The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has introduced several new rules and amendments that will significantly impact registered investment advisers (RIAs). Here are the key updates and compliance requirements that your firm should be aware of:


1. Marketing Rule Compliance

The SEC’s Division of Examinations issued a risk alert in April 2024, highlighting common deficiencies in compliance with the Marketing Rule (Rule 206(4)-1). Key areas of concern include:

·      Untrue Statements or Material Omissions: Ensuring advertisements do not contain false or misleading information.

·      Substantiation: Advisers must have a reasonable basis for believing they can substantiate material statements of fact.

·      Fair and Balanced Presentation: Advertisements must provide a balanced view of potential benefits and associated risks.

·      Performance Results: Performance data must be presented fairly and balanced, avoiding misleading implications.


2. Internet Adviser Exemption

The SEC has modernized the Internet Adviser Exemption (Rule 203A-2(e)), effective July 8, 2024, with a compliance date of March 31, 2025. Key changes include:

·      Operational Interactive Website: Advisers must provide services exclusively through an interactive website.

·      Elimination of De Minimis Exception: Advisers can no longer have up to 15 non-internet clients; all clients must be served through the website.


3. Cybersecurity Risk Management

The SEC’s new cybersecurity rules, effective in 2024, require RIAs to:

·      Adopt Written Policies: Addressing cybersecurity risks and incidents.

·      Annual Reviews: Conduct annual cybersecurity risk assessments and document findings.

·      Incident Reporting: Report significant cybersecurity incidents to the SEC within 48 hours.


4. Custody Rule Amendments

Proposed updates to the Custody Rule (Rule 206(4)-2) include:

·      Expanded Scope: Covering all client assets over which an RIA has custody.

·      Written Agreements: RIAs must enter into agreements with qualified custodians, ensuring client asset protection.


5. Conflicts of Interest in Predictive Analytics

The SEC proposes new rules to regulate the use of predictive data analytics by RIAs, requiring:

·      Conflict Evaluation: Identify and mitigate potential conflicts of interest.

·      Written Policies: Implement policies to prevent violations and maintain compliance records.


6. Climate-Related Disclosures

The SEC has adopted rules to enhance climate-related disclosures by public companies, which may indirectly affect RIAs managing ESG investments. These rules require detailed reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

RIAs must stay vigilant and proactive in updating their compliance programs to adhere to these new SEC regulations. Regular reviews, staff training, and robust documentation will be essential to ensure compliance and avoid enforcement actions.



By understanding and implementing these new rules, your firm can navigate the evolving regulatory landscape and maintain a strong compliance posture.


The newly introduced rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are critical for registered investment advisors (RIAs) and are critically important for several reasons:


– Marketing Rule Compliance

Compliance with the Marketing Rule (Rule 206(4)-1) is essential to avoid false statements or material omissions in advertisements. This protects investors from misleading information and maintains market integrity.


·      Internet Adviser Exemption

The modernization of the Online Advisor Exemption (Rule 203A-2(e)) reflects the shift toward electronic commerce and ensures that all clients receive services through an interactive website, promoting accessibility and transparency.


·      Cybersecurity Risk Management

Cyber risk management rules are crucial in a digitalized world, where cyber threats can compromise the security of sensitive assets and data.


·      Custody Rule Amendments

Updates to the Custody Rule (Rule 206(4)-2) expand the scope to include all assets in custody, strengthening customer protection measures.


·      Conflicts of Interest in Predictive Analytics

Regulation on the use of predictive analytics seeks to prevent conflicts of interest that could affect the impartiality of the advice provided to clients.


·      Climate-Related Disclosures

The new rules on climate-related disclosures reflect a commitment to sustainability and allow investors to make informed decisions about green investments.


In summary, these standards are important because:

·      They protect investors and maintain their confidence in the financial system.

·      They avoid significant sanctions for firms that do not comply.

·      They reflect current trends toward transparency and corporate social responsibility.

·      They ensure that firms adapt to emerging technologies and associated risks.

·      They promote ethical and fair practices in the financial field.


RIA firms must stay up to date with these regulations to operate legally, protect their clients, and maintain a competitive position in the market.


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