Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New FLSA Overtime Regulations - Temporary Block

New FLSA Overtime Regulations - Temporary Block

Late yesterday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the December 1, 2016 deadline for requiring overtime pay for employees making more than $913 per week.

The Department of Labor (DOL) had enacted the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding overtime regulations from going into effect on December 1, 2016. With the federal judge intervention, employers [in the short term] are not subject to the more than doubled salary threshold for exempt employees.

per week – are on hold for now, pending final resolution from the court.

This is a significant setback to the DOL’s attempts to increase the salary threshold, please be mindful that the new rule has only been temporarily blocked at this point. With only five (5) business days to go before the planned effective date of December 1, 2016, it seems unlikely that future legal proceedings could result in the rule becoming effective as scheduled.

AdvisorAssist will inform you if there are any developments.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2017 Renewal Fees Calendar

Hello Advisors, it's about that time of year again for your advisory firm's Annual Renewal Fees!

To help get your firm prepared for the renewal season please view the 2017 Renewal Program Calendar where FINRA notes key dates regarding the Renewal Process.

Key dates to note include:

  • November 14, 2016: Preliminary Renewal Fee Statements available to download and review.
  • December 16, 2016: Payment due for Preliminary Renewal Fee Statement.
  • December 17, 2016: FINRA starts to automatically transfer funds from your Flex Funding account to your Renewal account for any fees due.
  • January 20, 2016: Final Renewal Fee Statement payments are due to avoid de-registration.

On November 14th, 2016 AdvisorAssist compliance clients will begin receiving our email with your firm's Preliminary Renewal Fee Statement and instructions on how to credit your Renewal Account with the FINRA E-Bill system to assist with a compliant transition into 2017.

Click here to view the 2017 Renewal Program Calendar on

Please contact AdvisorAssist with any questions: and stay tuned for upcoming communications on how we can assist with your renewal process.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Custody Alert - Linked Accounts

Recently, SEC staff has raised questions during exams regarding the authority granted to Registered Investment Advisors ("Advisors") to transfer funds or securities between customer accounts with the same or a different qualified custodian. Examiners have noted that having authority to transfer funds or securities between same registered accounts without the actual account numbers and receiving account information included in the authorization on file with the custodian may be deemed custody.

Since May 20, 2010, the SEC has stated in Question II.4, that the limited authority to transfer a client's assets between the client's accounts maintained at one or more qualified custodians is not custody, if 1) the client has authorized the Advisor in writing to make such transfers and 2) a copy of that authorization is provided to the qualified custodians, specifying the client accounts maintained with qualified custodians.

We, at AdvisorAssist, maintain that if such authorization is granted, via the client signed custodial account application form, then it should reasonably satisfy these two elements required by the SEC. Advisors may want to keep a copy of such custodial application forms submitted by their clients to demonstrate these elements are satisfied upon request by a regulator.

To avoid this deficiency at your firm AdvisorAssist recommends the following best practices:

  • Reviewing your client custodial account forms to understand what custody implications they can create on your firm.
  • To avoid custody, ALWAYS get written instructions from the client and validate both accounts for custody, cybersecurity, fraud, etc.
  • If a recurring movement, review the instruction and accounts initially and then review through periodic sampling.
  • An Advisor should never initiate a transfer without having documentation of the authorization to make such instructions in your books and records.
  • Maintain the transfer documentation in your books and records for the typical books and records duration, five fiscal years at the end of the year the instruction was made.

Brendan Furey
Michael Conlon

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SEC Issues Proposed Rules on Business Continuity

The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed a new rule that would require registered investment advisers to adopt and implement written business continuity and transition plans.

The proposed rule is designed to ensure that investment advisers have plans in place to address operational and other risks related to a significant disruption in the adviser’s operations in order to minimize client and investor harm.

"While an adviser may not always be able to prevent significant disruptions to its operations, advance planning and preparation can help mitigate the effects of such disruptions and in some cases, minimize the likelihood of their occurrence, which is an objective of this rule," said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. "This is the latest action in the Commission’s efforts to modernize and enhance regulatory safeguards for the asset management industry, which includes rules previously proposed that would modernize the information reported to the Commission and investors, enhance fund liquidity management, and strengthen the regulation of funds’ use of derivatives."

Link to SEC guidance >>

AdvisorAssist will follow-up on this post with a detailed analysis.

- The AdvisorAssist Team

Monday, June 27, 2016

Vermont to Raise Advisor Fees - (July 1, 2016)

Vermont is increasing its fees for registration and renewals, effective July 1, 2106.

Fee changes are as follows:

  • Investment Advisor - Firm > $300 (up from $250)
  • Investment Advisor Representative > $80 (up from $55)

These fees will be in effect July 1, 2016 for new registrations and for the 2017 renewal process this fall.

If you have any questions, please email

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Updates to the FINRA E-Bill Page

Effective June 18, 2016, Web CRD/IARD Accounting pages will no longer be available and the users will be redirected to E-Bill.

Below are some of the key updates to the E-Bill page:

Previously, a positive balance on the Accounting pages were reflected as a negative balance.  With the new E-Bill landing page a sufficient balance on the E-Bill is a positive number. A negative balance is now reflected with a negative number.
For your financial records, you can now export funding details into a spreadsheet (.csv).
With the updates to the E-Bill page, it no longer supports versions of Internet Explorer 8 and lower.
For additional information to what has been updated on the FINRA E-Bill page, please go to

Please contact with any questions.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Reminder - 4/29 is the ADV Delivery Deadline

Reminder - Friday April 29, 2016 is the deadline for the ADV delivery!

Advisors with a December 31st year have have 90 days following their fiscal year end to deliver/offer their ADV.

The SEC allows an offer of the ADV instead of full delivery as long as there is a full delivery of the summary of material changes of the ADV along with an offer to receive the full ADV2 at no cost to the client. Most states follow the SEC regulations. Some states have only a delivery requirement. However, you must not only follow the rules of your home state, but also the rules where the client resides.

Please contact with any questions.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Conduct an Annual Compliance Meeting

The CCO is required to ensure the firm's compliance program is effectively designed and implemented to prevent, detect and correct any violation of the securities laws.

Further, the Securities Regulators generally take the position that testing and training must be documented.

AdvisorAssist believes that it is important for every firm to conduct an Annual Compliance Meeting. AdvisorAssist can support your CCO in delivering an update on the key risks, regulatory focus areas, and core compliance topics.

Please contact us at to schedule for your firm.

SEC Announces 2016 Examination Priorities

On January 11, 2016, the SEC announced its examination priorities for the coming year.

The brief statement by the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examination ("OCIE") is fairly consistent with the direct and anecdotal messaging they have been sending. They have retained most of the 2015 priorities and added additional focus areas. The 2016 priorities include a deeper focus on market-wide risks, protections for retail investors and of course becoming more efficient with data and exam protocols.

The SEC Press Release can be found at

AdvisorAssist will be emailing a Regulatory Alert with more detail.

Please contact us with any questions.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Annual Renewal Questionnaires Issued

All Advisors with a December 31st year end are required to amend their Form ADV1, ADV2A ("Disclosure Brochure") and the ADV2B ("Brochure Supplements") with ninety (90) days following year end. This year, given the Leap Year, the deadline is March 30, 2016.

AdvisorAssist circulated our online questionnaire to guide you through the preparation of your amendment data. We need to obtain current statistical data, such as assets, client count, client geography and other information.

If you have any trouble completing this information or did not receive the AdvisorAssist questionnaire, please contact us at

Thank you!

The AdvisorAssist Team