Eaton & Van Winkle LLP Client Alert


For Broker Dealers and Investment Advisers
Annual Year End Compliance Meetings, Risk Management Assessments and AML Evaluation

It is time for planning and scheduling of the firm’s Annual Compliance Meetings and Risk Management Assessment. Here are Key Action Steps (KAS) that will assure that your Compliance and RM Processer are meaningful for management, staff and sales professionals, plus provide evidence to share with FINRA-SEC-or state examiners of your 2015 efforts.


  1.     Review 2014 Compliance Topics and Meeting Agenda items and compare with last FINRA or SEC OCIE exam results; prepare 2015 Compliance Topics to incorporate “hot topics” that Regulators have highlighted during exam and via new Rules during 2015.
  2.     Prepare 2015 Meeting Topics with new areas; include “quest experts” on subjects from within the firm, industry or legal sources.
  3.     Consider including written “executive summaries” of new or pending amendments to FINRA/SEC Rules and special subject areas as handouts/attachments at the meeting.
  4.     Review 2014 RM assessment, and add relevant topics to 2015 Compliance Meeting agenda; for example: All changes to Firm WSP’s should be covered; Cyber Security policy/procedure revisions; special product reviews (ETF’s, Alternative Investments, Sales Practices involving Seniors/Retirees; FinCEN proposal AML program rule for Investment Advisers).
  5.     Consider adding section on “Lessons Learned” or “Case Studies” from sales, supervision, compliance or operational/back office “problems” that were addressed during 2015.
  6.     Consider whether improvements are needed to document attendee participation, whether via ‘live’ sessions or webinars.
  7.     Make session relevant to your sales and operations staff, as well as senior management, supervisors and compliance, fostering “teamwork” and cooperation to assure compliance.
  8.     AML matters should include: recent enforcement matters relating to SARS filing compliance, examination of “non-apparent risks” within current AML procedures; CIP OFAC reviews, and suspicious activity monitoring/testing/reporting; adequacy of risk weighting of offered products and current exception reports and “red flag” processes; effectiveness of combined human and electronic surveillance resources; resource allocation and infrastructure “loads” on performance; Omnibus Accounts established by foreign financial intermediaries and documenting justifiable reliance on referring entity due diligence.

If you have any SEC or securities-related questions, please contact Paul A. Lieberman, any of the undersigned members of our corporate and securities practice group, or your regular EVW attorney.

Paul Lieberman 212-561-3628
Lawrence Steckman 646-821-9367
Ted Semaya 212-561-3615
Michael Lacher 646-790-2981


©Eaton & Van Winkle LLP 2015. All rights reserved. This memorandum was prepared as a service to clients and other friends of Eaton & Van Winkle to report on recent developments that may be of interest to them. The information in it is therefore general, and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Throughout this memorandum, “Eaton & Van Winkle” and the “firm” refer to Eaton & Van Winkle LLP. If you have not received this publication directly from us, you may obtain a copy of past or future EVW publications by emailing Charmaine Chester at and requesting to be placed on our firm mailing list for publications.