Ken C. Joseph, Esq. is a Managing Director and Head of Duff & Phelps’ Disputes Consulting practice, based in the New York office. He is also a Fellow in the Duff & Phelps Institute, providing thought leadership on a variety of financial services and regulatory matters, as well as Head of the firm’s Cryptocurrency Task Force. Ken focuses on serving clients who need informed and proven strategies to successfully navigate a broad spectrum of threats arising from investigations, compliance examinations, litigation, and crisis scenarios. He has a unique combination of front-line expertise and experience in U.S. securities law, regulatory compliance, and corporate governance. He served with distinction for a total of over 21 years at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including service as one of the inaugural supervisors in the division of enforcement’s specialized Asset Management Unit, and most recently as a Senior Officer in the Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. He has investigated, supervised, and resolved numerous complex and high-profile cases involving a wide variety of alleged misconduct by market professionals, other individuals, and by public and private entities.
Ken’s extensive docket of cases and compliance examinations at the SEC included allegations and/or findings of breaches of the anti-fraud provisions, fiduciary duty, disclosure, custody and compliance requirements, as well as the anti-corruption, data privacy and cybersecurity obligations under the federal securities laws. In total, his enforcement and examination matters on behalf of the SEC resulted in the payment of over $1 billion in monetary relief to shareholders, investors, and clients. He was responsible for conducting numerous parallel investigations and successful actions in conjunction with federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities. And, he led his team’s response to regulatory concerns involving reinsurance products, special purpose vehicles, credit default swaps, auction rate securities, cyber-intrusions, Brexit, high-yield bonds, fee and expense allocations, undisclosed conflicts, and share class selection, among others. While at the SEC, Ken served in leadership positions on several governance committees, including the National Exam Program’s Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Risk and Exam Process Committee, where he helped develop national and local examination initiatives and priorities. He also served on the Risk Analytics Committee and contributed to the development of technology solutions to improve his program’s analytical capabilities, efficiency, and techniques used to identify actual or potential misconduct.
Ken holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. He also earned B.S., MBA, and post-graduate degrees in Marketing Management and International Finance from St. John’s University, New York. He is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as the States of New York and Connecticut. He is a frequent speaker at industry panels on matters relating to SEC enforcement and securities law compliance, governance, and risk management and has represented the SEC on several foreign technical assistance missions. Ken also has substantial experience interacting with U.S. and foreign regulators and law enforcement agencies from the state, federal, and international levels, including those from the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Federal Reserve, and state securities regulators.
- Investigations, Dispute Resolution, and Corporate Governance
- Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
- Regulatory Examinations
- Development and implementation of effective compliance systems, controls, policies and procedures
- Regulatory priorities and focus areas
- Responses to inquiries, subpoenas, deficiency letters
- Supervision, governance, and culture
- Risk identification and mitigation
- Asset Managers and Investment Funds (Private Equity, Hedge Funds, Funds of Funds, Family Offices, Pension Funds, Business Development Companies)
- Dual Registrants
- Financial Reporting and Disclosures
- Securities enforcement and parallel criminal investigations
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Cybersecurity controls
- Data Analytics
- Independent Consultant
- Crisis Management
- Expert Analysis and Testimony
Under Ken’s supervision, the SEC’s Examination Program referred a number of impactful matters to the Division of Enforcement, which resulted in the payment of significant disgorgement and penalties. These impactful actions included matters involving a(n):
- Dually-registered broker-dealer and investment adviser with almost $4 billion in assets under management, which resulted in the payment of $9.5 million in monetary relief stemming from alleged anti-fraud violations based on alleged failure to monitor client accounts and to disclose conflicts in selecting mutual fund share classes for clients.
- Dually-registered broker-dealer and investment adviser with over $200 billion in regulatory assets under management, which resulted in $13 million in monetary relief for alleged overcharges to clients of more than $16 million and alleged violations of the custody rule and compliance rule.
- Major Private Equity firm with billions of dollars in assets for anti-fraud violations, which resulted in monetary relief of $30 million for alleged misallocation of broken deal expenses.
- Dually-registered broker-dealer and investment adviser with over $12 billion in assets under management, for alleged anti-fraud violations based on alleged overbilling of advisory fees and excess mutual fund sales charges, which resulted in $97 million monetary relief.
- Investment Advisory firm and its owner for fraudulently overbilling clients and misappropriating trust assets. Parallel criminal action resulted in 3 ½ year sentence for investment adviser.
- Dual registrant for alleged violations of the anti-fraud provisions based on failure to disclose conflicts in the receipt of 12b-1 fees, marketing support payments, and prepaid advisory fees, resulted in $3 million in monetary relief.
- Private Equity firm for alleged violations of the anti-fraud provisions based on failure to disclose fee allocation practices, resulted in $2.3 million in monetary relief.
- Investment Adviser for alleged violations of the anti-fraud provisions based on conduct that defrauded professional athletes and entertainers, and for producing false documents and lying to SEC examiners.
- Hedge Fund Founder and advisory firm for allegedly conducting a fraudulent scheme to inflate asset values and illicitly moving investor money to cover losses and liquidity problems.
- Private Equity manager and his firm for misappropriating $9.3 million from fund.
- Investment Advisory firm with $200 billion in regulatory assets under management for allegedly violating the anti-manipulation provision (Rule 105), resulted in $638,709 in monetary relief, and a cease-and-desist order.
- Investment Advisory firm for alleged violations of the custody rule (failure to arrange an annual surprise examination), unauthorized principal transactions, undisclosed related-party transactions, resulted in censure, cease-and-desist order, disgorgement and industry bar.
- Activist private equity firm and four of its executives for alleged failure to disclose conflicts of interest and transactions totaling more than $20 million in payments out of fund assets or portfolio companies to an affiliated entity; settled action resulted in over $500,000 in monetary relief, a 1 year bar, and a censure.
- Investment Adviser for violation of the anti-fraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act (IAA) for alleged failure to abide by its commitment to reimburse $4.5 million in certain expenses owed to a fund client in connection with a sale of assets to an affiliated fund client; resulted in civil penalty, censure, and cease-and-desist order.
- Private equity fund adviser for allegedly misleading fund investors about fees and a loan agreement, and for failing to supervise a senior partner who charged personal expenses to the funds; resulted in $52.7 million in monetary relief, a cease-and-desist order, and alleged violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the IAA.
- Investment Adviser in connection with the misappropriation of more than $10 million from client accounts by two former principals; alleged violations of the compliance rule, custody rule, and for making false statements in filings with the SEC.
- Investment Adviser for alleged failure to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations of the IAA, for failure conduct annual reviews of compliance policies and procedures, failure to conduct adequate reviews of access persons’ personal securities transactions, and failure to amend and correct information in Form ADV.
- Investment Adviser and its principal for alleged failure to adequately disclose conflicts presented by approximately $20 million in inter-fund loans made between certain fund clients.
- Investment Adviser and its president and CCO for alleged violations of the custody rule, compliance rule, books and records requirements, and the “Safeguards Rule” (Rule 30(a) of Regulation S-P) for alleged failure to adopt written policies and procedures reasonably designed to safeguard client information.
Ken holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. He also earned B.S., MBA, and post-graduate certifications in Marketing Management and International Finance from St. John’s University, New York. He completed executive education programs at Georgetown University Law Center (through the SEC) in Securities and Financial Regulation, and at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education in Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies.
Admissions and Certifications
U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. States of New York and Connecticut.
Selected Industry Panels
- Securities Enforcement Forum West 2020: The SEC’s Focus on Cybersecurity – Disclosure, Enforcement and Key Guidance for 2020, Faculty/Panelist, May 2020.
- Incident Response Forum: A Data Breach Response Conference for Legal and Compliance Professionals, Faculty/Keynote Moderator, April 2020.
- The University of Texas, McCombs School of Business, Center for Enterprise and Policy Analysis, Conference on Regulation Best Interest: How Will The Rules Impact The Use of Technology In The Delivery of Advice? and Regulation Best Interest Compliance Workshop, February 2020.
- Practicing Law Institute: Regulatory Developments and Compliance Challenges Facing SEC-Regulated Private Finds, January 2020.
- Directors & Boards, The Character of the Corporation Conference, facilitator of Working Group on ESG, November 2019.
- Duff & Phelps Alternative Investments Conference: SEC Friend or Foe, November 2019.
- Duff & Phelps CCO Roundtable on SEC Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement: November 2019.
- Proskauer, Private Credit Summit 2019: Regulatory and Enforcement Risks for Private Credit Managers, October 2019.
- 1211 Roundtable, Ropes & Grey: SEC Examinations and Enforcement Actions, September 2019.
- Global Enforcement Review, Singapore and Hong Kong: Navigating the SEC, October 2019.
- Global Regulatory Outlook 2019 Trends and Findings, June 2019.
- Risk Management Association, New York, Chief Compliance Officer Roundtable, May 2019.
- Charles Schwab, 2019 Compliance Solutions National Conference: Risk and Compliance Implications From SEC Enforcement Actions and OCIE Examinations, April 2019.
- Duff & Phelps, Legal and Compliance Roundtable: Notes From the Trenches, Navigating the SEC’s Examination and Enforcement Crosshairs, February 2019.
- Practicing Law Institute: Regulatory Developments and Compliance Challenges Facing SEC-Regulated Private Finds, January 2019.
- American Bar Association, Seventh Annual London White Collar Crime Institute: Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain, October 2019.
- IA Watch’s 18th Annual Commitment to Compliance Conference: A Critical First Look at Hot Regulatory Changes Coming out of Washington, September 2018.
- Global Association of Risk Professionals Webinar: SEC 2018 Enforcement Trends and Risk Management - Beyond Broken Windows, July 2018.
- Blockchain World Conference: Legal, Compliance, and Regulatory Town Hall and Regulating the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Market, July 2018.
- Knowledge Group LIVE Webcast: Blockchain and Digital Currencies: Trends and Updates in the 2018, June 2018.
- Regulation of Financial Services 2018: Staying Ahead of the Curve - Leveraging Big Data Platforms and Data Analytics to Ensure Compliance, May 2018.
- Goldman Sachs Securities Division Twenty-First Annual Hedge Fund Conference: Regulatory Examinations and Current Areas of Focus, May 2018.
- White Collar Crime—Lessons Learned, May 2018.
- Private Equity Internationals' Private Fund Compliance Forum 2018: Assessing The Current Regulatory Environment and Navigating Its Impact on Your Compliance, May 2018.
- GAIM Ops Cayman 2018: Keynote Regulators Panel on 2018 Priorities in Enforcement and Examination, April 2018.
- Goldman Sachs Fourth Annual Hedge Fund Legal and Regulatory Seminar: Keynote address, March 2018.
- Risk Management Association (New York Chapter): Chief Compliance Officers Roundtable, February 2018.
- PLI Private Funds Compliance Conference 2018: Regulatory Developments and Compliance Challenges Facing SEC-Regulated Private Funds.
- Private Fund Regulatory Developments and Compliance Challenges 2017: Compliance Challenges for SEC-Regulated Private Funds Practicing Law Institute, 2017.
- 2017 Roundtable Discussion with Senior Leaders From FINRA, FRBNY and SEC. Risk Management Association (N.Y. Chapter), 2017.
- Prepping for an SEC/NFA Examination, Legal & Compliance 2017 Conference, Managed Funds Association, 2017.
- Hedge Funds and Private Equity Enforcement & Regulatory Developments 2017: SEC Inspections and Examinations of Private Hedge and Equity Funds Practicing Law Institute, 2017.
- Chief Compliance Officer Outreach 2012-2017. SEC-sponsored compliance outreach program for N.Y. and N.J.-area registrants.
- Military Emergency Preparedness, Investment Scams, Ft. Hamilton Army Base, 2017.
- Private Fund Regulatory Developments and Compliance Challenges 2016: Compliance Challenges for Hedge Funds and Other Private Funds Practicing Law Institute, 2016.
- Cybersecurity Examinations, Priorities, and Best Practices, Association of Institutional Investors, 2016.
- Investment Management Institute 2016: Enforcement and Litigation Trends, Practicing Law Institute, 2016.
- Hedge Fund Compliance & Regulatory Challenges 2015: SEC-Related Compliance Challenges and Regulatory Developments, Practicing Law Institute, 2015.
- Current Issues Affecting Private Clients, SIFMA Regional Seminar, 2015.
- Understanding Corporate Structure, Prosecuting Financial Fraud, Government Regulation and Economics, and SEC Regulations and Reporting, National Advocacy Center (training program for DOJ Prosecutors and Analysts), 2015.
- Military Consumer Protection Day: Fraudulent Schemes Targeting Servicemembers, (Conceived and Organized joint program with representatives from the SEC, FBI, U.S. Secret Service, USPIS, DOJ, CFPB, and NJ Bureau of Securities), Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst, 2015.
- Regulator’s Perspective on Issues affecting Retail Investors, SIFMA, 2015.
- Outsmarting Consumer and Investment Fraud, Rutgers University Financial Institutions Center, 2014. (Joint program with the FBI, USAO/DNJ and the N.J. Bureau of Securities.)
- Hedge Fund Compliance and Regulatory Challenges, 100 Women in Hedge Funds conference, 2014.
- Hedge Fund Compliance & Regulatory Challenges 2014: Investor-Facing Compliance Challenges and Ethical Considerations, Practicing Law Institute, 2014.
- Hedge Fund Compliance and Regulation 2013: Investor Relations: Ethical Considerations and Compliance Challenges Practicing Law Institute, 2013.
- Technical Assistance Program: Inspections and Compliance Training Programme, Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission, 2013.
Hedge Fund Enforcement & Regulatory Developments Winter 2013: SEC Inspections and Examinations of Hedge Funds and Private Equity Firms” Practicing Law Institute, 2013.
Inside Look at Wall Street, St. John’s University, 2011.
- Technical Assistance Program: Fraud and Abuse by Hedge Funds, Investment Advisers, Private Equity Funds and Investment Companies; Insider Trading; Investigating Financial Fraud by Stock Issuing Companies; Broker Dealer Enforcement; and Key Elements for Building An Effective Enforcement Program presented at the Capital Market Oversight & Development in the Caribbean and Latin America Conference, Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission, 2011.
- Dodd Frank Act & Impact on Bankruptcy & Securities Laws. NY City Bar Center, 2011.
- Securities Compliance Programs – 2012 Enforcement Division Priorities, Regulatory Compliance Association, 2011.
- Financial Services Industry Today: Enforcement Issues. ALI-ABA, 2009.
- Managing Complex Litigation 2009. American Conference Institute, 2009.
- Reinsurance Cases. Division of Enforcement, Chief Enforcement Conference, 2006.
Insights and News
- Directors&Boards Magazine, co-author: ESG Disclosure and Compliance: Navigating the Confusion, First Quarter 2020.
- Risk Management Association Journal, quoted: Building and Sustaining a Strong Compliance Program, August 2019.
- Ignites, quoted: Going Green: Shops Work to Navigate ESG Compliance Minefield, January 30, 2020.
- Wall Street Journal, quoted: U.S. Securities Examiners to Focus on Investment Advice, Outsourcing Risks, January 16, 2020.
- Financial Advisor IQ, quoted: If You’re Not This Far Along In Your SEC Reg BI Prep, You’re Falling Behind, December 9, 2019.
- Financial Advisor IQ, quoted: Implementation date for the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, December 9, 2019.
- Women’s Wear Daily Magazine, quoted: Justice Department/SEC investigation into Under Armour's accounting practices, November 4, 2019.
- The Baltimore Sun, quoted: Justice Department/SEC investigation into Under Armour's accounting practices, November 4, 2019.
- Law360, quoted: SEC's Disclosure Proposals Compete With Investor Demands, August 13, 2019.
- PLANADVISER Magazine, quoted: Reg BI Could Make It Easier for B/Ds to Compete With Retirement Plan Advisers, July 12, 2019.
- Ignites, quoted: SEC to Courts: Clashing Reg BI, State Rules Are Your Problem Now, July 12, 2019.
- Corporate Counsel, quoted: New Survey Shows Financial Institutions Still Losing the War on Money Laundering, May 29, 2019.
- Law360, quoted: 5 Tips For Tech Companies To Avoid SEC Scrutiny, January 24, 2019.
- Corporate Counsel, quoted: SEC Annual Report Indicates Shift in Enforcement Focus, November 6, 2019.
- Private Funds Management, quoted: Supreme Court Ruling Nixes SEC’s Administrative Law Judges, June 27, 2018.
- Private Equity International, quoted: No Complacency for Compliance, May 10, 2018.
- Reuters, quoted: SEC tackles fund liquidity complexity with rule proposal, delay, new guidance, March 27, 2018.
- Private Funds Management, quoted: A Quiet Vigilance, March 26, 2018.
- Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, quoted: Mutual fund liquidity rule delay by SEC buys time for implementation, February 27, 2018.
- Private Funds Management, quoted: Three questions with the former SEC NY Exam Head , February 27, 2018.
- Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, quoted: Massachusetts charges TD's Scottrade for sales quotas, signaling fiduciary rule compliance risk, February 16, 2018.
- FundFire, quoted: SEC Drops Consultants from Exam List, February 8, 2018.
- University Settlement, Board of Directors
- Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, New York Alumni Network, Board of Directors
- Fort Hamilton High School, School Leadership Team
- University of North Carolina School of Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors (2017 to 2019)