From the June 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Not Just the CCO

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

More On Legal & Compliance

from 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.   
  • Books and Records Rule Thorough and complete books and records enable RIAs to demonstrate that they have fulfilled their fiduciary obligations to clients and complied with applicable rules and regulations.

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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