Top 10 Louisiana Advisers

For this edition, I thought that we would look at the top ten SEC registered investment advisers within the State of Louisiana.  The SEC publishes a comprehensive database that captures all information submitted by advisers in their Form ADV’s.  There is a total of 55 advisers registered with the SEC in Louisiana.  Using this data, we came up with a list of the top Louisiana registered investment advisers by assets under management (“AUM”) and by number of accounts.  For purposes of these rankings, we excluded advisers that are:  (i) headquartered out of state, (ii) did not provide advisory services to the public, or (iii) umbrella organizations for groups of unaffiliated advisers.  For the ranking of advisers by number of accounts, we included a column showing the percentage of accounts that are held by individuals, who are not high net worth individuals (net worth >$2.1 million).

There is a lot of data that we did not publish.  Let us know if there is a data summary that you would like to see.

Continue Reading Louisiana Investment Adviser Update • Top 10 Advisers in Louisiana • SEC Issues New Proxy Guidance for Advisers

The June 5 Releases

Today we focus on the new SEC interpretative release on the fiduciary duties of investment advisers and provide a brief summary of its contents (“The Fiduciary Duty Release”).[1]  This Release is part of a package of new rules and interpretations adopted by the SEC on June 5, 2019.  In total, there are four new rules and interpretations:

  1. Regulation Best Interest (“BI”);
  2. Form CRS, a new form for advisers and brokers;
  3. the Fiduciary Duty Release; and
  4. the Release on the “solely incidental” investment adviser exclusion.[2]

Together these four Releases total a mammoth 1336 pages and define and differentiate the duties owed by brokers and investment advisers.

Continue Reading Latest Guidance on Fiduciary Duties

Fingerprints

Effective January 1, 2019, Louisiana Senate Bill 416 requires all investment adviser representative (“IAR”) applicants to submit fingerprints for a criminal background check to the Louisiana Commissioner of Securities.  La. R.S. 51:703(D)(5).  Investment adviser representatives registered before January 1, 2019 (unless they change advisers) and IAR’s already registered with FINRA do not need to submit fingerprints.  Fingerprint cards can be obtained from local law enforcement offices and submitted along with a completed Louisiana State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information Form, and a completed and notarized Authority to Obtain Information from Outside Sources form.  The forms are available from the Commissioner of Securities office.

US Government Shutdown

Although the US government, and the SEC, is shutdown, advisers should continue to meet all statutory and regulatory deadlines as set forth in the SEC’s Operations Plan Under Government Shutdown (Dec. 2018).  The IARD is still operating and accepting filings, although the SEC will not approve new or pending adviser registration applications.

ADV Amendments

Advisers must file their annual Form ADV Amendment by March 31, 2019.  You should make sure that your IARD account is funded and password is current in advance of the deadline.  There were no significant amendments to Form ADV this year (the SEC made a number of amendments in 2018 relating to separately managed accounts and standing letters of authority).
Continue Reading 2019 Louisiana Investment Adviser Update

For many investment advisers, CPAs are a big source of referrals. Often these CPAs are compensated for the referrals. Most states now require registration of solicitors, including CPAs, as investment adviser representatives (“IAR”). This article provides some background on these requirements.

1.  A Little Refresher

What is a solicitor? A solicitor is a person who, directly or indirectly, solicits or refers clients to an adviser. A solicitor relationship arises when an adviser pays an employee or third party for referring clients. The use of solicitors is regulated by the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and by the various states.
Continue Reading Some Thoughts on Registration of CPA’s as Solicitors

The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal vacated the entire DOL Fiduciary rule in a split decision on March 15, 2018, U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. DOL, No. 17-10238 (5th Cir. 3/15/2018).  Two other circuits have upheld the DOL rule (the Tenth and the District of Columbia Circuits).  This ruling will not become immediately applicable as it is subject to rehearing and appeal to the Supreme Court.  Accordingly, advisers should continue to follow applicable DOL fiduciary rule policies and procedures.  It may be several months before whether we know the impact of this decision.
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Throws Out DOL Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor officially announced the 18-month extension of the effective date of the key, and most onerous provisions, of the DOL Fiduciary Rule (until July 1, 2019).[1]  The announcement was made on November 29, 2017.  This extension delays the implementation of the most problematic procedures of the DOL Fiduciary Rule, which had been previously set to take effect on January 1, 2018.  However, advisers should be aware that the portions of the DOL Fiduciary Rule, known as the “Impartial Conduct Standards,” are already effective.
Continue Reading Extension of DOL Fiduciary Rule is Official and some Guidelines for Documenting Rollovers

The SEC published new guidance on RIA advertising yesterday in a National Exam Program Risk Alert dated September 14, 2017 (https://www.sec.gov/ocie/Article/risk-alert-advertising.pdf).  The Risk Alert is entitled “The Most Frequent Advertising Rule Compliance Issues Identified in OCIE Examinations of Investment Advisers.”  This is particularly important because the SEC is focusing on marketing materials in its latest exam cycle.  In the Risk Alert, the SEC highlights common errors made by advisers in their marketing and advertising materials.
Continue Reading SEC Publishes New Guidance on Investment Adviser Advertising

The Department of Labor in a brief filed in a Minnesota lawsuit on August 9, 2017 revealed that DOL had submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to delay the implementation of remaining parts of the DOL fiduciary rule from Jan. 1, 2018, until July 1, 2019.  This would delay the implementation of the BICE and BICE Lite procedures that will cause serious adjustments to most advisers’ business model and procedures.  The postponement of the effective date is not official yet, as it has to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget —a process that can take as long as 90 days.
Continue Reading DOL May Delay Implementation of Fiduciary Rule

The SEC published a National Exam Program Risk Alert describing the results of cybersecurity exams of 75 broker-dealers and investment advisors on August 7, 2017. “National Exam Program Risk Alert, Observations from Cybersecurity Examinations,” (SEC August 7, 2017)

This report is useful in evaluating your investment advisory firm’s cybersecurity policies.  Two issues received particular attention from the SEC in the report:  (1) the need to make sure that security patches and upgrades are timely installed on all firm computer systems, and (2) the need for firms to tailor policies and procedures to actual practices (or vice versa).
Continue Reading SEC Cybersecurity Alert