From the May 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

A Serious Man

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • The New and Improved Form ADV Whether an RIA is describing its investment strategy in advertisements or in the new Form ADV Part 2, it is important the firm articulates material risks faced by advisory clients and avoids language that might be construed as a guarantee.
  • 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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