Conducting Due Diligence of Sub-Advisors and Third-Party Advisors
Engaging in due-diligence of sub-advisors isnt just a recommended best practice it is part of the fiduciary obligation to a client. An RIA should be extremely reluctant to enter a relationship with a sub-advisor who claims the firms strategy is proprietary.
Dealings With Qualified Clients and Accredited Investors
Depending upon an RIAs business model and investment strategies, it may be important to identify “qualified clients” and “accredited investors.” The Dodd-Frank Act authorized the SEC to change which clients are defined by those terms.
Differences Between State and SEC Regulation of Investment Advisors
States may impose licensing or registration requirements on IARs doing business in their jurisdiction, even if the IAR works for an SEC-registered firm. States may investigate and prosecute fraud by any IAR in their jurisdiction, even if the individual works for an SEC-registered firm.
Disaster Recovery Plans and Succession Planning
RIAs owe a fiduciary duty to clients to prepare for disasters and other contingencies. If an RIA does not have a disaster recovery plan, clients financial well-being may be jeopardized. RIAs should also engage in succession planning, ensuring a smooth transaction if an owner or principal leaves.
Do’s and Don’ts of Advisory Contracts
In preparation for a compliance exam, securities regulators typically will ask to see copies of an RIAs advisory agreements. An RIA must be able to produce requested contracts and the contracts must comply with applicable SEC or state rules.
A compilation of nearly one hundred terms, phrases, and important laws critical to the understanding of investment advisor regulation and compliance.
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 placeand to recognize that examiners are not the enemy.
Meeting and Exceeding Clients and Regulators’ Expectations
Although it can be difficult, there are ways for RIAs to meet or exceed client expectations, increase customer satisfaction, and help firms retain current clients and attract new ones.
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.
Violating the pay-to-play rule can result in serious consequences, and RIAs should adopt robust policies and procedures to prevent and detect contributions made to influence the selection of the firm by a government entity.