Recent SEC Enforcement Sweep and Risk Alert Highlight Weak Areas of Marketing Rule Compliance for Managers to Bolster

Compliance with Rule 206(4)‑1 (Marketing Rule) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 continues to be a clear focus for the SEC. The Commission recently settled five enforcement actions for alleged violations of the Marketing Rule, primarily in connection with advertising hypothetical performance on the advisers’ websites. Just a few days later, the SEC’s Division of Examinations issued a third risk alert on Marketing Rule compliance (Risk Alert). Together, the settlements and Risk Alert make it clear the Marketing Rule remains in the SEC’s spotlight. “This is very much a continuation of the effort to send advisers of all kinds a signal that the Marketing Rule is no longer the ‘new’ marketing rule. It’s been in place quite a while now and the staff expects it to be adhered to,” warned Morrison Foerster partner Derek N. Steingarten. This article summarizes relevant takeaways from the settlements and Risk Alert, with additional insights from Steingarten and other industry experts. For coverage of Marketing Rule FAQs, see “Marketing Rule FAQ Clarifies SEC Expectations for Calculating Net and Gross IRR When Using Subscription Credit Facilities” (Apr. 4, 2024); and our two-part series: “How to Present Individual Positions and Deal With Attribution Issues” (Apr. 6, 2023); and “Practical Implications and Special Q&A With CCOs” (Apr. 20, 2023).

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