The SEC’s Boston Regional Office has confirmed that it has randomly visited close to 20 registered investment advisers in the region to conduct examinations without providing any prior notice. During these examinations, the SEC staff has met with the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer, and on certain occasions, provided a document request list. While the document request list was not required to be completed immediately, the staff did randomly ask for documents that should be readily available, such as a general ledger. Kevin Kelcourse, associate director of the Boston Regional Office, explained that these surprise examination visits are intended to prevent firms from remedying any potential violations that exist between the time of the exam notice and when the SEC staff arrives. Kelcourse did not outline the specific selection process, but he did clarify that there is no particular type of advisory firm that is being targeted in these examinations.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
The Boston Regional Office is the only office to have confirmed its engagement in these surprise examinations, and it is unclear if the SEC’s other regional offices will engage in similar methods. If chosen for an impromptu exam, firms should exercise caution to ensure the person to whom information is provided is actually an SEC examiner. Please contact Fairview with any questions or concerns you might have about this recent SEC announcement and how it could relate to your firm.