Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Massachusetts seeks to deny registration to adviser

If you have not heard AdvisorAssist preach the importance of accurate filings in the past, here's the reason.

Dan Jameison of InvestmentNews.com put out a great article today about an RIA firm that allegedly has mis-calculated assets under management. The firm was setting AUM at $25 million over the past several years (the former SEC minimum threshold). The assets were not accurate and the state believed that they included assets under their broker-dealer affiliation, which are not assets of the RIA.

The Massachusetts Securities Division has denied registration to this RIA firm and they no longer qualify for SEC registration. Effectively, they are out of business.

Read the full story at InvestmentNews.com

AdvisorAssist has created a blog post that discusses the calculation of Regulatory Assets Under Management at http://alerts.advisorassist.com/2012/01/calculating-regulatory-assets-under.html

As always, please contact us with any questions regarding your firm.

The AdvisorAssist Team

NJ to Review ADV Amendments

On October 1, 2012, the Examinations Unit of the Bureau will commence an initiative to review amendments to the Form ADV Part 2 firm brochure (“Brochure”) submitted to the IARD system by an investment adviser registered with the Bureau (“IA”).

Upon review of an amended Brochure, the Bureau may notify you by email of any deficiencies in your amended Brochure, which you will be expected to address promptly. Any deficiency that is not appropriately and timely resolved may result in further action. You are reminded that your Brochure must be in compliance with the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law.

As an AdvisorAssist Compliance Client, we were make all appropriate updates to your ADV1, ADV2A and ADV2B.

If you receive a notice from New Jersey or any other state, please post a copy of the letter into your Advisor Portal and notify AdvisorAssist at support@advisorassist.com.

The AdvisorAssist Team

Friday, September 21, 2012

Webinar: Enter Into Social Media Marketing With Confidence

Webinar: Enter Into Social Media Marketing With Confidence

Date: September 21, 2012
Slides and Replay: http://advisors4advisors.com/webinars/details/216-enter-into-social-media-marketing-with-confidence

social media pool is open. While advisors should not be afraid to test the water, they must prepared before diving in.

Chris Winn of AdvisorAssist will guide you through the current regulatory landscape and strategies for starting out and managing your social media presence.

At this session, you’ll learn the latest about:

  • SEC, state and FINRA social media rules
  • Formulating a social media strategy
  • Best practices in implementing a social media policy
  • Technology for efficiency
  • Specific areas of interest to regulators
  • Common mistakes to avoid

Speaker Chris Winn is founder and managing principal AdvisorAssist, a management consulting firm serving advisors, and he has over 19 years of experience in regulatory compliance for RIAs, reps, and B/Ds.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

CFP Board Increasing CE Requirements

The CFP Board proposed new rules on August 17, 2012 to increase existing continued education ("CE") requirements for CFP certificants. This is really the first major change since it the organization's inception. The proposal is a result of a comprehensive review of the current CE requirements.

The Board issued a 45-day public comment period ending September 30, 2012 and said that any amendment to the rule would be decided in November 2012. If you are a CFP or planning to become one, you can submit your feedback to CEComments@cfpboard.org or by regular mail to:

CFP Board
c/o Michele M. Warholic, Esq.
Managing Director, Education, Examinations and Talent
1425 K St., NW #500, Washington, DC 20005

Summary of rule changes:

  • Increase total CE hours required each 2 year period renewal period from 30 to 40 hours, a 33% increase.
  • Granting CE credit for practice management programs and/or pro bono activities, up to 4 hours (total combined) per renewal period. The Board finally supports practice management. [AdvisorAssist opinion - how can you be compliant if you have ineffective processes - always an issue we fight with CFP for our events!).
  • Included practice management programs will include those focused on the planning, development and management of a CFP professional’s business operations, office management, business model design, budgeting processes and leadership. Any pro bono activities must be supervised by a registered CE sponsor organization and will be accepted for one hour CE credit per 4 hours pro bono service.
  • Increasing the ethics CE requirement from 2 hours to 4 hours (100%), which includes a mandatory CFP Board-produced ethics program (2 hours) plus 2 hours of ethics programming.
  • Expanding the professional activities that qualify for CE credit from the current teaching and authorship activities to additional ones such as study groups and research.
  • Implementing a “50% cap rule,” which limits CE credit for any single topic area or professional activity to 50% of total required CE hours. One may only receive up to 20 hours of the 40 required in any one of the approved topic areas for CE, such as investments or insurance. However, conferences that comprise individual educational sessions would not be subject to the cap. [AdvisorAssist suggests you may want to comment here. You know what conferences you find most valuable.]
  • Eliminating CE credit for completing professional licenses and designation exams.

You can read the full text of the proposal at http://www.cfp.net/downloads/CFPBoard_CE_Requirement_Proposal_2012-08.pdf