From the May 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

A Serious Man

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Preventing and Dealing with Client Complaints Although the SEC has not provided specific guidance on how client complaints should be handled, a firm’s policies and procedures should provide clear direction how to do so, as neglecting complaints can exacerbate a bad situation.
  • 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.   

Before a room of people or in an intimate dinner or an interview with a journalist, Tom Giachetti is never at a loss for words. Whether it's talking about his New Jersey childhood or explaining to a room of advisors why having a formal Investment Policy Statement may not be the best idea in the world (unless it has some specific limiting language and has been signed by the client, for a start), Giachetti can seem glib. But that golden tongue masks a deadly serious approach to the law and giving advice that I was reminded of when I asked him in the interview for this article about the meaning of, to me at least, a confusing Supreme Court ruling that had taken place the day before the interview regarding mutual fund advisors' fees.

After all, I figured, Mr. Loquacious could give me a quick, juicy quote that I could use to spice up a news story we were doing on the ruling. I was wrong. "Jamie," Giachetti said quickly, after ascertaining exactly which Scotus ruling I was referring to, "I can't comment; I haven't studied the ruling." It seems that Mr. Giachetti likes to know what he's talking about before he opens his mouth.

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