In its ongoing concern with the maintenance of effective compliance programs, the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued on December 2, 2008, an "Open Letter to CEOs of SEC Registered Firms" stressing the need to maintain adequate securities law compliance programs, particularly during the current period of "financial and market turmoil." The letter, signed by Lori A. Richards, Director of the Office, noted that many firms are considering cost cutting measures, but reminded them of their "obligation to maintain an adequate compliance program reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the law."

The letter is directed at SEC regulated firms, "including broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment companies and transfer agents." The open letter can be found at www.sec.gov/about/offices/ocie/ceoletter.htm.