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
Protecting Retail Investors: Thoughts from SEC Director Peter Driscoll, OCIE
June 18, 2019

In a speech given in late April, Peter Driscoll, Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), discussed the importance of cooperation among compliance officers, senior management, and the OCIE to promote compliance and more effectively protect retail investors.

OCIE’s Role in Protecting Retail Investors

Driscoll summarized that OCIE’s purpose is to examine its registrant firms’ risk areas that often could pose potential harm to retail investors if not appropriately mitigated.

Specifically, he chose to highlight five major areas of OCIE’s examination priorities:

1. The critical nature of proper disclosure, including fees and expenses, to help investors make informed investment decisions.

2. The need for adherence to the Custody Rule, which protects client assets from misappropriation or theft of funds.

3. The importance of upholding a firm’s fiduciary duty (a firm’s obligation to put a client’s interests above its own), which requires full and proper disclosure of all material conflicts of interest, in accordance with Section 206 of the Advisers Act.

4. The significance of recognizing inherent risks involved in firms borrowing from clients in the name of “growing business,” often without proper disclosure of the firm’s unstable financial health.

5. The need to protect senior investors through raising awareness of their unique needs, as well as education surrounding laws and regulations designed to address senior financial abuse and exploitation, in addition to outreach programs to better inform senior investors themselves.

The Need for Adequate Compliance Resources and Empowerment of the CCO

Driscoll expressed serious concern about information the OCIE frequently receives that indicates compliance resources and budgets are being cut, limiting the effectiveness of firms’ compliance programs and compliance officers in keeping up with risk profiles, which would potentially leave investors vulnerable to financial harm.

Driscoll stated:

“We cannot underscore enough a firm’s continued need to assess whether its compliance program has adequate resources to support its compliance function. For without adequate resources, compliance professionals are like swimmers swimming against the tide, constantly working to keep up and not lose ground.”

Read the full speech here.

Driscoll also lamented the undue burden placed on chief compliance officers (CCOs) for the success or failure of a compliance program as a whole, when compliance should be made a firm-wide obligation, with senior management and ownership setting the expectations for proper compliance and the protection of a firm’s clients.

Driscoll also remarked:

“An empowered CCO should have full authority to develop and enforce policies and procedures and be of sufficient seniority and authority within the firm to compel others-including others in senior management-to follow and enforce those policies and procedures.”

In an effort to support CCOs in their efforts, the OCIE prioritizes transparency and communication regarding commonly observed deficiencies through its risk alerts, hoping to assist CCOs in holding firms accountable and creating a culture of compliance.

Creating a Culture of Compliance at Your Firm

The OCIE is making efforts to educate and support firms in protecting retail investor interests, as well as enforcing its expectations through its examination process.

To create a culture of compliance that aids firms in meeting its customers’ investment needs by having strong internal controls to support those efforts, JLG recommends that firms place strong emphasis on the following:

● Allocate adequate resources to carry out compliance measures;

● Develop and uphold robust compliance policies and procedures;

● Establish the authority of the CCO within an organization to uphold those compliance policies;

● Keep up with the various risk alerts and other tools made available by the OCIE to assist with the development of your firm’s compliance culture; and

● Consider having a mock SEC examination to test whether your internal controls, particularly in the above-referenced high risk areas, meet regulatory expectations.

Should your firm need assistance with conducting a mock SEC exam, training on senior investor issues or enhancing a compliance programs to help further protect retail investors and their financial interests, the attorneys at Jacko Law Group, PC., are here to help. We are available and ready to apply our years of experience to your unique situation, contact us here.

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