From the April 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Group Think

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Use and Misuse of Social Media Social media is an inexpensive and effective way to communicate with established and prospective clients.  Nevertheless, when RIAs utilize social media to promote their advisory practices, they risk compliance problems for their firms.
  • 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 communications—to clients, from clients, and about client accounts.  To comply with fiduciary obligations, communications must be thorough and not mislead.

? The SEC and FINRA are hosting five regional CCOutreach BD regional seminars beginning May 13 for broker/dealer firms. The seminars will feature panelists from local SEC and FINRA staff and CCOs from broker/dealer firms, and will address such topics as the current regulatory environment, enterprise-wide supervision, recordkeeping, and information protection. Further information is available at www.sec.gov/info/bdccoutreach.htm.

? Speaking at the Investment Advisers Association conference on March 10, Andrew "Buddy" Donohue of the SEC pledged to have Form ADV Part II out by the end of this year, as well as the books and records rule.

? NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, has named Rick Heil as its director of standards, responsible for shephering NAVA's Straight-through Processing Standards Initiative (NAVA STP), a standards-based process which is designed to streamline the sale of annuities.

? On February 19, FPA President Richard Salmen met with SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro to discuss regulatory reform.

? Diahann Lassus, chair of NAPFA, said February 26 that the fee-only group would "vigorously support" changing an SEC rule that would require RIAs to use an "independent custodian" rather than a "qualified custodian" to custody client assets. The possibility of a rule change arose during an SEC hearing prompted by the Bernie Madoff scandal that addressed how to protect investors from fraud.

? NAIFA members were scheduled to hold multiple visits with members of Congress on March 17, including, the group said, visits with the leadership of the House and Senate tax-writing committees.

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