Welcome to the website for the S&P Dow Jones Indices Fair Fund.
If you purchased and/or held VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETNs linked to the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index due December 4, 2030, listed on a U.S. exchange and registered with the Commission and traded under the symbol XIV (“XIV” or “Security”) during the period between 4:09:40 p.m. and 5:09 p.m. EST on February 5, 2018 (“Relevant Period”) you may be entitled to a Distribution Payment from the S&P Dow Jones Indices Fair Fund.
On May 17, 2021, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Cease-and-Desist Proceedings, Pursuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933, Making Findings, and Imposing a Cease-and-Desist Order (the “Order”) against the Respondent, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. According to the Order, on Monday, February 5, 2018, despite notable market volatility, an index published by Respondent remained static during certain intervals between the 4:00 PM hour up until 5:08 PM, even though it was supposed to calculate values based on real-time prices of certain VIX futures contracts. This was due to the implementation of a heretofore unknown quality control feature called an “Auto Hold” used by Respondent.
An Auto Hold comes into effect if an index value breaches certain thresholds, at which point the immediately prior index value continues to be reported. The repetition of this index value continues until a current index value comes back within those thresholds or responsible Respondent’s personnel manually release the Auto Hold. On February 5, 2018, during the intervals described above, Respondent’s personnel did not release the Auto Hold for the index, resulting in the publication and dissemination of static index values, rather than values based on the real-time prices of certain VIX futures contracts.
The index was the primary input for the calculation of the Security’s indicative value, so like the index’s values, the Security’s indicative values published to the market during the same intervals on February 5, 2018 were similarly static. As a result, during certain intervals between the 4:00 PM hour up until 5:08 PM, the Security’s indicative values being reported in real-time were higher than what would have been calculated and disseminated if the Auto Hold had not been triggered. As such, during the 4:00 PM hour and until 5:09 PM, when the closing indicative value of XIV was published, investors did not know that they had been purchasing and/or holding a product that had an economic value that was substantially less than what had been publicly reported. In addition, unlike the XIV indicative values being published to the market, the XIV indicative values that would have been published if the Auto Hold had not been triggered would have breached a key metric that would have provided the issuer a right to accelerate, or call, all outstanding XIV notes.
Without admitting or denying the allegations, Respondent consented to the entry of an order alleging violations of Section 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933. The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay a $9,000,000 civil money penalty to the Commission. The Commission also created a Fair Fund, pursuant to Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, so the penalty paid can be distributed to harmed investors. The Fair Fund consists of the $9,000,000 paid by the Respondent.
The Respondent has paid in full. The Fair Fund has been deposited at the United States Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (“BFS”) for investment, and any interest accrued will be added to the Fair Fund.