At least one employee benefits plan purchased large numbers of structured securities products that were later liquidated well below face value, possibly to the benefit of the broker-dealer that marketed the products, according to a risk alert issued by the Security and Exchange Commission's National Exam Program. 

Staff at the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations analyzed over 26,000 sales of SSPs totaling $1.25 billion in principal transactions at 10 branch offices of registered broker-dealers. 

The SEC's review of transactions made between January 2011 and December 2012 found structural compliance issues in all the firms involved. 

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.