A Checklist for Investment Advisers to Streamline and Organize Their Annual Compliance Program Reviews (Part Two of Two)

Registered investment advisers are required by Rule 206(4)‑7 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to conduct annual reviews of the adequacy of their compliance policies and procedures, as well as the effectiveness of the compliance program’s implementation. The SEC has focused on the annual compliance program review requirement in its examinations and enforcement actions. See “Lax Annual Compliance Review Procedures May Draw SEC Enforcement Action” (Nov. 17, 2016). Advisers often perform this review in conjunction with other year-end review processes. Thus, this two-part series is designed to function as a checklist that investment advisers can use to streamline and organize their annual reviews. This second article provides a non-exhaustive list of questions to be answered for each substantive area covered during an adviser’s annual compliance program review. The first article analyzed Rule 206(4)‑7 and sources of guidance on complying with the rule; spelled out who should be involved in conducting an investment adviser’s annual compliance program review, what information should be gathered for review and what areas should be covered; and noted the questions that SEC examiners are likely to ask about an adviser’s annual review during an examination. For more on annual compliance reviews, see “Survey Reveals Compliance Weaknesses of Hedge Fund Managers Relative to Other Financial Services Firms, Including CCO Qualifications and Frequency of Annual Compliance Reviews” (Sep. 15, 2016).

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