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
OCIE Risk Alert Provides Critical Guidance on Electronic Messaging
February 12, 2019

Information technology continues to provide amazing benefits to our industry, but it also brings with it a number of risks when it comes to compliance.

Changes in the way mobile and personally owned devices are being utilized for business purposes brings into question whether firms are fully complying with the Books and Records Rule (Advisers Act Rule 204-2) and the Compliance Rule (Advisers Act Rule 206(4)-7).

The staff shared that specific concerns related to registrants’ utilization of electronic communications include, but are not limited to, increased use of messaging to clients and others via:

  • Social media
  • Text messaging
  • Electronic messaging apps
  • Personal devices and accounts used for business purposes

The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) conducted a limited-scope examination advisory firms’ use of electronic messaging and released a risk alert, capturing the examiner’s observations of strong internal controls used by the financial industry, which in turn will help firms to foster and improve their protocols, systems and policies.

The complete OCIE Risk Alert on “Observations from Investment Adviser Examinations Relating to Electronic Messaging” can be read here.

Examination Findings

OCIE’s examination initiative focused on whether, and to what extent, advisers complied with the Books and Records Rule and adopted and implemented policies and procedures as required by the Compliance Rule.

Unfortunately, some examiners found that certain investment advisory firms failed to have any testing or monitoring practices in place to help ensure compliance with firm policies and procedures.

In an effort to assist firms in meeting their record retention obligations under the Books and Records Rule and their implementation and design of policies and procedures under the Compliance Rule, OCIE published 17 practices for firms to consider.

6 Internal Controls to Consider for Electronic Messaging

The following are selected highlights of the staff’s identification of potential internal controls to consider for electronic messaging:

  • If firms permit their employees to use social media, personal email accounts, etc., for business purposes, policies and procedures should address protocols for the adviser’s monitoring, review, and retention of such electronic communications, including the transferring of those communications to a storage system which satisfies Rule 204-2.
  • Training should be provided related to the firm’s acceptable practices regarding the use of electronic messaging and electronic apps.
  • Firms should clearly emphasize in their policies and procedures that policy violations may result in disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal.
  • Firms should regularly remind employees of the firm’s policies and procedures regarding electronic messaging, as well as solicit feedback from employees as to what forms of messaging are requested by clients and service providers to help identify potential risks.
  • Procedures should be implemented reviewing popular social media sites and conducting periodic internet searches to identify potentially unauthorized electronic messaging activities related to the firm.
  • Security apps or other software should be employed on company-issued or personally owned mobile devices prior to utilization for business communications that:
  1. Automate mandatory cyber security patches to the devices to better protect the devices from hacking or malware
  2. Monitor for prohibited apps
  3. Allow for remote “wiping” of the device’s entire local memory in the event a device is lost or stolen

The complete list of suggestions can be found in the OCIE’s Risk Alert – read here.

This Risk Alert Signals the Need for Internal Review

The publishing of this Risk Alert sends a clear signal that investment advisers will be held accountable for employee electronic communications.

We strongly advise firms to review their risks, practices, policies, and procedures governing electronic messaging and consider what improvements are required to bring their compliance programs into agreement with ever-developing regulatory requirements.

Should you need assistance in reviewing your policies and procedures covering the use of technology, or in developing an effective employee training program covering the proper use of electronic messaging, our attorneys are here to help.

For more information on regulatory compliance issues, or any other related legal questions, contact Jacko Law Group, PC. Let our decades of experience work for you.

A Reminder to Our Readers

We’d like to remind our readers to file form ADV in a timely manner with the necessary regulatory bodies, including the SEC and state securities authorities, and to provide the required updated informational brochures to clients. This must be done regardless of the operational status of the SEC. Should you like us to review your Form ADV disclosures and assist with your annual amendment filing requirements, contact Jacko Law Group, PC – click here.

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