ACA Spotlight Blog

December 13, 2017
Due to the nature of its business, trade finance is considered a high-risk product that is frequently used by individuals and criminal organizations to launder funds, conduct terrorist financing, and evade the sanctions, regulations, and restrictions of the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC"). Financial institutions ("FIs") that provide trade finance offerings are under significant regulatory pressure to develop consistent standards to help mitigate financial crime risks. It is highly...
December 7, 2017
Last summer, CFA Institute released the Exposure Draft of the GIPS Guidance Statement on Overlay Strategies. Historically, this segment of the investment industry has not received much in the form of ethical best practices in calculating and presenting performance, and this release was the first attempt by CFA Institute to issue official guidance for overlay managers. With the release of this exposure draft, many firms now face the possibility of having to change how performance is calculated,...
December 7, 2017
Link or network analysis can help the compliance risk industry better analyze data sets to discover alarming patterns. This form of analysis allows compliance teams to dive into massive piles of valuable information and process data much faster than holistic methods can. However, according to a report by Oracle, 43% of surveyed C-level financial industry executives in North America lacked the ability to translate the data available to them into actionable insight.What is Link Analysis?Link...
December 5, 2017
Trying to get ahead but feel like you’re falling behind? The “most wonderful time of the year” can quickly turn into the most stressful time of the year when you’re caught between closing out year-end projects while strategizing and planning for the New Year.If lingering projects are piling up, now is a good time to seek a fresh set of eyes and extra pair of hands to help evaluate, review, and analyze your systems. ACA Telavance’s team of certified, experienced professionals is available to...
December 4, 2017
With only 19 business days left in the year, the pressure is mounting to cross those final compliance to-do’s off the list and finish the year strong. 2017 has been filled with a number of regulatory and industry developments that may impact how year end compliance tasks are prioritized and 2018 initiatives are set, including:New SEC Chairman Jay Clayton emphasized the SEC’s commitment to expanding technology initiatives, including the use of data analytics and surveillance tools designed to...
November 30, 2017
March 1, 2018 is the next compliance deadline for the New York State Department of Financial Services' ("DFS") New York State Law 23 NYCRR 500 Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies (“23 NYCRR 500”). Several key requirements, including a full-scale risk assessment and employee training, must be completed and implemented by this date.By March 1, 2018, firms that meet the DFS 23 NYCRR 500 regulation's definition of "Covered Entity" must have the following cybersecurity...
November 20, 2017
Have you fallen behind schedule with your compliance testing and surveillance? Need an extra hand to assist with your annual compliance review? With year-end clearly in sight, we are available to assist with any short-term staffing needs. The ACA team includes a dynamic mix of financial technologists, data scientists, and compliance consultants, many of whom have real-world industry experience and/or are former regulators (e.g., SEC, FINRA, NFA, FSA, etc.). Let us provide...
November 16, 2017
For roughly 25 years, institutional investors have increasingly required asset managers with whom they invest to claim compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®). This requirement is largely required of traditional fixed income and equity strategies and applied to asset managers that work predominantly with institutional investors. Early on, most private wealth managers were exempt from the requirement, and thus their rates of compliance paled in comparison to those of...
November 16, 2017
As we approach the end of 2017 and reflect on the past year, it’s hard to ignore the recent surge in cybercrime and the financial, operational, and reputational losses that breaches have caused portfolio companies and M&A targets. Some notable examples include the $350 million (7%) deal adjustment on the Yahoo acquisition as well as the Whole Foods breach announcement that followed their acquisition by Amazon.As investors, private equity firms must rigorously assess a target’s revenue...
November 13, 2017
ACA staff have observed an increase in the amount and depth of trading data being requested of investment advisers by regulators prior to exams. We have also seen regulator requests for such firms' calendars of their expert or issuer meetings held by associated persons, as well as a regulatory focus on forensic testing after those meetings.ACA GuidanceWe recommend that investment adviser firms take the following actions to help prepare for a similar regulator request or potential...
November 9, 2017
In May 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued its final rule on beneficial ownership with respect to customer due diligence ("CDD") requirements. This rule requires financial institutions ("FIs") to adopt due diligence procedures that ensure the FIs verify and identify the beneficial owner(s) of the legal entity each time a new account is opened. FIs have likely determined the procedures that need to be implemented to capture beneficial ownership information for legal...
October 30, 2017
In the past year, it’s become apparent that cyber breaches are on the rise, and they are crippling businesses in their wake. One of the most seriously impacted companies was Equifax, whose stock price plunged 30% after they announced one of the largest breaches in U.S. history.If the last few months are any indication, cyber threats are going to continue growing in frequency and complexity. Businesses need to take a more proactive and holistic approach in order to protect their data.7...
October 27, 2017
This is the first post in a series of cybersecurity tips and tricks from ACA Aponix's team of experienced consultants.The third quarter of 2017 saw the announcement of 7 high-profile data breaches in 7 weeks. Two of the more high-profile breaches, the SEC’s EDGAR filing system and Equifax, were caused via known security exploits. While these organizations are not related (nor were the attackers from what we can gather), they have one major thing in common: their failure to maintain an...
October 23, 2017
In the wake of the recent Equifax breach that potentially affected the personal data of more than 143 million Americans, Equifax is pointing the finger at one of its third-party vendors as the cause.When dealing with third-party vendors, there is more at stake than organizations may realize. Vendors are entrusted with sensitive data and play a critical role in your ecosystem. According to a recent survey by Soha Systems, third-party breaches accounted for 63% of all breaches in 2016.Every...