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Rating:The SEC Keeps Quiet as the F-Squared Fallout Keeps Spreading Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The SEC Keeps Quiet as the F-Squared Fallout Keeps Spreading

News summary by MFWire's editors

The hits just keep on coming for F-Squared and Virtus [profile]. Yet whether or not one of those upcoming hits will come the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still TBA.

Yesterday Sanders Wommack of RIABiz penned the trade publication's latest deep dive into the fallout from F-Squared's SEC woes. RIABiz reports that giant insurance brokerage Ameriprise and RIA custodian and online brokerage TD Ameritrade are both cutting ties with F-Squared (and with F-Squared-powered Virtus funds).

A TD spokesman confirmed to RIABiz that TD Ameritrade no longer makes the F-Squared products available. And the trade publication adds that, as of yesterday, Ameriprise is blocking its advisors from buying the F-Squared products and "forcing its advisors to sell those AlphaSector funds that their clients currently own." AssetMark, Raymond James, RBC, and Stifel Nicolaus all reportedly previously limited access to F-Squared products in the wake of the SEC's investigation into performance reporting issues.

RIABiz also highlights a brush off the publication received from the SEC. On January 27, RIABiz made a Freedom of Information Act request "for documents related to an ongoing SEC investigation into Virtus". This month the SEC responded, declining the trade publication's request via the law enforcement exemption of FOIA:

It is the general policy of the Commission to conduct its investigations on a non-public basis. Thus, subject to the provisions of FOIA, the Commission does not disclose the existence or non-existence of an investigation or information gathered unless made a matter of public record in proceedings brought before the Commission or in the courts. Accordingly, the assertion of this exemption should not be construed as an indication by the Commission or its staff that any violations of law have occurred with respect to any person, entity, or security.
And RIABiz points out some changes Virtus recently made to its litigation disclosures in SEC filings. Between that and the SEC no-comment, the trade pub wonders about "the possibility that the Securities and Exchange Commission is indeed examining wrongdoing" at Virtus. (The SEC already settled with F-Squared itself, though not with F-Squared's former chief.)  

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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