The past 12 months have seen much discussion and guidance (of course, along with some new rules) from the States and the SEC. While it’s a given that our financial services industry continually evolves and the regulatory details change over time, there is one theme that I’ve seen from working with the high-quality folks that we have the honor of calling our clients:
RIAs have been, and continue to be, committed to fulfilling their fiduciary duty of serving their clients’ best interests. Regulations may change how they demonstrate that commitment, but not the commitment itself.
By this time next year, investment advisers and brokers will have some new disclosures and compliance requirements mandated by the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest. ADV Part 3, aka Form CRS, will be a part of everyone’s service delivery processes and conversations with clients.
The DOL Fiduciary Rule was vacated by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June 2018. The DOL has continued to collaborate with the SEC to construct an updated version which is said to be released later in 2019. In the absence of a current “fiduciary” rule at the federal level, various states such as New Jersey, Nevada, and Massachusetts have already come out with their own state rules to hold the financial services industry to the higher fiduciary standard.
On top of that, the latest version of the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct which becomes effective October 1, 2019, will create a tighter standard by which all CFP® professionals must abide.
The past 12 months have seen continued and heightened attention given to various areas by regulators regarding protecting Senior and Vulnerable Clients, Cybersecurity measures, and Regulation S-P Privacy Safeguarding Policies. The SEC also provided additional guidance around Electronic Messaging which addressed not only the typical policies and procedures, training, and supervisory review requirements, but also elaborated on “device management” around information access and security measures to protect that information. These priorities from the SEC, FINRA, and the States continue to reinforce regulator’s expectations around the industry’s responsibilities.
Regulatory requirements for the financial services industry are diverse and generally increase over time. The specific details on how to comply also evolves, but the overarching purpose for it all is singular in nature: Ensuring that advisers not only deliver on their fiduciary commitment (to take prudent and reasonable steps to protect and serve the best interests of their clients), but that they can also demonstrate it.
If you are the Owner, CEO, President, Chief Compliance Officer – even the person in charge of marketing – you have a burden to comply with the securities laws. Our team of Professional Weightlifters has an array of compliance services and resources to lift that burden off your shoulders.
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— Todd Sakoda
— John T. Carr
— Lisanne M. Butterfield
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