More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Privacy Policies and Rules Whether an RIA is SEC or state-registered, the firm must have policies and procedures in effect to protect clients privacy. Policies and procedures should explicitly require an RIA to send out its privacy notice each year.
- Trading Practices and Errors When SEC-registered investment advisors conduct annual audits of firm policies and procedures, they should pay close attention to trading practices. Though usually not required to, state-registered advisors should look at their trading practices and revise policies that do not fully protect clients.
With House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus’ recent announcement that he will leave his post likely when a new Congress convenes in January 2013 due to term limits, Bachus may attempt to aggressively push through his committee a redraft of his bill calling for a self-regulatory organization for advisors.
Bachus told the National Journal on Thursday that he would not ask members of the Republican Steering Committee, which determines committee leaders, for a waiver to serve as the committee’s senior Republican beyond the end of his six-year term.
Bachus said in the interview that he has “long supported the term-limit rule and would not ask the Steering Committee, which includes leadership, committee chairmen and regional leaders, for any favors.” But he told the National Journal he expects “to retain a position of power either on Financial Services or elsewhere.”
Possible successors to Bachus’ post include other financial services committee members like Reps. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas; Ed Royce, R-Calif.; and Scott Garrett, R-N.J., the current chairman of the financial services Capital Markets Subcommittee.
While a redraft of Bachus’ bill calling for an SRO is expected “sometime soon” one industry official says, it remains difficult to determine where the SRO issue falls on the committee’s priority list.
Ken Bentsen, executive vice president of public policy and advocacy for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, predicted Jan. 13 that Bachus’ SRO bill will be introduced in that committee. “We’ll see further movement on Bachus’ SRO bill” this year, he said.
Brian Hamburger, founder and managing director of MarketCounsel, a regulatory consulting firm, has met with Bachus and his staff on a couple occasions and says that both Bachus and his staff have “a genuine desire” to hear both sides of the SRO issue. House Financial Services Committee staff, he says, are “extremely well versed on this SRO issue.”
Recent comments that Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., ranking minority member of the financial services committee has made, including those to AdvisorOne, signal that he will vote against Bachus’ SRO legislation. When AdvisorOne asked Frank after an early December speech what he thought about Bachus’ SRO bill, he replied: “I don’t like it.”
Frank plans to retire from Congress at the end of 2012, and while his status as a ranking member on the financial services committee likely won’t prevent an SRO bill from being reported out of his committee, his objections to such legislation “can create a strong partisan bill” that reaches the House floor and “sends a signal” to the Senate about the problems associated with an SRO, says Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, managing director of public policy for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.