The DOL Fiduciary Rule Effective Date Has Changed 

The Department of Labor has extended the applicability date for the DOL Fiduciary Rule. Also known as the Conflicts of Interest Rule, this rule was introduced by President Obama to make professionals offering retirement planning advice or offering retirement plans into fiduciaries, requiring them to put the interests of clients above their own.

The rule was supposed to phase in starting April, but the new applicability date extends the effective date by 60 days. The new applicability date for the DOL Fiduciary Rule is June 9, 2017. However, the full applicability date of the rule remains unchanged and is still January 1, 2018. The new transition period for the rule is now between June 9, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

If your firm offers retirement plans or provides retirement planning advice, the DOL Fiduciary Rule may impact what you must do to ensure compliance.

Content provided by Vigilant Compliance, LLC, the full service Global Compliance Firm serving the regulatory needs of investment management clients across the nation and around the world.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 10:53:00 AM

Important Information about the Ransomware Attack 

As many of you are aware, a ransomware attack last week has affected businesses and organizations in over one hundred countries. Known by names such as WannaCry, WCry and Wanna Decryptor, the malicious software uses a vulnerability in Windows Server Message Block version 1 to get access to companies’ servers in order to encrypt specific files.

Companies are then asked to pay hundreds of dollars to get their files back. The amount of money demanded of enterprises to access their files increases within a few days and the files are deleted unless money is sent.

The OCIE (Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations) issued a formal Risk Alert relating to the ransomware attack. It is important to review this alert with your clients, including the two remedies the OCIE suggests:

  • Reviewing the ransomware information and alert issued by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
  • Ensuring your organization has the right patches from Microsoft to stop the malicious software. Microsoft issued a patch for the problem in March 2017.

Content provided by Vigilant Compliance, LLC, the full service Global Compliance Firm serving the regulatory needs of investment management clients across the nation and around the world.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 10:52:00 AM

SEC Budget Request Made 

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton presented the SEC fiscal year 2018 budget request on June 27, 2017. Overall, the agency requested $1.602 billion for the fiscal year, an amount essentially unchanged from the year before.

The chairman noted the amount is needed for the SEC to:

  • Protect investors. Enforcement is a key area of focus, with 50% of requested resources earmarked for SEC enforcement and examination efforts. The SEC has noted some funding will be used to ensure more examinations and to launch more robust legal actions against those who defraud investors.
  • Improve technology. The SEC plans to improve surveillance and examination programs, cybersecurity efforts, data analytics technology, algorithms for enforcement programs, the EDGAR electronic filing system, automation tools and other technology.
  • Encourage capital formation. The newly-named Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, Bill Hinman, will be working on encouraging capital formation for new and small businesses and on addressing the smaller number of companies choosing public capital markets.
  • Make the SEC efficient. The SEC plans to use automation, improved internal processes and effective data use to make internal operations more efficient.
  • Lease the SEC headquarters. The location in Washington, DC has a lease expiring soon and $245 million is designated for this purpose.

The chairman also took time in his presentation to praise the some 4,600 staff at the SEC, who compile disclosures of 8,000 public businesses and oversee securities trading of about $75 trillion each year.

The chairman noted that companies pay an SEC fee when they register securities for sale. For the upcoming fiscal year, fees will be scaled to raise $620 million, $50 million of which will go towards the Reserve Fund information technology improvements and $570 million of which is earmarked for the U.S. Treasury general fund.

Content provided by Vigilant Compliance, LLC, the full service Global Compliance Firm serving the regulatory needs of investment management clients across the nation and around the world.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 10:47:00 AM