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
  • RIAs and Customer Identification Just as RIAs owe a duty to diligently protect their clients’ privacy and guard against theft, firms also play a vital role in customer identification. Although RIAs are not subject to an anti-money laundering rule, securities regulators expect advisors to address these issues in their policies and procedures.
  • Agency and Principal Transactions In passing Section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act, Congress recognized that principal and agency transactions can be harmful to clients. Such transactions create the opportunity for RIAs to engage in self-dealing.

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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