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SEC Issues Risk Alert on Master/Sub-account Risks

Written by Michael Wu

On September 29, 2011, the SEC’s examination staff issued a Risk Alert warning of significant concerns regarding trading through sub-accounts, and offered suggestions to help securities industry firms address these risks.  In the alert, the staff identified certain risks associated with the master/sub-account trading model such as: i) money laundering, ii) insider trading, iii) market manipulation, iv) account intrusions, v) information security, vi) unregistered broker-dealer activity, and (vii) excessive leverage.  The alert is the first in a continuing series of Risk Alerts that the staff expects to issue.