More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Where Are We Headed? The ultimate compliance goal is to help ensure that everyone associated with an advisory firm acts ethically at all times. Advisors and RIAs should do the right thing, even when regulators are not looking over their shoulders.
- 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 communicationsto clients, from clients, and about client accounts. To comply with fiduciary obligations, communications must be thorough and not mislead.
To help the companies it serves tackle their ongoing compliance challenges, Charles Schwab on Monday launched Compliance Solutions, which combines the capabilities of Schwab Designated Brokerage Services (DBS) and Compliance 11, Inc.
Schwab says its Compliance Solutions program fulfills an initiative it launched last November after acquiring Compliance 11 and pairing it with Schwab Designated Brokerage Services. Compliance 11 provides regulatory compliance software and DBS provides trade monitoring services. Since the acquisition, Schwab says it has focused on creating a unique suite of tools and resources for clients.
“Companies understand that they need to meet regulatory requirements, but at Schwab we believe compliance can and should mean more than a check-the-box approach,” said Trish Cox, senior vice president for Corporate Brokerage Services at Schwab, in a statement. “Consumers value open and transparent business practices, and positive perception in this area may benefit a company’s bottom line. When managed effectively, a compliance program can be an opportunity to position a company favorably in the marketplace, build trust with clients, and enhance value and market share for a firm.”
Scott Rister, vice president of Compliance Solutions, said Schwab is also seeing growing concern among its own client base of employers regarding compliance issues. “Our clients are coming to us for help as they face an increasingly complex regulatory environment that often outpaces their ability to manage compliance processes,” Rister said in the same statement. “The business risk for our clients is real, and our solutions are designed to tackle it head on.”
Rister added that one of the chief concerns faced by regulated firms is improper securities trading, and the number and types of firms that are required to monitor employee securities trading is growing rapidly. Employees, he said, may be prohibited from trading a specific security for a variety of reasons, such as the firm possessing material non-public information.
To address this challenge, Schwab introduced proactive trade blocking. Proactive trade blocking “is unique in the industry and prevents employees from executing a prohibited trade in error, notifying them that the prohibited trade was blocked according to their company’s rules,” Rister said. “With other systems available today, even if a prohibited trade is detected, it is after the fact, which creates a poor experience for the employee and the employer alike, often requiring the trade to be canceled and unwound.”
Proactive trade blocking, Rister went on to say, “offers a much more streamlined approach and a much better experience, saving time and minimizing hassles. These trading errors are typically honest mistakes made by honest people. Now we offer a unique solution that helps them avoid these mistakes in the first place.”
Compliance Solutions also offers additional tools and technology resources “to help transform a company’s overall compliance process from complex and time-consuming to simple and efficient,” Schwab said.
The comprehensive offerings include:
- Proactive enforcement of company trading policies
- Distribution and tracking of employee affirmations and disclosures
- Logging and reporting of gifts and entertainment
- A sophisticated, cloud-based software application
- A scalable, flexible platform
- Easier maintenance of compliance policies and procedures
- Dedicated service and support teams
- Bundled pricing for cost savings
- Employee access to a full suite of brokerage products and services from Charles Schwab & Co.
- Employee access to a range of banking products and services from Charles Schwab Bank.
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