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News March 7, 2005 Issue

OCIE Establishes Exam Hotline

Are those fresh-faced SEC examiners demanding to know why your janitor hasnít been submitting quarterly personal securities transaction reports?

Donít just stand there gnashing your teeth: call OCIEís new "exam hot line," which is dedicated to receiving calls from advisers with complaints or concerns about their SEC exams. Calls will be answered by senior attorneys in OCIEís chief counselís office (IM Insight placed a test call last week and sure enough, it was answered by a senior OCIE attorney).

"Because we do not intend the hot line to supplant ongoing and routine dialogue with examination staff and supervisors throughout the program, and because we are fortunate to have a well-trained and highly professional examination staff, I expect that there will be very few calls to the exam hot line," said OCIE director Lori Richards.

The phone number is: (202) 551-EXAM (3926). The e-mail address is:

A few other SEC phone numbers and e-mails to keep handy:

For questions about investment adviser regulation in general, call the SECís Office of Investment Adviser Regulation help line at (202) 551-6999 or e-mail:

For questions about investment company regulation, call the IM Office of Chief Counselís help line at (202) 551-6825 or e-mail:

For technical questions about how to file on IARD or pay IARD filing fees, call the IARD help line at (240) 386-4848 or e-mail:

For even more numbers to call, see the new "Contact Us" sheet posted by the Division of Investment Management last week.

A few tips on contacting the staff:

  • If you specify the area you are interested in, you will increase the likelihood that your inquiry will be forwarded to an attorney familiar with that area.
  • Do your homework first: "If you are an attorney or compliance officer submitting a legal question, we request that you research all available legal authority before contacting us, and include the results of your research with your question," asks the Division of Investment Management staff.
  • Think twice before calling. If you have a basic, technical question, the SEC staff may be a handy resource. However, if you have a nuanced legal question open to interpretation, you may want to first discuss it with counsel rather than risk walking away with a quick "No" from the staff.