What do you do when you need compliance support? This is how RIA Compliance Concepts can help you.
How We, RIACC, Gets You There
Starting your own business can be overwhelming. Starting your own business in a highly regulated industry such as the financial services industry can be even more so. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. At RIA Compliance Concepts, we specialize in customized end-to-end registration and compliance program support for registered investment advisers. What exactly does that mean? It means that we will not only help get your business registered and ready to service your clients, we create all of your compliance documents necessary to keep your advisory business compliant, provide audit support, and depending on the level of service you need we can keep your company stay on track with monthly compliance tasks to give your company a robust compliance program.
Let’s Start at the Beginning
First and foremost, you may have some questions about where and how to start your own advisory firm. The answers may differ from person to person depending on if you are new to the industry or if you are transitioning from a broker-dealer or if you’re transitioning from a BD/IA hybrid model. One thing is certain; you and your firm will need to be registered with the appropriate jurisdiction. New investment advisory firms with either no assets under management (AUM) or under $100 million in AUM will register with the state securities regulator in the state where their primary office is located. Every state’s registration requirements and process vary. Some require fingerprints while others don’t. Some states have a net capital requirement while others only have a solvency requirement. Some states even have state-specific supplemental documents. Regardless of the jurisdiction, RIACC’s consultants take the lead in the creation of your registration and disclosure documents, advisory agreements, and compliance documents as well as correspond with the regulator on your behalf to help make the process as smooth as possible. We want to get your firm registered quickly so your downtime is minimized.
What to Do in the Meantime
Depending on the state, the registration process can take a few days, weeks, or even months to complete. This is the opportune time to establish the back office and support systems for your firm. You may already know which custodian or financial planning software you want to utilize. But do you know how and which vendor you want to use to backup and archive your correspondence? Do you plan on obtaining E&O and/or cybersecurity insurance? If so, have you priced your premiums? If you plan on providing retainer-based financial planning services, how do you intend to collect your monthly payment from your clients? RIACC has a list of preferred vendors we work with regularly, and we can assist you by answering your questions to set these systems in place so that when your firm’s registration is approved, you can hit the ground running.
Your Firm is Registered…. Now What?
Once your registration is approved, it’s tempting to put compliance on the back burner. As business owners, we understand that you would rather spend your time serving your clients and growing your business than filing your annual ADV amendment or auditing your fees. However, because this industry is so highly regulated, investment advisers must dedicate time to compliance tasks throughout the year in order to meet regulatory requirements. If you’re new to the industry or have previously relied on your BD’s compliance team for these tasks, this may seem daunting. You may even question where to start or how to find the time to do it all. That’s why RIACC offers a variety of ongoing compliance services. Whether you prefer a DIY approach where we provide as needed support during the year or you need to outsource the tasks in order to focus your attention elsewhere, we have a solution to fit your needs. Perhaps your firm has been registered for a while, and you want to check for any weaknesses in your current compliance program. As former regulators, our consultants can review your program and provide a gap analysis so that you can strengthen areas of concern to protect your firm and its clients while preventing deficiencies in future audits.
Speaking of audits, did you know that most state regulators adhere to a specific schedule when auditing their registered investment advisers? When they come knocking (or calling or emailing), you can call on RIACC to provide audit support. We can help walk you through the process of document production and assist with responding to the regulator’s requests. While audits may be distracting when it comes to your day-to-day business, there’s no need for an audit to cause you undue stress.
At RIACC, we want to help your firm to succeed regardless of what that success looks like to you in terms of the number of clients or total AUM or simply running an advisory business with less stress. We’re here to get you there, wherever “there” may be for you and your firm. For more information on how we can assist you and your firm, please contact us at www.riacc.io or 833-RIACCIO.
Written By: Megan Campbell, Managing Director, RIA Compliance Concepts LLC
Today’s BPI Advice: Good insurance underwriters understand the value of a quality compliance firm. The reason is that you don’t know what you don’t know. Compliance companies live and breath this every day and can help you stay ahead of the curve. Choose a firm that is a strong fit and resource for you. This is much more important than just your annual adv update.
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