Annual Review of Compliance Programs – Rule 206(4)-7

September 28, 2006

As outlined in Rule 206(4)-7(b) of the Investment Advisers Act, it is unlawful for an SEC registered investment advisor firm to provide investment advice to clients unless the firm, no less frequently than annually, reviews the adequacy of the firm’s written compliance and supervisory policies. An SEC registered firm must establish written policies and procedures to prevent violation, by the firm and its supervised persons, of the Act and the rules thereunder.

While regulators require advisor firms to review and update their written compliance programs at least annually we feel that written compliance programs should be reviewed continuously and updated whenever needed. The key to any review is to document the review and include the documentation with the firm’s books and records. Once a review is completed, employees should be made aware of the changes and required to sign off on their understanding and acknowledgement of the policies. Even if no changes are made, we suggest that all employees agree, in writing, to their understanding and commitment to abide by the firm’s policies and procedures each year.

One of the best ways to conduct the required annual review is to use the services of an outside consulting firm, such as RIA Compliance Consultants. The use of an outside, independent firm provides an objective review of your firm’s policies and procedures. It also illustrates to the SEC your commitment to implementing the firm’s policies and procedures. If you would like to discuss the possibility of RIA Compliance Consultants conducting an annual review of your firm’s written compliance programs give us a call today!

Posted by Bryan Hill
Labels: Compliance Program