Ignoring Investment Mandate Results in SEC Fraud Charges for Portfolio Manager

The adage, “Say what you do and do what you say,” is especially apt with respect to a fund’s investment mandate; when a manager strays from its disclosed investment strategy, it risks investor claims and SEC enforcement action. The SEC recently filed a civil enforcement complaint against a portfolio manager who was a principal of an investment adviser. Unbeknownst to investors or the adviser’s other principals, the portfolio manager allegedly began making risky trades in violation of the fund’s mandate to make conservative investments in industrial equities – and those trades resulted in the loss of all of the fund’s capital. This action may reflect the SEC’s continuing focus on individual accountability and risks to individual and retail investors. This article explores the SEC’s allegations and the portfolio manager’s settlement with the SEC. See “Adviser Faces Significant Fines and Disgorgement for Misrepresentations Concerning Investment Concentration and Risk Controls” (Jun. 11, 2020); and “Investors Sue Hedge Fund Manager Harbinger Capital and Philip A. Falcone for Alleged Style Drift” (May 31, 2012).

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