News

FINRA Issues 2018 Report on Examination Findings

Bates News, Bates Research  |  12-13-18

FINRA Issues 2018 Report on Examination Findings

In its second annual effort to highlight areas of compliance concern, FINRA published a 2018 Report on Examination Findings. The thorough report details selected observations and findings from broker-dealer firm exams that have “potential significance, frequency and impact on investors and the markets.” The primary areas of focus in this year’s report are suitability for retail customers, private placements, abuse of the authority a client gives to a registered representative, and fixed income mark-up disclosure. This article takes a closer look at these FINRA priorities and additional FINRA findings on compliance issues raised by this year’s examinations.

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Compliance in the Age of Robo Investment Advice

Bates News, Bates Research  |  12-06-18

Compliance in the Age of Robo Investment Advice

Investments in robo-offerings have grown, and the application and use of algorithmic programming expanded. A new report cites data that predicts “digital advice users will increase from roughly 2 million to 17 million by 2021.” In this article, Bates Research takes a closer look at existing SEC compliance guidance on robo-advisory services and some of the enforcement concerns in this rapidly expanding marketplace.

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New Book On Becoming a Financial Industry Expert From Bates Group’s Michael Weiner Now Available

Bates News, Industry News  |  12-04-18

New Book On Becoming a Financial Industry Expert From Bates Group’s Michael Weiner Now Available

Renowned Bates Expert Michael D. Weiner discusses his newly published book, In My Expert Opinion: Becoming an Effective Expert in the Financial Services Industry. Working as an expert witness, he saw "the good, the bad and the ugly" in his counterparts, and from that experience grew a desire to aid both aspiring experts and their counsel. In My Expert Opinion was written to train experts in the positive aspects of expert witness work, to point out the pitfalls, and to provide a roadmap to a successful career.

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BCS Alert: FINRA’s Susan Schroeder Previews 2019 Enforcement Priorities

Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-30-18

BCS Alert: FINRA’s Susan Schroeder Previews 2019 Enforcement Priorities

At the November 2018 SIFMA C&L New York Regional Seminar, Susan Schroeder, FINRA’s Executive Vice President and Head of Enforcement, discussed some of FINRA’s enforcement priorities heading into 2019. You can expect these to be included when the official list comes out in January. Read the full alert to preview FINRA's 2019 priorities.

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Best Practices When Working with Expert Witnesses

Bates News, Bates Research  |  11-29-18

Best Practices When Working with Expert Witnesses

Your relationship with your consulting or testifying expert is a critical component to your case. Mastering best practices when working with an expert will better support your case.

We recently polled several of Bates’ financial industry experts, many of whom are former general counsels, branch managers and regulators, to summarize best practices when working with consulting and testifying experts. Here's what they had to say.

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Risk Alert: OCIE to Conduct Exams on Mutual Funds and ETFs, Review Oversight of Boards of Directors

Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-14-18

Risk Alert: OCIE to Conduct Exams on Mutual Funds and ETFs, Review Oversight of Boards of Directors

Staff members at the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a Risk Alert November 8th informing market participants that they will be conducting a series of examination initiatives on regulatory compliance of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. The OCIE listed and described the categories of funds and advisers for examination and highlighted certain areas for review.

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Bates Group Welcomes New Forensic Accounting Services Team

Bates News  |  11-13-18

Bates Group Welcomes New Forensic Accounting Services Team

Bates Group is proud to welcome our new Forensic Accounting team -- Forensic Accounting and Financial Crimes Director Christine Davis, CPA, CFF, CVA, CGMA, and Forensic Accounting Managing Consultant Leonore Ralston, CFE. The team will operate out of Bates' new San Francisco office.

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Bates Welcomes Our New Experts and Consultants

Bates News  |  11-09-18

Bates Welcomes Our New Experts and Consultants

Bates is proud to intrduce four new experts and conultants: Jonathan A. Brogaard, Robert B. Spawn, Steven Sutherland, and Steven Valji.

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The Regulatory Landscape is Changing for Variable Annuity and Life Insurance Contracts

Bates News, Bates Research  |  11-08-18

The Regulatory Landscape is Changing for Variable Annuity and Life Insurance Contracts

Significant regulatory developments are taking place in the variable annuity and life insurance market that are intended to encourage investors to make more informed decisions about these financial products. Along with the SEC’s announcement of an extensive new rule proposal that would leverage technology and create a “layered disclosure approach” to variable annuities and life insurance contracts, the SEC Office of Investor Education (“OCIE”) issued a Bulletin that offers a basic primer on these instruments. This comes a week after state insurance regulators met to revise the NAIC “Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.” Bates Research takes a closer look at these recent developments.

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Alert: OCIE Recommends IAs Review Compliance Procedures on Cash-Based 3rd-Party Client Solicitation

Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-02-18

Alert: OCIE Recommends IAs Review Compliance Procedures on Cash-Based 3rd-Party Client Solicitation

On October 31st, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a Risk Alert informing investment advisers, investors and other market participants of the most common compliance deficiencies related to the so-called Cash Solicitation Rule (Investment Advisers Act, Rule 206(4)-3).

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