More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Privacy Policies and Rules Whether an RIA is SEC or state-registered, the firm must have policies and procedures in effect to protect clients privacy. Policies and procedures should explicitly require an RIA to send out its privacy notice each year.
- 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 RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors 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.
Edward Mora, VP and Senior Relationship Manager for Bank of the West Wealth Management in Newport Beach, Calif., has been appointed to serve as the 2011 Chairman of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC), an independent body charged with upholding the value and integrity of the CFP certification by enforcing CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct.
The DEC is comprised of nine commissioners, seven of whom are CFP professionals, with the remaining two being public representatives. According to the CFP Board, the DEC meets three times a year to hear cases and mete out discipline, which may include suspending or revoking an individual’s right to use the CFP marks. All cases may be appealed to the Appeals Committee of CFP Board’s Board of Directors.
A shake-up occurred at the DEC back in January 2008 when the CFP Board decided to delegate to the CEO the authority to appoint the chair, members, and volunteers of the DEC, and to oversee the DEC. The chairman and some of the DEC commissioners at that time resigned in protest after the CFP Board’s decision because they believed such a structure compromised the autonomy and independence granted to DEC.
Kevin Keller, CFP Board’s CEO, said in a statement announcing Mora’s appointment that “Our ability to vigorously enforce violations of our Standards sets us apart from any other certification or designation in the financial services industry.” Mora, he continued, “will play a critical role in ensuring that we are fulfilling our mission to the public by providing a fair process for those individuals who come before the DEC and face the possibility of discipline.”
Mora has been a CFP and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) since 1998, and has been serving as a Commissioner on the DEC since 2008. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Association’s Orange County Chapter, where he chairs the Government Relations Committee.