M. Jacko
Managing Partner and CEO

Michelle L. Jacko, Esq.

Managing Partner and CEO

Michelle L. Jacko, Esq. is the Managing Partner and CEO of Jacko Law Group, PC (“JLG”), which offers securities, corporate, real estate, and employment law counsel to broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment companies, hedge/private funds and financial industry professionals. In addition, Ms. Jacko is the Founder and CEO of Core Compliance & Legal Services, Inc., a compliance consultation firm.

Ms. Jacko specializes in investment adviser, broker-dealer, investment company and private fund regulatory compliance matters, internal control development, regulatory examinations, transition services, and operational risk management. Her consultation practice is focused on the areas of regulatory exams and formal inquiries, investment and merger and acquisition transactions, exit and succession planning, annual reviews, policies and procedures development, testing of compliance programs (including evaluation of internal controls and supervision), mock exams, senior client issues, cybersecurity, Regulation S-P, and much more.

Over the years and through a transformative market, Ms. Jacko has also developed service solutions throughout her practice, focusing on regulatory, compliance, commercial and corporate strategic solutions for the financial industry. Her practice focuses on formations and registration of broker-dealers, investment advisers and funds and platforms associated with each of these business models.  She focuses on transition and succession planning for companies, spearheading Jacko Law Group’s mergers and acquisitions practice area. She aligns her legal team to directly apply experienced legal acumen and business-savvy foresight to assist clients navigate and traverse the breakaway, formation, and growth plan for their corporation’s continued achievement, expansion, and upward trajectory.

Throughout this process, Ms. Jacko uses her 27 years of regulatory compliance experience to provide risk mitigation strategies to businesses.  She provides her clients with risk assessments, annual reviews and gap analysis, and serves as lead attorney for SEC and FINRA enforcement matters, regulatory formal inquiries, and regulatory examinations.  She has developed a practice that successfully helps our clients to be prepared for examinations through meticulous preparations, including mock interviews, compliance program document reviews, and counsel to members of senior management and interfacing with regulators throughout the process.   She frequently provides counsel on Chief Compliance Officer liability issues, assists advisors with regulatory reporting of disciplinary events and customer complaints, provides counsel on various representative onboarding and exit considerations and drafts complex agreements and client disclosure documents.

Utilizing an unparalleled service with a visionary strategy, Ms. Jacko’s counsel contributes to client success. She fosters trust amongst her team and has forged a path for JLG’s growing and multifaceted merger and acquisition practice, general corporate counsel services and regulatory compliance practice areas.

As a frequent presenter at national financial industry conferences, Ms. Jacko delivers insightful and thought-provoking workshops regarding industry hot topics and rising compliance issues. She is a frequent contributor to various industry journals and publications, including Barron’s Advisor, Charles Schwab, Investment Adviser Association’s IAA Today, National Society of Compliance Professionals’ CurrentsLawyer Monthly MagazineThomson Reuters, and more.  She also is a featured author in Modern Compliance, Vol. 1 and 2.

Ms. Jacko served as the former Vice-Chair of Education of the Corporations Committee for the State Bar of California Business Law Section and is a two-time Board member alumn of the National Society of Compliance Professionals. She is the Co-Founder and a member of the Southern California Compliance Group and also is a FINRA Arbitrator. Ms. Jacko is a member of Vistage International and actively participates in her community.

JLG and Ms. Jacko are proud to be members of the National Women Business Owners (NABWO) Corporation.

Throughout her career, Ms. Jacko has established herself as an influential leader, both locally and industry-wide. She has received numerous accolades and recognitions for her contributions, impact, and thought leadership. Since 2019, she has been selected as a finalist for San Diego Business Journal’s (SDBJ) CEO of the Year Award (2019-2022). She has also been selected for inclusion for the SDBJ’s 2022 Women of Influence 50 over 50, 2021 -2022 Women of Influence in Law SDBJ’s 2018-2022 Business Woman of the Year, 2020-2022 San Diego 500 Influential Business Leaders Award, 2020-2022 SD500, and prestigious 2020 Most Admired CEO Awards. Alongside the many awards from the SDBJ, Ms. Jacko  also was selected as a finalist for San Diego Magazine’s 2020–2021 Influential Women: Woman of the Year Award and was honored as a finalist for the 2019 NAWBO Bravo Awards - San Diego. International magazine CEO Today also selected Ms. Jacko as one of the 2019 and 2020 Business Women of the Year Awards. She also received Acquisition International magazine's Global Excellence Awards: Most Influential Woman in Securities Law 2019–2020 - San Diego, and locally was selected by San Diego Metro as one of the 12 Women of Influence in San Diego, CA.

Before starting both companies, Ms. Jacko previously served as Of Counsel at Shustak & Partners, PC. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Compliance and Branch Manager of the Home Office Supervision team at LPL Financial Services, Corporation (Linsco/Private Ledger). She also served as Legal Counsel of Investments and Chief Compliance Officer at First American Trust, FSB and held the position of Compliance Manager at Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management. In addition, Ms. Jacko was with PIM Financial Services, Inc., and Speiser, Krause, Madole & Mendelsohn, Jackson.

Ms. Jacko received her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law and B.A., International Relations, from the University of San Diego. She is admitted to the State Bar of California and United States District Court, Southern District of California. Michelle holds NSCP’s Certified Securities Compliance Professional (CSCP) designation and is a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL).

In addition to her many accomplishments, Ms. Jacko is also dedicated to giving back to her community and charitable organizations. Throughout the years she has dedicated her time and efforts to numerous organizations, including the Autism Tree Project, Wounded Warriors Project, the ASCPA, the San Diego Food Bank, School of the Madeleine and more. She also supports whenever she can the military community.  It is her dedication to her team, her practice and her community that has laid the foundation for JLG’s impact and continued growth and success.

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Mergers & AcquisttionsPrivate Equity & Private Fund ServicesSEC/State: Regulatory Compliance Services
Establishing Compliance with the New SEC Marketing Rule
Blog IA Marketing Rule Counsel Regulatory Compliance Regulatory Examinations & Enforcement Counsel
July 14, 2022

For years, investment advisers have had their hands tied when it comes to promoting their success through the use of client testimonials. Such marketing efforts, such as positive client endorsements on LinkedIn, have long been prohibited from promotion. Now, with the New SEC Marketing Rule, which has a compliance date of November 4, 2022, such restrictions have been lifted.

Notably, the new Marketing Rule contains an updated definition for “advertisements,” new guidance for solicitors (who will hereinafter be referred to as “promoters”), and new principle-based regulation for performance advertising.  Before the compliance deadline, it is important to gain an understanding of these new compliance standards and to confer legal navigation and support with experienced legal counsel. 

The Former vs. New Marketing Rule

Within this 432-page rule, advisory firms are provided with guidance on what they can and cannot do in today’s advertising landscape. Though various components may be impacted to some degree, perhaps the biggest change is the permitted use of testimonials. The New Marketing Rule allows for testimonial promotion –so long as certain conditions are met. The New Marketing Rule provides a new, two-pronged definition of advertisement which reflects testimonial use. 

The first prong concerns hypothetical performance information, which must be shown to its intended office and be suitable for the end recipient. This means that firms will have to take steps to ensure their performance information complies with standards prior to promoting it. When showing performance, the rules are the same for retail and institutional investment advisers – in other words, growth and net of fee performance must be shown.

The second prong is perhaps the most impactful, because groups’ testimonials and endorsements under the definition of “advertisement,” open new avenues for adviser marketing efforts. While investment advisers were formerly kept from marketing their testimonials, the New Marketing Rule changes this – but certain compliance standards must be met.


Under the new rule, “testimonials” are defined to include reviews by current clients or private fund investors about their client experience. Prior to the rule, advisers were prohibited from having testimonials. In fact, advisory firms weren’t even allowed to promote positive client reviews on the firm’s website. But in today’s social media-driven world, the industry and its regulations have evolved to assist in modernizing adviser communications and advertisements to remain competitive in the financial services landscape. 

Endorsements and Solicitors to Promoters, Explained

Alongside these changes, the SEC New Marketing Rule contains new definitions of the term “endorsement”.  An endorsement is a review by a third party that is not a client and now falls under the second prong of the new “advertisement” definition. This in effect replaces the former solicitor’s rule, and now solicitors are referred to as “promoters.” Thus, the Solicitor’s Rule (Rule 206(4)-3) requirements are going away, and replaced with the conditions set forth in the New Marketing Rule. 

Promoter Compensation, “Bad Actors,” & Disqualification

There are now two requirements when compensating an endorser or promoter:

  • If cash compensation exceeds $1,000 annually, a Promoter’s Agreement is necessary.
  • The promoter must provide a promoter disclosure statement to the end client.

These steps ensure that your client is aware of their compensation, as well as any conflicts of interest – furthering the rule’s emphasis on firm transparency. 

Furthermore, with the new requirements under rule 206(4)-1, promoters who receive compensation must ensure that they’re not a “bad actor.” In other words, promoters must not be statutorily disqualified in order to earn compensation, since bad actors can’t act in any capacity under federal security laws.

Other Notable Changes

Hypothetical Performance

Another key change can be seen in the use of “hypothetical performance information.” The new Marketing Rule requires advisers to show such information to its intended office and demands that the information be suitable for the end recipient. Firms will have to take steps to ensure hypothetical performance information complies with these new standards. Importantly, despite industry comments, the SEC’s new rule remains consistent for showing performance both for retail and institutional clients.  In other words, regardless of a client’s sophistication, the same type of disclosures and compliance requirements must be complied with. 

Net-of-Fee Performance Required 

In order for investment advisers to promote their hypothetical performance information, there are certain standards to be met. Firms must first show their performance information to its intended office, and ensure the report is suitable for the end recipient. But most of all, the New Marketing Rule mandates that you show your firm’s growth and net-of-fee performance to compliantly promote hypothetical performance.

In their effort to modernize such adviser marketing provisions, the SEC released a broader, principle-based regulatory framework to replace no-action letters and other previously restrictive rules.

New Marketing Rule Compliance Deadline: Nov. 4, 2022

With the compliance deadline for the SEC New Marketing rule quickly approaching, advisers need to start making changes now. Whether or not your firm plans to use testimonials, engage a promoter, or use performance advertising,  below is a list of actions you can take to begin complying with the new rule:

  • Align your marketing policies and procedures with new standards, 
  • Consider disclosures in all of your social media, including your website,
  • Go back and update any social media posts that don’t meet new standards,
  • Inform your staff of any changes and retrain them accordingly.

Making these changes takes time.  From our experience at least three months on average is needed for advisors to establish full compliance with the New Marketing Rule, meaning non-compliant firms have little time to meet these new standards. The attorneys at Jacko Law Group, PC (“JLG”) are currently helping firms navigate these drastic changes, such as retraining staff on new compliance standards, and are here to assist you prior to the November 4th deadline. Contact us at (619) 298-2880 to schedule a consultation and avoid potential pitfalls on your way to compliance with the New Marketing Rule.

One Response

  • I think that the new SEC marketing rule is a great way to ensure that investors are protected from being scammed. This rule will help to establish compliance among companies and will help to create a more level playing field for all businesses. I am excited to see how this rule will impact the market and I think that it will be a positive change for everyone involved.

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