US SEC fines 9 investment firms over marketing rule failures

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday ordered nine investment advisory firms to pay a combined $850,000 in civil penalties for advertising hypothetical performance without implementing new policies required by regulators.

The SEC found the firms had not met requirements of a 2020 rule that bans advisers from touting hypothetical performance to investors unless they have policies designed to ensure that it is relevant to the intended audience, among other things.

The charged companies were Banorte Asset Management, BTS Asset Management, Elm Partners Management, Hansen and Associates Financial Group, Linden Thomas Advisory Services, Macroclimate, McElhenny Sheffield Capital Management, MRA Advisory Group and Trowbridge Capital Partners, the SEC said in a statement.

The firms, which did not admit or deny the SEC’s allegations, were hit with penalties ranging from $50,000 to $175,000, the SEC said.

Representatives for each of the firms did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington and Chris Prentice in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Jamie Freed)