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Trade Blotter Manager(SM) and IT Risk Assessments Announced as Technology Solutions at Ascendant Compliance Conference – Press Releases

September 28, 2012 No Comments »

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – The role of the Chief Compliance Officer is getting more difficult, and compliance personnel need to bridge “a new kind of gap” between risk areas, and operational and functional silos.  That was the message from Kevin Goodman, Associate Regional Director at the Securities and Exchange Commission, during a speech at Ascendant Compliance Management, Inc.'s sold-out, national compliance conference, “The Evolving Role of Compliance” at the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, held September 19-21, 2012.   

The consensus from panel after panel of industry experts, investment professionals, and former regulators was clear: we have reached a point where technology risks have become intertwined with regulatory risks, and investment advisory firms should be concerned with both in order to have a handle on their compliance programs. John Walsh (Partner, Sutherland Financial Services Group and former Associate Director/ Chief Counsel of OCIE, SEC) referred to it as the “new gap analysis,” and David Lui (CCO and Principal, Galliard Capital Management) emphasized that compliance should be proactive, not reactive.  According to Mr. Lui, it is important for firms to develop a compliance plan—measurable compliance objectives and strive throughout the year to achieve those objectives instead of merely responding to problems as they occur.

Agreeing that firms should not chase compliance, and to help them get ahead of the curve to spot potential compliance issues, Ascendant announced at the conference its new Trade Blotter Manager(SM) software-as-a-service, the first component of its overall Ascendant Compliance Manager platform. Ascendant was pleased to demonstrate to compliance officers attending the educational conference its trade blotter surveillance and analysis service, a web-based solution which Ascendant developed in-house using cutting edge technology tools to provide helpful ways to analyze, dissect, and review financial firms' trade blotters each quarter and flag issues including cross trades, sequencing issues, and various other features in a crisp, graphical representation.

Reinforcing the theme of the conference, Ascendant also announced that it is now offering IT Risk Assessment services to complement its existing compliance capabilities by conducting a detailed assessment of a financial firm's IT risks, practices, and processes. The compliance conference emphasized that the increased use of technology across the enterprise has elevated the risks to financial firms of inadequately managing their IT and safeguarding their data. Ascendant's IT Risk Assessment services are performed by experienced consultants who have passed the rigorous Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA®)  and Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM®) exams, which are formally approved by the United States Department of Defense.

In instances where compliance professionals lack adequate information technology expertise, it is readily apparent that they now are expected to bring in experts who can help them understand and validate whether their IT controls are reasonably designed to effectively prevent and detect violations of the securities regulations.

Ascendant was also pleased to welcome Andrew Donohue, a Partner with Morgan Lewis LLP and former Director of the SEC's Division of Investment Management, who spoke about the SEC's mission and rule-making process as well as risk areas.  He encouraged compliance professionals to be advocates in the rule-making process and get involved early on.  He encouraged the compliance professionals to use their experiences to help the SEC in the process and avoid unintended consequences.  Mr. Donohue's comments reflected the SEC's current rule-making challenges to complete Dodd Frank mandates. 

Mr. Goodman, Mr. Lui, and Mr. Marshall were joined by industry experts such as Steven Lentz (Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels), Steve Stone (Partner, Morgan Lewis), Rachel Womack (Partner, Stroz Friedberg, LLC) and Keith Marks, Chris Hardy and Jackie Hallihan,  (Partners, Ascendant Compliance Management), among others.

The conference consists of a comprehensive dialogue of the compliance obligations of registered investment advisers.  The implementation of Dodd-Frank, the SEC's additional rule-making response to financial fraud, and the focus on enterprise risk management (ERM) present investment managers with more and greater challenges each day.  Ascendant and industry experts come together to help firms find the most effective resources to cultivate a culture of compliance.  Ascendant conferences offer the most up-to-date guidance and real-time access to the top regulatory authorities as well as compliance solutions that can be implemented in day-to-day operations.

About Ascendant:

Ascendant Compliance Management is located in Salisbury, CT, with offices in New York City and San Francisco, CA.  Ascendant offers integrated compliance and business solutions for investment advisers, broker dealers, and hedge and private equity funds and provides educational conferences and online training.  For more information on Ascendant's services, such as annual reviews, compliance or IT risk assessments, etc., or to sign up for email alerts or the free ComplianceCasts Minute podcast series, please visit their website at or call 860-435-2255.

About Ascendant Conferences + Education:

Ascendant Compliance Management's Conferences + Education team is dedicated to the advancement of compliance professionals in the investment management industry.   The interactive approach follows all of the latest trends in SEC examinations (including the possibility of an SRO), risk assessments, insider trading, social media networks, compliance automation, ethics and fiduciary duty among other topics. The goal of the program is to equip compliance professionals with the necessary tools for developing and maintaining the highest standards of business practice management.  For more information please visit

Melissa Maleri,

SOURCE Ascendant Compliance Management

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