Reality Check: Best Execution and Selection of Mutual Fund Share Classes for Clients

Sep 24, 2020 1:15:00 PM

By Charles Black Reality Check is an occasional blog post series we do where we analyze actual SEC enforcement actions or examination experiences and give you a summary of what to expect in the “real world.” In 2019, the SEC closed its mutual funds share class selection disclosure initiative. This initiative allowed investment advisers to self-report to the SEC instances where they failed to discl...

How Technology is Helping Business Finance

Sep 3, 2020 2:00:00 PM

by Lucy Lee Financial technology or fintech for short is extremely beneficial for businesses due to its widespread utility. It refers to software, algorithms, and applications that are used on desktop and mobile platforms. These are used to manage investments, deposit checks, move money across accounts, and make payments. Without being aware of it, almost all consumers use fintech on a daily basis...

Six Latest COVID-19 Risk Observations From the SEC

Aug 27, 2020 10:15:00 AM

by John Williams Director of Compliance Services at Joot The Securities & Exchange Commission recently issued a Risk Alert to share some of the observations that the Office of Compliance Inspections & Examinations (OCIE) have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The observations fell into six broad categories: Protection of investors’ assets Supervision of personnel Practices relating to fees, expen...

Managing Risk

Aug 13, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Foreword by Dina Tantra: As we all continue to navigate the choppy waters of the global pandemic, managing and mitigating risk is yet another cause for sleepless nights.  Our guest blogger, Charlene Aldridge, CEO of Aldridge, Kerr & Associates, helps us to approach this through "Doable, Chewable Chunks®."  Charlene walks us through the way to identify, evaluate, prioritize and mitigate risk. Charl...

Virtualization for Startups and Small (or not so small) Businesses

Jun 25, 2020 11:14:00 AM

By Charles Hamparian CEO of Sentience In this age of cloud computing, smaller businesses have had increasing access to enterprise-class virtualization tools that were usually reserved for the largest organizations. By utilizing these protocols your organization can have the ability to work compliantly and remotely from anywhere in the world. Virtualizing your business means increased uptime and sc...

Navigating Business Continuity Plans post COVID-19:  Five Issues Independent Directors Need to Consider

Jun 18, 2020 10:45:00 AM

By: Peg McLaughlin Foreword by Dina Tantra: We're excited to feature our guest blogger, Peg McLaughlin, who brings to the table a regulatory and governance perspective which is additive to the deep dive we provide on the compliance side.  Peg has vast experience advising independent board members, working inside the asset manager and previously serving as a regulator.  In her post, Peg highlights ...

Crunch time: 10 Tips to Completing Your Form CRS

Jun 11, 2020 1:30:00 PM

With every new regulatory policy or form, the first time implementing it is always challenging. There are no models to follow or examples to guide you. Fortunately for our readers, we’ve cleared away some of the high brush to give you a clearer path. Joot’s compliance experts have completed nearly two dozen Form CRSs for our clients. Based on that experience, here are 10 things to keep in mind. Co...

CCPA Enforcement Begins July 1 – Are You Ready?

Jun 5, 2020 10:30:00 AM

There are many aspects to compliance and from time to time, I like to bring in complementary experts to share their perspectives and knowledge. This week, I’m delighted to have Michael Williams from Clym (pronounced like “climb”) tell you more about data privacy on your website and an important new regulation from California that can affect any firm in the country. I hope you enjoy this post. Afte...

How to Prepare for an SEC or FINRA Regulatory Examination

May 21, 2020 4:15:00 PM

The words “SEC/FINRA exam” can trigger the jitters in most CCOs across the industry. They’re out to get me! Will they shut down my firm? Will I still have a job when they finish? Perhaps these thoughts and many others have crossed your mind when you got the dreaded phone call from your local SEC/FINRA office notifying you that you’ve been “selected” to go through an examination by their Staff. As ...

The True Cost of Regulatory Non-Compliance

May 14, 2020 4:30:00 PM

What is the cost of non-compliance? How much should an RIA spend on compliance? Are these compliance tools and services worth it? The answers to these questions become clearer when we look at both the direct and indirect impact of examination and enforcement actions taken by the SEC. In its Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2019, the SEC brought 862 enforcement actions, a 7% increase from FY 2018.[1] The law fir...

Who Starts a Business During a Pandemic?

May 7, 2020 3:00:00 PM

By Jody Foster, President of Symphony Consulting Foreword by Bo Howell: I’m delighted to feature guest bloggers from time to time, especially when it’s someone that brings a complementary perspective to our compliance expertise. Jody Foster has been a supporter of Joot from our earliest days. She discusses some of the considerations to keep in mind if you’re planning to start your own fund or RIA....

Top 5 Questions Boards Need to Consider During Times of Crisis to not only Retain Assets, but Grow them

Apr 30, 2020 1:00:00 PM

Like it or not, we are living in interesting times.  The shudder that ran through the global economy as a result of the pandemic has emphasized the need for boards to work closely with fund management to determine the best way forward for the business. As firms across all industries are grappling with the new norms of work from home, virtual meetings, staggered shifts, etc., it's imperative that f...

Real World Insight From Current SEC and FINRA Exams

Apr 23, 2020 1:15:00 PM

A big part of what we do here at Joot is help our clients with their regulatory examinations.  At any given time, we normally have at least a few clients that are undergoing a regulatory exam from either the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).  This gives us a certain perspective on the current areas these regulators are focusing...

A Preview of Examination Scope and Content for Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS

Apr 16, 2020 2:15:00 PM

Remember when you were in college studying for tests and you’d look for one of the fraternity/sorority test files to help you prepare?  Then you’d go into take the actual test and some of the questions were exactly the same and you knew the answer without even reading the entire question.  Well, folks, it isn’t often that the SEC gives us a sneak peak behind the exam curtain to tell us exactly wha...

Launching an Interval Fund – Why Now is the Right Time and What You Need to Know

Apr 14, 2020 11:30:00 AM

Recently, we’ve heard from several new and established investment advisers about launching a closed-end interval fund. These funds are alternative investments and a hybrid between mutual funds and traditional closed-end funds. We’re helping a few asset managers with these products, and the same is true for our business partners at the law firm, Practus, LLP. Though interval funds have been experie...

Joot Expands Team and Adds Broker-Dealer Compliance Services

Apr 9, 2020 10:33:20 AM

As we continue to enhance our SaaS-based platform for automating compliance, we are also building out our services team. Today, another industry veteran joins Joot. John Williams, Director of Compliance Services, brings nearly three decades of regulatory compliance experience to Joot, with the last 14 as a chief compliance officer for a Broker-Dealer / RIA. He also has expertise in international o...

Business Continuity Planning: a Real-World Test

Mar 23, 2020 5:20:55 PM

Ever since the SEC and other regulatory bodies (i.e., FINRA) identified the possibility of “significant business disruptions” many years ago and mandated that registrants create, maintain, and test a Business Continuity Plan (“BCP”), these plans have rarely been taken very seriously until they are needed. A story has circulated over the years that an independent broker-dealer in Garland, Texas nam...

SEC Provides Conditional Relief to Investment Advisers and Investment Companies Impacted By Coronavirus – But Should You Use It?

Mar 18, 2020 12:15:00 PM

On March 13, 2020, the SEC announced regulatory relief for investment advisers and investment companies who may be affected by the coronavirus.  The SEC is recognizing that limits on travel, reduced personnel and other business disruptions as a result of the coronavirus may cause delays in meeting regulatory filing deadlines and other regulatory obligations. While this is welcome news given the ex...

SEC Issues Proposal to Modernize the Advertising Rules

Feb 27, 2020 1:00:00 PM

1961, Was it really a "good year?" Some of us couldn’t say for sure since we weren’t even born yet!  For those of us that were, gas was about 27 cents/gallon.  John F. Kennedy was President and about to deal with the "Bay of Pigs" debacle which would tarnish his first year in office.  East German authorities closed the border between East and West Berlin and construction of the Berlin wall would c...

Cybersecurity: A Question of When, Not If, Your Company will Fall Victim

Feb 20, 2020 1:30:00 PM

Financial firms, including broker-dealers and registered investment advisers, are at a high risk of cybersecurity attacks primarily because they control both their own data and the sensitive data related to clients. In an effort to educate broker-dealers about the cyber-best practices, FINRA published their Report on Selected  Cybersecurity Practices - 2018 in December 2018.  In this report, FINRA...

Implementing the New Form CRS: Don’t Overlook the Details

Feb 14, 2020 7:45:00 AM

In June 2019, the SEC announced Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI), the long-awaited standard that was meant to be the industry’s answer to the now-vacated Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule.  Though Reg BI impacts broker-dealers most heavily, it does have some implications for RIAs as well. In addition, Reg BI is part of a rulemaking package that adopted other new rules, including one that require...

Overhaul Your Privacy Policy, Part 2: Elements of a good privacy policy

Jan 24, 2020 1:00:00 PM

Like most legal documents, privacy policies are fairly bland , and, let’s be honest, few people read them. But the recent enactment of the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”) has Joot fielding privacy policy questions from clients and service providers alike. In our previous post - Is it time to overhaul your privacy policy and notice? - we discussed whether your firm must comply with the ...

SEC Exam Priorities 2020

Jan 17, 2020 11:15:00 AM

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) announced its 2020 examination priorities on January 7, 2020. OCIE releases this list on an annual basis in order to provide the industry with insights into areas it may focus on thorough the examination process. All the priorities listed on the 2020 list were also on the 2019 list, with some new additions. Which makes us wonder ...

Is it time to overhaul your privacy policy and notice?

Jan 10, 2020 10:45:00 AM

California recently passed amendments to the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”), which took effect on January 1, 2020! Under the CCPA, investment advisers that are located in or have clients in California may need to update their privacy policy and notices to comply with the new law. For a deeper discussion of the new law, I recommend Morgan Lewis’ LawFlash updates from July and September...

Joot Interview Series - Episode 8

Dec 17, 2019 11:15:00 AM

In this final part of our third Interview (Part 1, Part 2). Bo Howell continues his discussion with Charles Black about the DO's and DON'Ts of SEC Exams.  Charles brings over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry to provide great tips and insight on what to do when the SEC calls. Topics of this three-part interview include: How to approach an SEC exam. Responding to SEC exam re...

Diversity & Inclusion: Steps Forward in the Asset Management Industry

Dec 12, 2019 11:40:00 AM

Foreword by Bo Howell (July 2020) Ever since my service in the U.S. Navy nearly two decades ago and continuing through my time in both the federal government and private companies, I’ve experienced the benefit of serving on a diverse team that bonds together to achieve a common goal. As a father in a multi-racial family, I want to serve as a role model for my sons, my community, our industry, and ...

Joot Interview Series - Episode 7

Dec 10, 2019 11:30:00 AM

This is Part 2 of our third Interview (Part 1). Bo Howell continues his discussion with the newest member of Joot, Charles Black about SEC Exams.  Charles brings over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry to provide great tips and insight on what to do when the SEC calls. Topics of this three-part interview include: How to approach an SEC exam. Responding to SEC exam requests. ...

Rise of the Machines, Part 3: How big data is changing more than just portfolio management

Dec 5, 2019 11:30:00 AM

Introduction  By Bo Howell  As we race towards the end of 2019, I can’t help but think about where we’ve been over the past year and where we are headed. This series of articles was written with both perspectives in mind. As a user and developer of technology, I’m very interested in the interplay between machines and people. We live in a society where computers are part of nearly all aspects of ou...

Joot Interview Series - Episode 6

Dec 3, 2019 2:00:20 PM

In our third Interview, Bo Howell speaks with the newest member of Joot, Charles Black, to discuss SEC Exams.  Charles brings over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry to provide great tips and insight on what to do when the SEC calls. Topics of this three-part interview include: How to approach an SEC exam. Responding to SEC exam requests. (DOs and DON'Ts) SEC exam interview ...

Rise of the Machines, Part 2: Changing Portfolio Management

Nov 21, 2019 12:30:00 PM

Introduction By John Simmons In Part 1: Rise of the Machines: How increased Automation in financial services impacts society, we discussed some of the benefits and dangers of increased automation with asset managers. In Part 2, we will dive deeper into the key adaptations of an investment advisor. Specifically, we look at how automation is changing portfolio management and what future portfolio ma...