Thursday, September 6, 2012
The SEC instituted a settled administrative proceeding against two Portland, Oregon-based investment advisory firms and their owner Christopher Keil Hicks for failing to disclose a revenue-sharing agreement and other potential conflicts of interest to clients. The SEC’s investigation found violations in three areas of the advisory business run by Hicks, who owns Focus Point Solutions and The H Group. Most notably, Focus Point did not disclose to customers that it was receiving revenue-sharing payments from a brokerage firm that managed a particular category of mutual funds being recommended to Focus Point clients. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s charges, Hicks, Focus Point, and The H Group agreed to pay a combined $1.1 million to settle the case.
The SEC's release goes on to state that the Asset Management Unit and the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office have commenced an initiative to shed more light on revenue-sharing arrangements between investment advisers and brokers.