“My clients sail through” SEC exams, Tom Giachetti says.
In a packed room Thursday morning at the TD Ameritrade Institutional national conference, Giachetti shared some of the steps advisors should take if they want to do the same.
“This administration hates your business,” he began, noting that SEC Commissioner Mary Jo White has “hired 125 lawyers” in her own image as a successful prosecuting U.S. attorney. “She’s hired some really good people,” he said. He counseled his RIA audience that the newly pugnacious “SEC doesn’t say ‘try better’ any more; you are responsible” for adhering to SEC rules and regulations.
What areas are SEC examiners focusing on these days?
Giachetti, chairman of the securities practice group at the law firm Stark & Stark, began by talking about cybersecurity. “The SEC is putting the onus on you,” he said, for showing not only that you have a cybersecurity policy, but that your external vendors do as well.
“Is your firewall secure? He asked, and “who has access to your firm’s offices? Does anyone have ingress or egress” to your offices?
While joking that he’s “not a big fan of a clean-desk policy,” he suggested that putting client documents under lock and key each night would be prudent. “Don’t assume your office cleaners or security people aren’t smart. They all have cell phones, which have cameras, which take pictures!”