Investment Advisory

We represent investment advisors and RIA investors in a wide variety of matters. Our services include performing legal and compliance due diligence for our clients’ acquisitions of RIAs. We work directly with the RIAs to conduct risk assessment reviews, annual compliance reviews, and compliance training. We also conduct internal investigations; represent RIAs during SEC and state examinations, investigations, and enforcement actions; and advise RIAs on regulatory and compliance matters.

In addition, we offer a full suite of transition-related services to advisors forming new RIAs, including advising on employment transition and risk mitigation issues; entity formation; Form ADV completion and filing; and drafting business agreements, advisory contracts, compliance manuals, and code of ethics documents.

We also represent broker-dealers, RIAs, and their advisors in litigation stemming from general commercial disputes, as well as litigation arising from advisor departures and recruitment.  We have successfully litigated TROs in federal and state courts across the country, negotiated favorable settlements on our clients’ behalf, and defended advisors in arbitration proceedings brought before FINRA and other arbitration venues.

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Looking Forward

After conducting a series of “Initiatives,” in 2021, the SEC’s Division of Examinations published three separate Risk Alerts focusing on perceived deficiencies involving: 1) Advisers Fee Calculations, 2) Advisers Who Provide Electronic Investment Advice, and 3) Advisers Managing Client Accounts Utilizing Wrap Fee Programs. Given the number of deficiencies found in each Initiative, we expect the SEC to devote additional enforcement resources to pursuing actions in these areas. We anticipate that the SEC will scrutinize the economic relationship between advisers and their clients and disclosures regarding conflicts of interests. We also believe the SEC will focus on sources of revenue that advisers, and their affiliated entities, receive in connection with advised accounts.

Reports suggest that the record setting growth of the investment adviser sector should continue well into 2022. Strong growth both in regulatory assets under management and in client numbers should continue to create opportunities for those seeking to acquire or transition advisory businesses to new platforms.