More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Disaster Recovery Plans and Succession Planning RIAs owe a fiduciary duty to clients to prepare for disasters and other contingencies. If an RIA does not have a disaster recovery plan, clients financial well-being may be jeopardized. RIAs should also engage in succession planning, ensuring a smooth transaction if an owner or principal leaves.
- Client Communication and Miscommunication RIA policies and procedures must specify what type of communications should be retained. The safest course of action is for RIAs to retain all communicationsto clients, from clients, and about client accounts. To comply with fiduciary obligations, communications must be thorough and not mislead.
A host of the leaders of the financial planning profession--past and present--have signed a letter addressed to the CFP Board of Standards expressing their opposition to the Board's proposed changes to its Code of Ethics as "so potentially detrimental to the mark, the profession and the public interest, that it is imperative we emphasize our collective concern." The letter, over the names of such luminaries as Harold Evensky, Elissa Buie, Ben Coombs, Jim Barnash, and Roy Diliberto, notes that many of the individuals have already expressed their individual concerns about the proposed changes, first floated in July, to the Board. Mincing no words, the letter goes on to say "we believe that the effective elimination of many practice stand requirements, the weakening of others and the proposed weak "prudent person" fiduciary standard, coupled with an unacceptable "opt out" provision, is not in the interest of consumers and devalues the economic significance of the CFP mark."
The Financial Planning Association had voiced its official opposition to the changes on September 25 in a letter from current FPA President Dan Moisand (also a signatory to the October 11 letter) to Barton Francis, chair of the CFP Board. The FPA said the proposed revisions "fail to enhance consumer protections or advance the profession of financial planning." It called for the proposals to be "withdrawn, redeveloped with a more inclusive process, and resubmitted to the public and certificants for further comment."
The Board closed its comment period on the proposed changes on September 25, and said it would consider the hundreds of comments it received at its October Board of Governors meeting.