CSS Blog

News, updates and analysis from around the world of compliance

Compliance Culture in a Bottle

What makes one firm – and the various professionals who represent it – live and breathe by the book, while others are a bunch of scofflaws? I can tell you this for sure: there is no magic potion that you can buy to embed a culture of compliance in an organization. As cliché as it … Continued

The SEC Amends the Definition of “Accredited Investor” and the Debate Over Private Market Protections Continues

On August 26, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission amended Rule 501(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, expanding the definition of “accredited investor,” which is one of the principal tests for determining who is eligible to participate in private capital markets in the United States.[1] The SEC additionally amended Rules 144A, 215, and 163B … Continued

Gaining a Seat at the Table – Influencing from Within

Throughout my career, I’ve never heard a business leader say compliance isn’t important. Time and again, through countless conversations and interviews, compliance is touted as paramount to the firm. And while those presidents and CEOs may think they believe that, often compliance is left out of those key meetings and decisions, only being filled in … Continued

Navigating Regulatory Change: How to Win the Regulatory Game

Being a Chief Compliance Officer navigating regulatory change is a lot like quarterbacking an offense in an action-packed (American) football game: you’re responsible for calling the plays, reading the opposition, seeing opportunity, and leading the team to victory. This can really be applied to any sport or business. With the expanding scope of regulations demanding … Continued

The Lasting Impact of COVID-19 on Investment Management

The COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdown of global economies will be remembered as one of the most significant shocks to the investment management industry. In early 2020, global economies were generally strong. By mid-March, the U.S. was in a full-blown credit crisis, with credit markets seizing, buyers were avoiding even “safe” investments like U.S. Treasuries … Continued

Business Continuity and Preparing for Regulatory Exams Post-Pandemic

As a compliance professional, the past months have probably been the most challenging of your career. Events, whether COVID-19, significant market fluctuations, halted stock exchange trading, or liquidity concerns, provided new and unique challenges for even a seasoned compliance professional. And while the focus on these new risks should take center stage for compliance officers, … Continued

The Case for an Interim Evaluation of your Compliance Program

How prepared was your firm for the disruption of COVID-19 pandemic? Did your firm’s business continuity plan cover a pandemic? Have you adapted your compliance program since March? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to rethink best practices in the face of adapting to the “new normal.” Whether your firm is continuing to work from … Continued

The Door is Wide Open: Unpatched Security Flaw Leads to Leak of Login Credentials for 900+ Enterprise VPNs

A popular brand of VPN software recently had usernames, passwords, and IP addresses published on a dark web hacker forum frequented by ransomware gangs. I first wrote about this issue in July 2019. At the time, various VPN appliances from three well known and highly used vendors were vulnerable to a critical vulnerability which could … Continued

Q&A on Sensitive Industries with Marye Cherry, CSS’s Regulatory Guidance Expert

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting market volatility have led several governments to amend law and regulation in the context of sensitive industries. Much of the regulatory response has been directed at tightening foreign investment restrictions by lowering shareholding thresholds as well as expanding the sectors caught by a foreign investment review. As a result of the recent regulatory changes, more investments are now subject to … Continued

Breakdown of OCIE’s COVID-19 Compliance Risks Alert

The SEC’s “Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) issued an Alert today regarding “Select COVID-19 Compliance Risks for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers.” OCIE shared observations regarding six broad categories: protection of investors’ assets; supervision of personnel; practices relating to fees, expenses, and financial transactions; investment fraud; business continuity; and the protection of investor and … Continued

Are Investment Managers Going to Have More KIDs?

Let us be clear…. we’re actually talking about the potential increase in production of point-of-investment disclosure documents for investment managers. The complications and stress of Brexit just got a whole lot more real for many UK- and EU-based investment management companies that are subject to rules requiring production of UCITS KIID (Key-Investor-Information-Document) and PRIIPs KID … Continued

SEC’s New Committee Begins Review of Form CRS Filings

The SEC’s Divisional Standards of Conduct Implementation Committee launched its review of Form CRS from a cross section of RIAs and BDs to assess compliance with the content and format requirements. Initial observations from the Committee have identified examples of relationship summaries that may lack certain disclosures or could be clearer or otherwise improved. The … Continued

Proposed Amendment to 13F – What This Really Means?

The SEC released a proposed amendment to Form 13F on July 10 to update the reporting threshold for institutional investment managers and make other targeted changes. The threshold has not been adjusted since the Commission adopted Form 13F over 40 years ago. New Proposed Reporting Threshold: The proposal would raise the reporting threshold to $3.5 … Continued


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CSS frequently publishes blog posts which are written by our team from their observations in the field, at conferences and through experiences with compliance professionals. These posts are designed to further knowledge and share industry best practices. Topics run the gamut, including Form ADV, cybersecurity, MiFID II, position limit monitoring, technology challenges and more. Complete and submit the brief form below to receive notifications when we publish new content.


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