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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Practices :
Mergers & AcquisttionsPrivate Equity & Private Fund ServicesSEC/State: Regulatory Compliance Services
FINRA’s Senior Help Line: Celebrating 5 Years of Providing Protection
Blog FINRA Broker-Dealer Regulatory Counsel
May 15, 2020

On April 30, 2020, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Senior Help Line (the “Help Line”). The Help Line is a critical tool in FINRA’s initiative to combat financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable populations.

Since its inception in April 2015, the Help Line has helped over 18,000 seniors across all fifty states. With callers ranging in age from 17 to 102, the Help Line has allowed FINRA to make over 1,400 referrals to state, federal and international regulators, as well as over 200 referrals to state Adult Protective Services (“APS”), and assisted with the return of over $7 million to investors.[1]

The Help Line remains an important tool in FINRA’s ongoing commitment to the protection of seniors. With the continuing rise of financial exploitation of seniors, tools such as the Help Line have offered a lifeline for seniors, family members, and investment professionals to report instances of financial elder abuse and exploitation.

Read the full SEC Press Release Here.

Background on FINRA’s Senior Help Line

The Help Line provides a lifeline for seniors, family members, and investment professionals who suspect that they, or someone they know, is a victim of financial exploitation or abuse.

The FINRA staff responsible for administration of the Help Line are trained to answer questions regarding securities and investment services topics that span the industry, identify instances of possible financial exploitation for seniors, and escalate those cases to the proper authorities (e.g. the Securities and Exchange Commission [the “SEC”], Commodities and Futures Trading Commission [the “CFTC”], state regulators, APS, etc.).

Staff are also equipped to reach out to member firms to try and resolve issues directly, seek restitution in certain instances, conduct research, and connect callers with other resources. Lastly, Help Line staff also assist with communications and talking points for other FINRA staff regarding senior financial exploitation.

What Should I Consider When Evaluating My Policies and Procedures for Senior Financial Exploitation?

Unfortunately, the financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults continues to increase, and in light of current challenges related to COVID-19, seniors and other vulnerable populations will only continue to be targets of financial exploitation.

In light of these circumstances, it is important for investment advisers (“IAs”) and broker-dealers (“BDs”) to review their policies and procedures (“P&Ps”) addressing senior financial exploitation and abuse. 

For BDs, their P&Ps should follow FINRA Rule 2165(c)(1)-(2) (Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults). Additionally, FINRA has found that BDs that incorporated suitability considerations for seniors, escalation policies and procedures, training on identifying financial exploitation and diminished capacity red flags, the creation of teams within the BD or the BD’s compliance department focused on senior issues, and internal awards for recognition of outstanding service to seniors, are better equipped to address instances of senior financial exploitation.

For IAs, their P&Ps should contemplate policies and procedures specifically focused on: services for senior clients that are customized to their business model and products; retiree accounts; policies, procedures, and training for identification of financial exploitation and diminished capacity red flags; trusted contacts; and continuing education for investment adviser representatives (“IARs”) and staff on trends and issues observed in the industry.

Lastly, BDs and IAs should review the Senior Safe Act’s (“SSA”) safe harbor requirements to determine if additional policies and procedures are necessary in order for their IARs, registered representatives, supervisors, and certain compliance and legal personnel to receive training on how to act in good faith and apply reasonable care when reporting instances of alleged financial exploitation of senior clients. This is especially important in order for those individuals, and their firms, to receive immunity from criminal and civil liability under the SSA.

To read more about the Senior Safe Act in relationship to IAs and BDs, please click here.

How Can You Help Me with My Senior Financial Exploitation Policies and Procedures?

Jacko Law Group can help your firm with evaluating and revising your firm’s P&Ps concerning senior financial exploitation and provide guidance on how best to adhere to FINRA’s rule on Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults, SEC guidelines on senior investors and financial exploitation, and the SSA. Our team of attorneys will use our extensive experience to ask detailed questions designed to determine if your senior financial exploitation program is thorough, accurate, and up-to-date.

[1] DeSouza, Andrew, and Michelle Ong. “FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors Marks Five-Year Anniversary.” FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors Marks Five-Year Anniversary | FINRA.org, FINRA, 30 Apr. 2020, www.finra.org/media-center/newsreleases/2020/finra-securities-helpline-seniors-marks-five-year-anniversary.

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