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
  • Nothing but the Best Execution Along with the many other fiduciary obligations owed by RIAs, firms owe a duty to seek best execution of clients’ transactions.  If they fail to do, RIAs violate Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act.
  • Client Communication and Miscommunication RIA policies and procedures must specify what type of communications should be retained. The safest course of action is for RIAs to retain all communications—to clients, from clients, and about client accounts.  To comply with fiduciary obligations, communications must be thorough and not mislead.

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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