The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") recently released its annual top exam priorities for the 2018 calendar year. The OCIE is the SEC division which conducts examinations of registered investment adviser ("RIA") firms and this priority list can help investment advisers better prepare for a regulatory audit. In general, the list of 2018 priorities closely mirrors the agency's past 2016 and 2017 examination priority lists as well as recently issued risk alerts. The OCIE is focused on five categories: examining matters of importance to retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement, compliance and risks in critical markets infrastructure, FINRA and MSRB, cybersecurity, and anti-money laundering programs.
To provide further guidance on the SEC's 2018 exam priorities, we created a checklist that outlines top focus areas. Items addressed in the checklist include:
Note: RIA in a Box LLC is not a law firm, investment advisory firm, or a CPA firm. RIA in a Box LLC does not provide legal advice or opinions to any party or client. You should always consult your relevant regulatory authorities as this information should not be relied upon as currently accurate. This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not an exhaustive list of regulatory requirements.