OCIE Issues Risk Alert on Misleading Advertising Practices

JHW Headshot Photo 2016 (M0990045xB1386)By: Josh Watson

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a risk alert on September 14, 2017 identifying misleading advertising practices that examiners have found during examinations of registered investment advisers.

The misleading practices identified in the alert are those that are widely-known to be misleading. For example: (1) Presenting performance results on a gross basis, rather than a net-to-investor basis; (2) Presenting profitable investments without disclosing unprofitable investments made during the same time period; and (3) Presenting hypothetical and back-tested performance results without disclosing other information that an investor would need to evaluate the relevance of the results.

The fact that OCIE issued a risk alert on this topic suggests that OCIE may be seeing an uptick in misleading advertising practices. Having now been warned, advisers should evaluate whether their advertising practices comply with regulatory and fiduciary requirements, and whether they have adequate procedures in place to ensure continued compliance with these requirements.

For more information, read the full alert.

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