More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients transactions.
- Whistleblowers A whistleblower is any individual providing the SEC with original information related to a possible violation of federal securities law. The Dodd-Frank Act established a whistleblower program that enables the SEC to reward individuals who voluntarily provide such information.
The SEC announced Wednesday that Jon T. Rymer, who currently serves as inspector general of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., will serve as interim inspector general of the SEC until a permanent successor can be found. He will also continue his duties at the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General.
Rymer succeeds Noelle Maloney, who has served as interim IG since the end of January and will return to her previous position as deputy IG. She had succeeded former IG H. David Kotz, who, as reported by AdvisorOne, left the agency to become managing director in the Washington office of the private investigative services firm Gryphon Strategies.
Rymer is a certified internal auditor and a certified government auditing professional. He currently serves as chair of the audit committee of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency and as vice chair of the Council of Inspectors General on Financial Oversight. He also is a member of the Comptroller General’s Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards.
Kotz had served as IG for four years, and during his tenure, according to a Bloomberg report, he and his staff issued 52 audit reports and 144 investigative reports—roughly double the number in the preceding four years. Among them was the notable 457-page report issued in September 2009 on the SEC's failings in the Madoff case titled “Investigation of Failure of the SEC to Uncover Bernard Madoff's Ponzi Scheme.”
There was considerable turmoil in the IG’s office and no little controversy surrounding Kotz, who, several months prior to the time of his departure, had been the target of official complaints by two SEC employees. Reuters reported that Linda Baier, acting branch chief of acquisition policy, and enforcement attorney Nancy McGinley had both filed complaints against Kotz.
There were also accusations that the former IG had gone overboard in pursuing waste and corruption within the SEC. "I believe in an affirmative and aggressive IG," former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt said in the report. Pitt, who had defended several SEC employees investigated by Kotz, added, "The process that I am seeing is one that is designed to bully, intimidate and basically make people very fearful."
Kotz said at the time that the reaction to his work was such as might be found in an agency that was being scrutinized for the first time in years. His aggressive pursuit of investigation had also garnered him supporters, who pointed to his diligence and results.