From the August 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Advice to the SEC

Sidebar to the article "Finding Their voice"

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIA’s failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisor’s fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients’ transactions.
  • How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Compliance Exam There is much more to compliance examination survival than knowing all of the rules. It helps to understand why the rules were put in place—and to recognize that examiners are not the enemy.

When it comes to the fiduciary standard, and the six-month study that the SEC will conduct to determine whether brokers should be held to such a standard, Capital Analysts President and CEO Matt Lynch says advisors "want to be sure the SEC seeks and gathers input from the industry as to how to implement these important changes.

"I've been involved in a number of meetings with the SEC and FINRA, and I've said I think there is a difference between disclosure and transparency, [and] that ultimately what [the SEC] should be doing is making it easier for the investor to understand the nature of the relationship between themselves and the advisor--including how the advisor is paid, who's paying him, and where any conflicts of interests may exist. I believe a different way of providing that financial literacy to the client would be important to add to the SEC regulations. My concerns would be that the SEC produce guidance subject to interpretation but doesn't really give the industry enough information to take action. I think changing the way we communicate with clients would be a good thing."

Return to "Broker/Dealer Marketing: Finding Their Voice."

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