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
Four P’s of the Breakaway and Transition Process
Blog Breakaway & Transition
July 13, 2021

Among the most notable workplace trends in recent years has been the growing number of financial advisors seeking to breakaway and transition their careers. To many, the allure of joining a registered investment advisory (RIA) firm or launching a new RIA is the desire for greater independence and increased compensation.

Advisors who have made the transition know that successful change depends on a combination of preparation and opportunity. With that in mind, it’s important to get a head start on navigating several key legal and regulatory restrictions during the onboarding and transitioning processes.

To ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations, advisors thinking about making a move can benefit from the value an experienced attorney can provide. In the long run, having specialized guidance with contracts, filings, and disclosures can save time and money and let you focus on what you do best.

When it comes to breakaways and transitions, the top four considerations for advisors to avoid costly and detrimental litigation involve protocol, provisions, privacy, and preparation.

The Broker Protocol

The Protocol for Broker Recruiting (The Protocol) was created in 2004 to reduce the likelihood of litigation when an advisor moves between firms, to assist the facilitation of advisors in moving from one firm to another, and to minimize client impact. Although Merrill Lynch is the only firm remaining in The Protocol among the three co-founders now that Morgan Stanley and UBS have withdrawn, more than 1,900 firms (both broker-dealers and investment advisers) are members.

If the onboarding firm and the advisor’s former employer are both members of The Protocol at the time of a breakaway, the risks associated with the transition are minimized if all conditions in The Protocol are met.

Transitioning advisors tend to have one overriding question regarding The Protocol. What client information can I take with me? The answer – enough to get started.  This includes the client’s name, address, phone number, email address, and account titles. But beware – the information the advisor takes must be disclosed to the former employer at the time of resignation. Thorny issues can develop when a disagreement arises regarding whose client it is – the advisor’s or the former employer’s?

The best way for advisors to mitigate the risks of possible litigation is to know restrictive covenants contained within their agreement and to check whether both their current and future firms are members of The Protocol. Consulting with counsel highly experienced with breakaways and transitions is always highly recommended.

Contract Provisions

An experienced securities attorney can help a transitioning advisor review and consider the restrictions in their employment contracts. This is particularly true since each state has its own employment laws.

Frequently, advisors are confronted with a multitude of restrictions that could prevent them from engaging in certain activities. These include confidentiality provisions, non-solicitation clauses and, in some states where enforceable, non-compete agreements.

Disputes over confidentiality, non-solicit provisions and non-compete agreements are increasingly common issues to deal with when an advisor is leaving an RIA. Employment agreements themselves have become far more common as independent RIAs have grown larger. Two of the most common restrictions are the use of your former firm’s proprietary or confidential information and soliciting client accounts and employees to move your new firm.

Privacy Laws

Regardless of whether you are subject to Regulation S-P or a state rule such as California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), specific limitations exist on how and when a new firm can receive Personally Identifiable Information (PII) regarding clients.

Regulation S-P provides clients with the ability to request that the RIA not share PII with any affiliated or unaffiliated companies. The CCPA goes further, by allowing consumers the right to know, request, and delete PII. Companies subject to the CCPA can face steep fines and in some instances, catastrophic litigation.

To avoid an inadvertent violation of these privacy laws, RIAs must ensure that the onboarding process for the client is done in an organized fashion. If the breakaways and transition are done hastily, problems could arise. Many financial firms have established transition teams as a value-added service to assist advisors with completing the onboarding firm’s new client paperwork.

Prepare for Opportunity

For years, Jacko Law Group, PC has helped many clients through the breakaway and transition process. Our team of specialists stand ready to assist you in making your next move a successful one. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at (619) 298-2880 or visit us online at jackolg.com.

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