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Content tagged "National Compliance Services"



Mike Alfred: We're showing sensitivity here.

How BrightScope plans to publicize RIA advisory fees fairly amid all those onion layers
One competitor is convinced the Alfreds are merely rewarding fee obfuscation but the San Diego iconoclasts refuse to be discouraged

Friday 4.12.13
Mark Cortazzo: I don't feel bad for the person who was expecting this residual revenue, because they're not doing their job.

Why a $750 million LPL hybrid is selling its annuities expertise by eyeballing client contracts for RIAs
VAs aren't all bad, according to one New Jersey RIA -- in fact, some yellowing agreements are well worth a second look and could be worth keeping

Tuesday 3.26.13
Shiyan Koh: It's like a dating website for advisors.

NerdWallet's lead generation website has 20 Bay area advisors in beta, MIT, Wharton, Brown and Stanford folks running things and a Silicon Valley confidence
For Ask a Financial Advisor, the medium is the (video) message and the specializations include Lutherans

Tuesday 3.5.13
Les Abromovitz: It will be of little consolation to clients to know that their advisors' nest eggs went down the drain along with their own.

SEC may tackle RIAs claiming to have 'skin in the game'
Heed the cautionary tale of the recent $1.6 million settlement against an RIA and its affiliated B-D that falsely claimed they co-invested in a fund

Friday 12.28.12
Brian Davis: This isn't meant to be a deep dive, but to answer those yes and no compliance questions RIAs have on a day-to-day basis.

Scottrade proclaims itself the 'compliance custodian,' partnering with RIA In a Box and staffing a hotline with ex-regulators
But the mega-custodians are having none of it, saying the initiative is good as far as it goes, but lacks the horsepower to tackle the big questions

Friday 12.7.12
Les Abromovitz: An RIA should have ready access to current contact information for clients, employees, regulators, custodians, and service providers.

RIAs must prepare for post-disaster recovery or regulators will lower the boom
Tornadoes, floods and hurricanes, sure, but death, disability and bad succession plans can also be disastrous for clients

Monday 10.29.12
Ray Lucia: I removed the slides that are in question from my seminar presentation.

With SEC coming down hard, TV and radio star RIA principal in San Diego makes his case to listeners
The commission says Ray Lucia back-testing is questionable but some high-profile defenders take his side

Wednesday 9.19.12
Les Abromovitz: Policies and procedures can protect elderly clients who exhibit signs of a cognitive impairment.

Older investors' complaints deserve -- and receive -- special scrutiny from regulators
Examiners give seniors the benefit of the doubt in a complaint, making it imperative to keep meticulous records focusing on not just the 'what' but the 'why' of investment decisions

Tuesday 7.17.12
Les Abromovitz: The SEC is embracing social media. It remains to be seen if social media users will embrace the SEC.

What the SEC is up to with its website's fancy new look
The redesign is a nod to social media and a recognition that it needs the public

Monday 5.14.12
Les Abromovitz: You are destined to have problems if the PR firm believes that regulations need not get in the way of a great marketing campaign.

PR firms must recognize that RIAs answer to a higher authority
There is such a thing as bad press -- a disclosure that seems 'a bit much' to your public relations firm may be just enough to land you in a compliance hot spot

Thursday 5.10.12
Les Abromovitz: If you ignore securities regulators' priorities ... you're likely to get dealt a bad hand during an exam.

The SEC will often 'tell' advisors what compliance issues deserve attention
The agency has its own ways of communicating what gets on its regulatory nerves

Monday 4.9.12
Glenn Neasham: I didn't do anything wrong.

How Glenn Neasham lost his house, was forced to go on food stamps and faces jail time after selling a senior an indexed annuity
The case of this Lake County, Calif. insurance agent gives pause to advisors and agents dealing with seniors -- and indexed annuities

Wednesday 4.4.12
Les Abromovitz: The most significant compliance risks arise from structured programs that reward clients for each and every referral.

Where RIAs should draw the line in rewarding clients for referrals
By expressing your gratitude in a tangible form, you run the risk of turning your client into a solicitor

Monday 3.26.12
Les Abromovitz: The SEC and state securities regulators want to prove they are aggressively overseeing RIAs.

Lost in limbo: How and why compliance officers can seem to thwart RIA marketing efforts
CCOs have valid reasons for poring over the content of any proposed articles coming from their firm -- but they owe you a quick response

Wednesday 2.22.12
Les Abromovitz: "Social plug-ins,” such as the “like” feature, might be viewed by examiners as a testimonial.

Think about compliance before sending or posting those articles you read
A new SEC alert gives updated guidance regarding the pitfalls of using social media

Monday 1.23.12
Les Abromovitz: You won't score points with examiners by having superfluous or irrelevant policies and procedures.

Recent SEC enforcement actions make annual policies and procedures exams even more important
Sprucing up your compliance manual early and often can prevent the SEC leaving coal in your Christmas stocking

Thursday 1.5.12
Les Abromovitz: A word or two can make the difference between a compliant video and one that is potentially misleading.

Why RIA videos are especially fraught with regulatory pitfalls
The productions are expensive so check with the CCO before rolling the cameras

Monday 12.5.11
Les Abromovitz:  [Soft dollar use] may affect the best execution of securities transactions and might cause the client to pay more than the lowest-available commission.

RIAs need to take a hard look at their use of soft dollars
Some advisors are landing in hot water with the SEC

Friday 11.11.11
Les Abromovitz: Avoid statements that expressly state or imply that you and your firm are in a class by yourself.

Examiners may ask “Says who?” about your advertisements
RIAs may run afoul of the SEC by using superlatives like "unparalleled" and "unique"

Tuesday 6.21.11
Ryan Alfred: If you do something disruptive (in the marketplace), it’s going to be polarizing.

BrightScope sticks to its guns as it responds to outspoken critics of its Advisor Pages
The San Diego-based data tracker opens a window on the practices of 450,000 advisors; skeptics say it crosses a line

Monday 5.2.11
Les Abromovitz: Resolving these issues at the firm level reduces the risk that someone will take their complaint to regulators.

Potential whistleblowers have little to lose and millions to gain with the SEC's reward system
Here's how to keep complaints from turning into tip-off phone calls

Thursday 4.14.11
LInda Cena: Michigan's top RIA regulator, says one advisor recently told her, "Unless we have a direct connection with God, we’re not going to complete all the ADV forms."

(Updated) RIAs stumble at ADV form goal line
SEC's still mum about what will happen to procrastinators; states adopting laidback approach

Monday 4.4.11
The mere fact that clients give you their e-mail address should not be construed as consent to delivery of important documents.

How to avoid that fatal blow to client communication
Keep tweets, text messages and e-mails in their proper places

Monday 2.14.11
Les Abromovitz: Working on an elected official or candidate’s campaign may also fall within the definition of “contribution” found in the pay-to-play rule.

SEC's new pay-to-play rules call for you to investigate your employees' political giving
Surprisingly broad regs kick in next quarter, covering RIAs that do business with the government

Tuesday 11.30.10
Les Abromovitz: Your narrative should use the active voice. Words must be definitive and concrete. As always, you should be looking for language that unsophisticated investors can understand.

Now, the SEC wants you to be a writer, too?
ADV Part 2 form calls for clear language, and detailed descriptions even of the people working for you

Thursday 9.2.10
Les Abromovitz: You need to be extremely careful when conducting free lunch seminars, since regulators are keeping a watchful eye on them.

Four active marketing strategies that can lead to compliance trouble
How far can RIAs go with advertisements? Part deux

Tuesday 8.10.10
Les Abromovitz: Back when I went to law school, attorneys didn’t advertise on television, let alone on urinals.

How far can RIAs go with advertisements?
Don't take your cues from restaurants or lawyers

Thursday 7.15.10
Les Abromovitz: You can establish a dialogue with the SEC -- but beware of asking to change your audit to a different day.

Hello! The SEC wants your records by tomorrow
One advisor had a day to produce voluminous records. That's the kind of request likely to grow more common as the SEC performs more unscheduled audits

Wednesday 6.30.10
Peter Savarese: If the DOL does its job and promulgates 408(b)(2) as expected, all RIAs will have a competitive advantage

A compliance attorney fields four tough 401(k) questions amid crossfire provoked by Ric Lager's column
Peter Savarese's answers show how RIAs can manage 401(k) assets and avoid land mines

Friday 5.28.10
Welcome an auditor with a smile

14 tips for how to act when the SEC auditor is in your office
No need to be a doormat but treat the visitor as a guest

Thursday 1.14.10
Hovig Melkonian: This is exactly how an auditor wants him: flustered

Elizabeth witnesses a mock audit first hand and feels the advisor's pain
Mock audits are in hot demand because they cut back on regulatory blindsiding

Wednesday 1.13.10

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