Archive for October, 2015

The recent SEC OCIE risk alert “increases the heat on RIAs” says Andrew Wels via @finplan @sulemandn

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

The risk alert signals the continuing review of a longstanding area of concern, but the level of specificity that the SEC is applying to the issue can be read as its strongest statement yet that security is a major priority, and that no firm is small enough to get a pass.  “Cybersecurity has been a highly visible issue across the country for several years and has been a priority for the SEC for quite a long time — this release is significant because it increases the heat,” says Andrew Wels, chief regulatory counsel at MarketCounsel, an advisor consultancy. “The alert takes what had been a high level regulatory concern — the purview of the White House and big corporations — and makes it a broader issue to any regulated entity by telling them they should be already protecting their data from cybersecurity breaches and this is now on the OCIE checklist” Wels says. “The things they are asking for in the alert are doable — they are not asking for metaphysical safeguards to keep hackers out, but reasonable measures need to be taken. All regulated entities now need to do an assessment and make sure there are safeguards for data systems.”

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“Corient’s [$3.3 billion] #breakaway is more in the nature of a warm-up act’ says @HDelux via @RIABiz #RIA

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Corient’s breakaway, 12-people strong, is more in the nature of a warm-up act, according to Brian Hamburger, CEO of MarketCounsel, which handled the legal aspects of the breakaway. “Know that we’re still in the very early innings here. I can assure you that we will continue to break records with regards to the size of deals making their way to independence over the course of this next year.”

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‘Create systems to support best practices to mitigate liability,’ says @HDelux via @FAmagazine

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

In implementing reporting that would create more transparency, advisors have expressed some concern about potential lawsuits. However, Brian Hamburger, the general counsel to the institute’s Best Practices Board, believes providing clear disclosure and investment guidelines, such as an investment policy statement, would only create liability if advisors don’t work within them. “If you have the systems in place to support these best practices, to do what you say you’re going to do, it mitigates liability,” said Hamburger, who is also the president and CEO of MarketCounsel in Englewood, N.J., a business and regulatory compliance consulting firm to advisors.

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Until investors demand accountability, objective advice and can tell the difference, the industry won’t take interest @HDelux @wealth_mgmt

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Going forward, the Institute [for the Fiduciary Standard] is working with MarketCounsel to develop a self-assessment tool for advisors to the signing onto the best practices and hopes to also implement a verification process down the road as well. In tandem with the self-assessment, the Institute also is developing an investor bill of rights. The organization aims to translate the advisor best practices into a few key ideas that investors can use when seeking financial advice. “Until investors demand that level of accountability, demand objective advice and can tell the difference, you can’t expect the industry to take much interest in this,” says Brian Hamburger, CEO of MarketCounsel and general counsel to the Best Practices Board.

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The MarketCounsel Summit (#MSUM15) Announces Regulatory Headliners

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

  • Spencer Bachus (@BachusAL06), former Representative for the State of Alabama from 1993 – 2015, will take the stage with H. David Kotz, Inspector General of the SEC from 2007 to 2012
  • Troy Paredes (@troyparedes1), SEC Commissioner from 2008 to 2013, to speak about regulatory enforcement
  • The MarketCounsel Summit (#MSUM15) will include a focus on regulatory issues facing independent financial advisers

ENGLEWOOD, NJ, October 1st, 2015 – MarketCounsel, the leading business and regulatory compliance consulting firm to the country’s preeminent entrepreneurial investment advisors, today makes its first announcement of speakers, electing to address financial industry regulation in Miami Beach, from Dec. 7th to 10th, 2015 (

The speakers announced today include:

  • Congressman Spencer Bachus, the former Representative for the State of Alabama from 1993 – 2015, and the leading Republican on the House Financial Services Committee from 2006 to 2012. Among many notable acts taken while in office, Mr. Bachus, as ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, was the catalyst behind the move to “improve” investment adviser examinations.
  • David Kotz , the Inspector General of the SEC from 2007 to 2012. During Mr. Kotz’ tenure at the SEC, he became known for his aggressive scrutiny of the industry regulator.  He was the lead investigator during some very interesting times including the SEC’s handling of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme and has since written about redundant and even conflicting regulations within the industry.
  • Troy Paredes, , SEC Commissioner from 2008 to 2013 and current lecturer at Harvard Law School. Paredes was an outspoken and disruptive voice against the status quo.  He took the position that the SEC should recommend best practices and leave compliance up to the industry, arguing against a “one-size-fits all” approach to regulating advisers.  Most recently, he has challenged regulators in the face of the proposed DOL fiduciary rule with the concept that a cost-benefit analysis needs to be a component of every new rule.  Paredes says that no one should be given a free pass but that at the same time resources allocated to broken windows means regulators have fewer resources to “pursue matters of greater culpability.”

“We are excited to finally reveal the first wave of headliners for this year’s MarketCounsel Summit” said Brian Hamburger, President and CEO of MarketCounsel. “Each of these people have a distinctive perspective shaped by depth of experience for this industry, both at the SEC and in the Congress. We look forward to strong contributions to the dialogue.”

MarketCounsel will continue to announce its agenda in the remaining months leading up to the Summit.  Hamburger continues: “Our approach to assembling a conference has always been atypical – we look for topics and speakers throughout the year and we are assembling it as close to the event as possible to ensure the most captivating curriculum.  That difference, along with our separation between sponsors and content, is what’s drawn the attention of sophisticated leaders within the space for the past several years.  They’re keenly aware of the value of their time.”

This year’s MarketCounsel Summit will be held at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach from December 7th-11th, 2015.

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To speak with a MarketCounsel spokesperson regarding this news release, or to register as a member of the press for the MarketCounsel Summit, contact:

About MarketCounsel

MarketCounsel is the leading business and regulatory consultancy to the country’s preeminent independent investment advisers at all stages throughout their lifecycle. From its roots in 2000, MarketCounsel has been steadfast in its mission to deliver solutions to the most substantial challenges faced by entrepreneurs in this fast-growing and highly-regulated industry, and it has emerged as one of its most effective advocates.

From the initial launch of a registered investment adviser to its compliance management platform, and from its business growth to its succession strategies, MarketCounsel consistently delivers trusted counsel within an extraordinary service model by leveraging the finest minds in the industry, advanced technologies and sound business processes. The consultancy’s annual event, the MarketCounsel Summit, has become the premier gathering for the country’s leading growth-oriented, independent investment advisers, and serves as both a spark and catalyst for conversation among the industry’s leaders. Visit for more information.


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