The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a new business continuity and transition plan rule that would require investment advisers to develop business continuity and transition plans tailored to the specific needs of their investment advisory business. In its guidance on the new rule, the SEC noted that investment advisers increasingly rely on technology to carry out both vital and day to day functions. When those technological processes are not available, either due to severe weather, system failure, or other causes, investment advisers should have a plan in place to minimize any harm or disruption to their clients’ interests. An investment adviser should also consider what it would do if key personnel are lost or unavailable, or if the investment adviser’s physical office is temporarily or permanently unusable. Click here to read the SEC’s proposed rule in its entirety.
NASAA’s Model Rule on Business Continuity and Succession Planning for State Registered Advisers – Do You Have Your Business Continuity and Succession Plan Prepared?
May 27, 2015
The North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (“NASAA”) has created a model rule on Business Continuity and Succession Planning (“NASAA Model Rule”) for state registered investment adviser firms. NASAA’s Model Rule provides guidance to state registered investment advisers when creating Business Continuity and Succession Plans (“BCP”) for their registered investment adviser firms. The most common purpose of the BCP is to have processes and procedures in place to ensure that critical business functions can continue during and after a disaster or other significant business interruption, whether internal or external.
September 05, 2014
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) proposed a model rule requiring investment advisers to create and implement written procedures to address business continuity and succession planning in the event of the owner’s and other key personnel’s untimely departure or a natural disaster (http://www.nasaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/IA-RFPC-Model-Rule-Model-Guidance.pdf). With this proposal NASAA has caught up with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) requirements for federally registered investment advisers to establish business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
Rule 206(4)-7 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Investment Advisers Act) requires registered investment advisers to have in place written supervisory policies and procedures. Although the rule does not specifically indicate the areas that must be addressed in an investment adviser’s written supervisory policies and procedures, the final rule release indicated some issues that should be addressed in all investment advisers’ written supervisory policies and procedures to the extent they are relevant to the investment adviser; one of these issues is business continuity plans. As a fiduciary, an investment adviser has a responsibility to take the appropriate steps to protect the clients’ interests from risks resulting from the investment adviser’s inability to provide advisory services due to a disruption in business, like a natural disaster; therefore, all investment advisers should have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. The business continuity and disaster recovery plan should provide guidance regarding the steps and actions that should be taken in the event of an unanticipated interruption of normal business operations. When developing a plan specific to the advisory firm, each investment adviser is encouraged to consider all of the firm’s advisory services and functions, consider any possible significant business disruptions that may occur, and determine a plan of action for each of these potential disruptions.