On November 9 2020, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Risk Alert about its assessment of the compliance practices of SEC-registered investment advisers that have multiple branch offices. In its Risk Alert, the SEC noted that its Multi-Branch Initiative (“Initiative”) focused on investment advisers practices relating to compliance programs and supervision, with a particular focus on the Code of Ethics Rule, Custody Rule, and fiduciary obligations relating to fees, expenses, and advertising. The SEC also evaluated how supervised persons at branch locations provided investment advice, focusing on oversight of investment recommendations, management and disclosure of conflicts of interest, and allocation of investment opportunities.
February 10, 2013
When an individual is considering whether to start a registered investment adviser, a primary concern is how much will it cost to set-up an investment adviser firm. The set-up expenses can vary greatly depending upon whether the firm will need to register as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or with the state securities regulator, the size of the investment adviser, the complexity of the proposed investment adviser’s business model, and the conflict or potential conflict of interest situations that will exist. An individual looking to register as an investment adviser will not only need to take into consideration the cost involved in the actual investment adviser registration process but will also need to consider the cost of getting the appropriate office set-up and systems in place as well as any staffing related costs.
August 24, 2012
Fifteen states require investment advisers to register their branch offices with the state securities regulator. Currently, the Alabama Securities Commission, the Arkansas Securities Department, the Connecticut Department of Banking, Securities and Business Investments Division, Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation , Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Idaho’s Department of Finance, the Illinois Securities Department, Maine’s Office of Securities, the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities, the New Mexico Securities Division, the Ohio Department of Commerce, the Texas State Securities Board, Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation, the West Virginia Securities Commission, and Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions require investment adviser branch offices to register with state securities regulators. Some of these 15 state securities regulators require an investment adviser branch office registration fee while other states only require registration of each investment adviser branch located in their state. For state securities regulators that do charge branch office registration fees, the charges range from $20 (by the Illinois Securities Department) to $300 (by the New Mexico Securities Division). For further information on the investment adviser registration requirements in each state, refer to the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) website.