July 4, 2013
Are you willing to partake in a game of chance... or do you have a winning strategy?
Are you compliant and ready for an audit tomorrow? Or do you have some deficiencies that could cost you monetary penalties?
With Mary Jo White as the "Dungeon Master"1 of the SEC, will she be a regulatory game changer, or are we pointing at more of the same?
The Dodd Frank Act continues to keep us guessing as to definitive rulemaking for three years running. What will be the final outcome?
- Will there be harmonization between Broker/Dealers ("BDs") and Registered Investment Advisors ("RIAs")?
- Will we be able to settle on a uniform fiduciary duty for BDs and RIAs?
- Will RIAs (as are BDs) be pointed to a Self-Regulatory Organization (FINRA or other) or remain at the status quo with the SEC, albeit with a user fee?
What is the probability that FinCEN (Department of the Treasury) will ever decide if RIAs will be held to Anti-Money Laundering laws?
The SEC did land a final rule for the Identity Theft Red Flags Rule for BDs and RIAs. You need to cross the finish line by November 20, 2013.
The regulators have spun into the 21st Century by acknowledging that e-communications and i-devices may be a way that advisors will be corresponding with clients. Guidance has been given, but the compliance details may still have you facing the wrong way.
Just short three years ago the Financial Stability Oversight Council ("FSOC") was created, which added a layer of regulation. This year the SEC and CFTC have explored consolidation to avoid bureaucracy. Whoa… which way are we headed?
You know that the laws are whacky when even some of the SEC Commissioners are speaking out about over-regulation as they continue to approve more and more rules.
There are resources to increase the chance of compliant operations:
- CompliancE-Post: A free monthly e-mail service with brief postings of what's the hot industry buzz.
- CompliancE-News: The executive summary of all the news that made the news. Annual subscription 12 monthly e-mail issues.
- CompliancE-Alert: A value-added subscription service (which also includes the CompliancE-News) - provides timely alerts when news hits, and newly published research and forms.
For those new to the game or need a refresher course, get your hands on Go to CEO! How to Start Your Investment Advisory Firm - available as an e-book.
If you want to increase your odds of success, call or email me for consulting services. I work with a limited number of clients under annual retainer. I generally keep a full client load. However, I do take on new clients from time to time, so keep those inquiries and referrals coming.
Additional compliance resources... If you are a do-it-yourself type person, I offer an array of products that are both educational and easily customizable to your practice. Would an Identity Theft Prevention Program template help you meet your November deadline? Click here for a complete list.
Be a winner!
I have been lifting the burden of compliance for 24 years.
To claim your spinning Wheel of Chance, please e-mail me at: Nancy@liftburden.com
1. In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the Dungeon Master is the game organizer and participant in charge of creating the details and challenges of a given adventure, while maintaining a realistic continuity of events. In effect, the Dungeon Master controls all aspects of the game, except for the actions of the player characters.