Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nancy Johnson Jones, Strategic Compliance Concepts

Good afternoon. My name is Nancy Johnson Jones, and I’ve been in senior compliance positions for nearly 20 years. I currently run a compliance coaching firm, Strategic Compliance Concepts, which works with financial planners, advisers and broker/dealers.

My goal is to coach you through the compliance maze. . . .

In a word, the biggest challenge for advisers in 2010 is change. You’ll see changes in regulations, changes in how you’re perceived with clients and with regulators. You may very well be forced to change your relationship with clients and forced to change your standard of care – regulators may require you to be a fiduciary. But will the definition of fiduciary remain the same or will that change as well? And exactly what is the definition of fiduciary?

I believe you’ll also see major changes in who regulates your business – the possibilities being bandied about are never-ending. Will it be the SEC? The states? FINRA for RIAs? Who will regulate financial planners? Will financial planners be regulated separately from investment advisers and brokers? Will there be extra layers of regulation added or will regulation truly become harmonized?

Will the new ADV Part 2 finally be approved and put into place? Can you even imagine the changes that little form will have on your compliance requirements? Do you have any idea how the regulators will react during audits now that they’ve received such extreme criticism over missing obvious red flags in the Madoff case? I’d bet they won’t be very understanding – at least until the sting wears off.

These changes – and whatever else the regulators come up with – will come fast and furious over the next 12 -18 months. Are you ready for them? Is your staff ready? Most importantly, without the knowledge and time needed to stay on top of new requirements, will you be ready when the regulators knock on your door?

To help you and your staff sleep at night, consider developing an on-going relationship with an outside compliance firm – someone to answer questions as they arise and provide guidance when needed. Remember the better they know your business, the more they can help you. Just like your clients – you want personalized – not generic advice. If I can answer any questions, please contact me at njohnsonjones@gmail.com or visit www.compliancemaze.com. Thank you!
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