Risk Alert Highlights Six Most Frequent Advertising Rule Compliance Issues

Rule 206(4)-1 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 prohibits investment advisers from including testimonials, certain past specific recommendations and misleading information in marketing materials. The SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) recently issued a Risk Alert that discusses the six most frequent advertising issues identified in deficiency letters from more than 1,000 adviser examinations, as well as the results of its 2016 “Touting Initiative,” which focused on nearly 70 advisers’ use of awards, rankings, professional designations and testimonials in their marketing materials. This article summarizes OCIE’s findings. See also our three-part advertising compliance series: “Ten Best Practices for a Fund Manager to Streamline Its Compliance Review” (Sep. 14, 2017); “Five High-Risk Areas to Focus on When Reviewing Marketing Materials” (Sep. 21, 2017); and “Six Methods to Test Advertising Review Procedures” (Sep. 28, 2017).

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