More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- 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.
- Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients transactions.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has published a prototype "summary prospectus" for mutual funds, and has asked for public comment from investors. The proposed streamlined prospectus would let investors quickly learn key information about a mutual fund.
The Commission voted unanimously on November 15 to propose rule amendments that would enable investors to view a concise, plain English summary of key facts about a mutual fund. The SEC says in a release that it is seeking public comment on the proposed rule amendments, including the summary prospectus, which is available online at www.sec.gov/investor/enhanceddisclosure.htm, along with additional information to help investors understand and participate in the comment process.
The Commission is proposing that the following information be included in a mutual fund summary prospectus:
- Investment objectives
- Principal investment strategies, risks, and performance
- Top 10 portfolio holdings
- Identity of investment advisers and portfolio managers
- Brief purchase, sale, and tax information
- Information about broker compensation and conflicts
The SEC says it is seeking investor input about what improvements would make the summary prospectus easier to read and understand, and what key information investors would like to see included. "The Commission also is seeking comment on its proposal for mutual funds to provide investors the summary information while making the full prospectus available online or in paper copy upon request," according to the SEC. Comments should be received no later than February 28, 2008.