC will coordinate their efforts to provide clear guidance to investment advisers and broker-dealers, plan fiduciaries and plan participants.

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Read this article and additional Pillsbury publications at Pillsbury Insights.