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Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

Aline McCullough

Photo of Aline McCullough Aline’s practice focuses on financial services regulatory matters that impact investment advisers, broker-dealers and funds. Aline works with U.S. and non-U.S. investment managers, broker-dealers and funds on matters arising under the Investment Company Act, Advisers Act, CFTC regulations, and FINRA, SEC and NFA requirements affecting their businesses.

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Bank Secrecy Act’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Requirements to Apply to Investment Advisers

Anti-Money Laundering
The Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) establishes program, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for certain financial institutions to combat and detect money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit activities.  On February 13, 2024, FinCEN proposed new rules which expand the scope of the BSA to include certain investment advisers, which currently are not subject to any federal… Continue Reading

SEC Focus on Private Fund Advisers Continues With the Publication of EXAMS Risk Alert

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Securities and Commodities
On January 27, 2022, the Division of Examinations (“EXAMS”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) published a Risk Alert with its Observations from Examinations of Private Fund Advisers. This Risk Alert is one of a series of signals of the SEC’s focus on private fund advisers under Chairman Gensler, including Form PF amendments… Continue Reading

SEC Advisory Fees Focus Continues as Reflected in Division of Examinations Risk Alert and Chair Gensler Comments

Securities and Commodities
Recent comments from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gensler at the Institutional Limited Partners Association Summit and an SEC Division of Examinations (EXAMS) Risk Alert published on the same day highlight the ongoing focus of the SEC on advisory fees, both in the institutional and retail spaces. In Chair Gensler’s remarks, he expressed… Continue Reading

FINRA’s Important Reminder to Firms—Don’t Forget to Supervise Third-Party Vendors

Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation, Securities and Commodities
Overview Broker-dealers, like most companies, rely on third-party vendors for a wide variety of functions.  This common practice of outsourcing does not relieve a broker-dealer of its regulatory compliance and supervision obligations over the outsourced functions.  Accordingly, management and supervision of third-party vendors present important issues that merit careful attention from regulatory, compliance, and legal… Continue Reading

SEC 2021 National Exam Program Examination Priorities

Compliance, Securities and Commodities
On March 3, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Examinations (EXAMS) (formerly the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released its 2021 examination priorities. Notably, while the majority of the examination priorities echo OCIE priorities from prior years, this year’s EXAMS priorities include a greater focus on climate-related risk and environmental, social,… Continue Reading

COVID-19: Securities Regulators and Industry Associations Issue Coronavirus Guidance and Relief

Compliance, Securities and Commodities
Update: Our May 21, 2020, alert provides our most recent discussion of information and guidance issued by the SEC, FINRA, MSRB and SIFMA. As the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread, the widespread impact on the markets, trading, firm operations, compliance obligations – every facet of the market, firms, and individuals working in the industry… Continue Reading

SEC Continues Compensation Disclosure Focus With FAQs and Enforcement

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation, Securities and Commodities
On Oct. 18, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Investment Management staff published Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Disclosure of Certain Financial Conflicts Related to Investment Adviser Compensation (FAQs). Many in the industry view the FAQs as overdue SEC guidance in an area that has been a focus of the SEC Division of… Continue Reading

Ready or Not, Prepare to Start Answering Questions About Reg BI Compliance

Financial Institution Regulation
On June 5, 2019, the SEC adopted Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”), which requires broker-dealers and associated persons to make recommendations regarding securities transactions (or investments involving securities) that are in the “best interest” of their retail clients. The SEC also adopted Form CRS, requiring broker-dealers and investment advisers to provide a brief relationship summary… Continue Reading

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