Not to be confused with the blues song, “Long Tall Sally,” the SEC’s new research tool, SALI, can help investors avoid singing the blues after dealing with an unsavory financial professional.
The SEC Action Lookup for Individuals (“SALI”), which was launched on May 2, 2018, can also help financial services firms to conduct due diligence on new hires.
SALI is intended primarily for investors, so they can check out the individual who is pitching products or services to them. SALI helps investors to determine if the person they are dealing with has a disciplinary history with the SEC or other regulators. The new tool’s results are not restricted to registered investment professionals, which differs from many existing online search functions.
By conducting a search with SALI, investors are able to identify individuals who have settled, defaulted, or contested an enforcement action brought by the SEC, but only if a final judgment or order was entered against that person in a federal court or an administrative proceeding. Persons whose cases are currently pending at the trial court level will not show up in a search using SALI. An individual’s name will not show up in the search results if no judgment or order has been issued.
SALI is best used to supplement other investment-related search tools, such as FINRA’s BrokerCheck. It gives investors and firms access to information regarding unregistered, as well as registered individuals. Investors will also benefit by searching the Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (“IAPD”) website to determine if the individual is registered and to gather additional information about the person or firm’s background.
SALI is a work in progress. Currently, SALI’s search results include parties to SEC actions filed between October 1, 2014 and March 31, 2018. The SEC will update the search feature periodically to include actions filed prior to October 1, 2014 and to incorporate new enforcement data.
SALI is one more tool that investors can use to make informed investment decisions and avoid financial fraud. The press release accompanying the launch of SALI can be found at
Aside from using research tools like SALI to vet new hires, Registered Investment Advisers should encourage clients and prospects to use them. They let investors know that an investment adviser has nothing to hide, but their competition might.