From the June 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

June 1, 2009

Not Just the CCO

Sidebar to the Experts Corner "Complacency, Risk and the SEC"

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Where Are We Headed? The ultimate compliance goal is to help ensure that everyone associated with an advisory firm acts ethically at all times.  Advisors and RIAs should do the right thing, even when regulators are not looking over their shoulders.
  • Dealings With Qualified Clients and Accredited Investors Depending upon an RIAs business model and investment strategies, it may be important to identify “qualified clients” and “accredited investors.”  The Dodd-Frank Act authorized the SEC to change which clients are defined by those terms.

While the chief compliance officer (CCO) should of necessity be the main player in the compliance review process, whenever possible I strongly recommend that at least one other firm officer be substantively involved in the review. It is imperative for senior management (an individual other than the CCO) to have a working understanding of the compliance processes and exam-related issues in the event of the CCO's absence or resignation or termination. The SEC is not likely to postpone an exam in the event of a CCO's extended absence or resignation/termination. Ultimately, senior management is responsible, and must be sufficiently prepared to step in if necessary. For these reasons, I strongly encourage senior management's participation in the compliance review process.

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