Each week, we are giving you our weekly report highlighting the top compliance news articles from various industry news publications. We have selected the most relevant and important news articles related to registered investment adviser (RIA) compliance and regulatory issues. This week's recap focuses on RIA in a Box's new Virtual Advisor Desktop and Cybersecurity Dashboard, regulation on cybersecurity practices, reduced fees for state-registered investment advisers, the effects of the delay to the Fiduciary Rule, and continued pressure to amend Form CRS.
Here are our top investment adviser compliance articles for the week of October 29th, 2021:
1. Tocqueville Debuts Opportunity Zone Strategies With ESG Focus (Author- FA Staff, Financial Advisor)The staff at Financial Advisor Magazine share highlights and updates for the wealth management industry. RIA in a Box recently announced the launch of a new Virtual Advisor Desktop and Cybersecurity Dashboard for RIA firms. This cloud-based cybersecurity solution provides protection against cyberattacks like email phishing, offers access to data for all the firm's devices in one place, and automates due diligence reviews and documentation.
2. SEC Commissioner Wants Cyber Rules for Advisors, BDs (Author– Melanie Waddell, Think Advisor)
Melanie Waddell discusses how RIAs and broker-dealers require further clarification from the SEC on cybersecurity best practices. SEC Commissioner Elad Roisman has expressed the need for the agency to publish a rule explaining when firms should inform investors and the agency about a security breach. With the increase in technology reliance over recent years, regulators have put a spotlight on firms' cybersecurity practices. Commissioner Roisman shares it is time for firms to have a framework that sets clear regulatory expectations on how to respond to cyber incidents.
3. NASAA Continues Reduced Regulation Fees (Author – Karen Demasters, Financial Advisor)
This week, NASAA announced that certain regulatory fees will continue to be discounted for advisors. Specific discounts include the waiver of Investment Advisor Registration Depository system fees for 2022 for state-registered firms, and reduced initial set-up and annual systems fees. NASAA President, Melanie Senter Lubin, shared that the association's members carefully balance the costs of compliance against costs incurred to provide investor protection services.
4. DOL rule delay hardly a reason for advisers to celebrate (Author – Emile Hallez, Investment News)
Following the DOL's announcement to delay the non-enforcement policy of the Fiduciary Rule, this article sheds light on several ways advisors will be impacted. For instance, advisors benefit from now being able to send out their 2020-02 disclosures with their December 31 statements. It is also pointed out that advisors must recognize that the DOL's exemption applies to compensation from advice on various types of plans, like individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts and not just rollovers. An industry expert shares how the disclosure requirements, now delayed until July 1, will create the largest hurdles and risks for advisors.
5. PIABA to Push SEC to Revise Form CRS, New President Says (Author– Melanie Waddell, Think Advisor)
Form CRS continues to make headlines within the wealth management industry. This time, the new president of the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA), Michael Edmiston is calling for the SEC to amend Form CRS to include disclosures on insurance and dispute resolution information. Edmiston also stated that disclosures of arbitration clauses are equally important to investors. In his announcement, he declares that the disclosures will provide material information for investors to consider which financial professionals to work with.
Don't forget to check out last week's top RIA compliance news articles that focus on the Department of Labor's (DOL) decision to delay enforcement on the Fiduciary Rule, trending growth of advisors moving to SEC-registration, using testimonials under the SEC Marketing Rule, and the SEC's focus on identity theft prevention and "orphan" accounts.