More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Scope of the Fiduciary Duty Owed by Investment Advisors A fiduciary obligation goes beyond the suitability standard typically owed by registered representatives of broker-dealer firms to clients. The relationship is built on the premise that the advisor will always do the right thing for the person or entity receiving advice.
- 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.
When Hurricane Sandy blew into town, in addition to all the storm damage, it brought a whole lot of potential problems, as well as nastiness that had nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with man's baser instincts. FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission have issued warnings and bulletins to help both advisors and the public better cope.
For financial professionals, FINRA issued a notice regarding regulatory and compliance relief for those directly affected by the storm.
Regulatory Notice 12-45 deals with a number of issues, "including emergency office relocations, continuing education requirements for registered personnel, registered personnel engaged in active military duty, regulatory filings and inquiries, membership applications and customer communications."
The body also pointed out that there are additional Sandy advisories on its website at a dedicated page.
For the public, the SEC issued an investor alert regarding investment and other scams, such as Ponzi schemes, that surface in the wake of the storm and other such calamities. A particularly popular form of such disaster scams that it warned of was the cleanup scam, in which "promoters [tout] companies purportedly involved in cleanup efforts…"
In particular, the agency warned, "We also heard about fraudsters targeting individuals receiving compensation from insurance companies. Individuals, including those receiving lump-sum insurance payouts, should be extremely wary of potential investment scams related to Hurricane Sandy." [Emphasis theirs.]