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SEC Releases 2024 Examination Priorities

The SEC has issued its 2024 Examination Priorities, which focus on compliance, governance practices, and cybersecurity. Read on for details.
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On October 16, 2023, the SEC’s Division of Examinations (Division) issued its 2024 Examination Priorities that support its stated mission—promote compliance, prevent fraud, monitor risk, and inform policy. The group will continue its focus on compliance, governance practices, and cybersecurity. Here’s what investment advisers, investment companies, and broker-dealers need to know about the 2024 focus areas.


In 2022, the Division examined roughly 15% of the registered investment adviser (RIA) population. This population has grown to 15,000 investment advisers overseeing $125 trillion in assets under management. For broker-dealers, the Division completed 360 exams and—together with FINRA—roughly half of the 3,500 registered broker-dealers were examined in 2022. Results for 2023 are expected to be released in early December.

Investment Advisers

Particular examination focus will include:

  • Marketing practice assessments for whether advisers have: 
    • Adopted and implemented reasonably designed written policies and procedures to prevent violations of the Advisers Act, including reforms to the Marketing Rule
    • Appropriately disclosed their marketing-related information on Form ADV
    • Maintained substantiation of their processes and other required books and records
  • Reviews will assess whether advertisements include any untrue statements of a material fact, are materially misleading, or are otherwise deceptive and comply with the requirements for performance (including hypothetical and predecessor performance), third-party ratings, testimonials, and endorsements.
  • Compensation arrangement assessments focusing on:
    • Fiduciary obligations of advisers to their clients
    • Alternative ways that advisers try to maximize revenue, such as revenue earned on clients’ bank deposit sweep programs 
    • Fee breakpoint calculation processes, particularly when fee billing systems are not automated
  • Valuation assessments regarding advisers’ recommendations to clients to invest in illiquid or difficult-to-value assets, such as commercial real estate or private placements.
  • Safeguarding assessments for advisers’ controls to protect clients’ material nonpublic information, particularly when multiple advisers share office locations, have significant turnover of investment adviser representatives, or use expert networks.
  • Disclosure assessments to review the accuracy and completeness of regulatory filings, including Form CRS, with a particular focus on inadequate or misleading disclosures and registration eligibility.

Forvis Mazars has more than 50 years of experience providing accounting, tax, and consulting services to various types of investment holdings, including conventional debt and equity investments, loans, businesses, alternative investments, and other unique assets. As of August 2022, Convergence Optimal Performance ranked Forvis Mazars as a top 25 accounting and audit firm to RIAs. Forvis Mazars also was ranked in the top 20 by assets under management. We have experience providing services to fund complexes with net assets ranging from a couple million to several billion dollars. Our experience allows us to provide tailored services to help meet your unique needs. For more information, reach out to a professional at Forvis Mazars.

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