SEC Settles First Two Enforcement Actions Against Robo-Advisers

The SEC has made clear that firms that provide automated, software-driven investment advice – i.e., robo-advisers – are subject to the same fiduciary duties as other investment advisers. The SEC recently settled its first two enforcement actions against robo-advisers, asserting that both advisers made false and misleading statements to investors; lacked adequate compliance policies and procedures; and engaged in other misconduct. This article analyzes the SEC charges and the terms of the settlements. See “Risk Alert Highlights Six Most Frequent Advertising Rule Compliance Issues” (Oct. 19, 2017); and 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 for a Fund Manager to Focus on When Reviewing Marketing Materials” (Sep. 21, 2017); and “Six Methods for a Fund Manager to Test Its Advertising Review Procedures” (Sep. 28, 2017).

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