SEC Settlement With PIMCO Highlights the Importance of Proper Valuation and Performance Disclosures

Valuation and performance claims are perennial SEC enforcement priorities. See “SEC Division Heads Enumerate Enforcement Priorities, Including Conflicts of Interest, Valuation, Performance Advertising and CCO Liability (Part Two of Two)” (May 5, 2016). Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO) recently agreed to pay over $19.8 million in disgorgement, interest and penalties to settle SEC charges that it overvalued the securities in its exchange-traded fund (ETF). Although the action involved an ETF, it provides a timely reminder to all fund managers of the obligation to value assets accurately, to disclose their funds performance correctly and to implement appropriate policies and procedures for these purposes. This article summarizes the alleged conduct that gave rise to the enforcement proceeding and the other terms of the settlement order. For other actions involving inaccurate valuations and internal controls failures, see “GLG Partners Settlement Illustrates SEC Views Regarding Valuation Controls at Hedge Fund Managers” (Jan. 16, 2014); and “SEC’s Recent Settlement With a Hedge Fund Manager Highlights the Importance of Documented Internal Controls When Managing Conflicts of Interest Associated With Asset Valuation and Cross Trades” (Jan. 9, 2014).

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