Advertising Compliance Series: Six Methods for a Fund Manager to Test Its Advertising Review Procedures (Part Three of Three)

Rule 206(4)-7 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) requires investment advisers to adopt policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations of the Advisers Act and to review the adequacy and effectiveness of those policies and procedures. In addition to complying with the Advisers Act, advisers are also expected to design policies and procedures that can detect violations. Although testing is one of the primary means of detecting violations, building an effective testing program is not an easy task, and in the absence of SEC guidance, chief compliance officers are often left to question whether they have designed and implemented effective testing protocols. To assist advisers with developing their testing programs, this third article in our three-part series explores six different testing mechanisms firms can employ to verify compliance with their advertising procedures. The first article outlined what documents fall within the advertisement definition and outlined ten best practices that managers should consider when designing or evaluating their advertising review procedures. The second article discussed five high-risk areas within marketing materials, provided guidance to compliance officers on what to look for when encountering high-risk content and suggested ways to present that information that meet the needs of both the business development and compliance teams. See “SEC Continues Its Crackdown on Misleading Representations of ‘Skin in the Game’ by Hedge Fund Managers” (Jan. 10, 2013); and “Brockton Retirement Board Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Oppenheimer Fund of Private Equity Funds and Executive Officers for Allegedly False Claims Relating to Fund Performance and Investment Valuations Contained in Fund Marketing Materials” (Apr. 12, 2012).

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