Skip Schweiss, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s managing director of advisor advocacy and industry affairs, told ThinkAdvisor on Wednesday that he hopes the third-party audit rule is still being developed, and that the Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly shifting 100 examiners from the BD side to the RIA side “can only help balance the load between the two.”
Schweiss, who was at TD Ameritrade’s National LINC conference in Orlando, said, “It isn’t an increase in SEC resources; adding oversight to the RIA side will only detract oversight from the BD side.”
According to published reports, “the SEC says this shift [of examiners] – along with its FY2016 budget increase – will allow it to increase RIA exams by 40%, Schweiss notes, “which is great, until you realize that’s an increase from a 10% exam rate to a 14% exam rate. In other words, we still have a ways to go.”
The SEC also announced Wednesday that Jane Jarcho, national director of investment advisor exams, has been named deputy director of the agency’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.
Regarding the shift in examiners, David Tittsworth, counsel with Ropes & Gray and former president and CEO of the Investment Adviser Association, says that while it will “take some time to effectuate the shift from the BD inspection program, to train the examiners, and to have the program up and running,” such a shifting of examiners “should result in a significant increase in the frequency of IA examinations.”
Former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt, who championed the third-party advisor audit concept during his time at the agency, told ThinkAdvisor on Wednesday that “given the SEC examination unit’s ever-increasing workload, there will never be enough people (or money to pay them) in-house to do all the things that everyone agrees need to be done.”