On Episode 7 of Season 2 of the Securities Compliance Podcast: Compliance in Context, host Patrick D. Hayes talks with Melissa Loner, the Executive Vice President of Advisor Services at Premiere Wealth Management and current NSCP board member. With a background in compliance but with a focus now on running the business, Melissa is the perfect person to share all the best practices when it comes to fees, expenses, and firm compensation, and the types of questions should be asking themselves when setting up a billing system.
In the Headlines section, Patrick examines yet another FINRA warning about a new Phishing Email Campaign targeting BD and RIA firms and discuss some changes in leadership at the CFTC. And finally, he wraps up today’s show with another installment of What’s On My Mind, where Patrick explores how a key element of acoustic design could be a critical component of your defense during an SEC examination.
FINRA recently alerted members to another phishing campaign involving the use of fraudulent FINRA domain names: “@finrar-reporting.org,” “@Finpro-finrar.org,” and “@gateway2-finra.org.”
CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz (who we actually mentioned on our last podcast) who recently announced that he will be leaving the office at the end of August 2021.
Quintenz has been a notable crypto advocate for the duration of his term
In his statement upon departure, he highlighted his work on cryptocurrency issues
In your mind, what are the biggest challenges with billing and issues around fees and expenses?
What are some of the best ways an adviser can mitigate these challenges and issues?
NSCP Compliance Forum discussing the threshold for refunds to be paid out
Should firms need to disclose all the situations in which they’re not going to refund fees under a certain amount?
What were the lessons learned from the Share Class Disclosure Initiative?
What are some best practices around documentation?
What types of activities are included here?
What are hallmarks of a successful billing program?
What's on My Mind
The history of unwanted sound
The job of acoustic design
Using acoustical privacy as a key line of defense during an SEC exam
“The best thing I can tell people is processes and disclosures. As you were asking the question we talked a little bit about, ‘Is there a monthly fee or a quarterly fee? Is it charged in advance or is it charged arrear? Is it charged on a 360 day or a 365 day? Is it refunded at what period of time?’ So there’s a lot of what ifs that come into place and I think that’s what gets people hung up.” - Melissa Loner “The more flexibility you have, which you want to have for advisors and advisors want to have that for clients, but it puts in a larger risk to not have everything that’s needed to be done. I know you’re going to ask about this later but it goes to disclosure, it goes back to processes, it goes back to consistency.” - Melissa Loner
“Disclosures is a big one because that’s the first place that the regulators are going to go. They’re going to go to your disclosure and then they’re going to match that up to the billing that you’ve been doing. And, in addition to that, they’re also going to match that up to your supervisory procedures or your clients’ manual or your operations procedural to ensure that you’re following that consistently.” - Melissa Loner
“So one of the best practices that I largely suggest is to have an annual process where you look at how your billing is actually happening and then review all of those documents to ensure that they’re actually reflective.” - Melissa Loner
“You’ve got to make sure that the trifecta of your disclosures, and your brochures, and your advisory agreements match what you have for your internal compliancies and procedures and your internal controls. And if you can marry those three things in a way that is consistent, it’s at least going to, hopefully, give you a foundation for success.” - Patrick Hayes
About the Securities Compliance Podcast: Compliance in Context
Introducing the Securities Compliance Podcast: Compliance in Context presented by Calfee, Halter & Griswold and the National Society of Compliance Professionals and hosted by Patrick D. Hayes, Senior Counsel and leader of Calfee's Investment Management practice.
Designed as a personal master class for the securities legal and compliance professional, this podcast embodies Patrick’s passion to help you put Compliance In Context™ by combining the technical expertise of industry thought leaders and innovators with the practical experience of doers and key decision makers.
The opinions expressed by guest speakers and panelists during Securities Compliance Podcasts may not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the attorneys and professionals of Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP or its subsidiaries or affiliates. Calfee’s educational content is intended to inform and educate readers about legal developments and is not intended as legal advice for any specific individual or specific situation. Please consult with your attorney regarding any legal questions you may have. With regard to all content including case studies or descriptions, past outcomes do not predict future results.
Susan M. Kurz
Chief Marketing & Client Development Officer