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
The Regulatory Considerations for M&As and Transition Planning 
Blog Mergers & Acquisitions Transition & Breakaway Services
September 16, 2021

Mergers and acquisitions are becoming increasingly commonplace as a result of strategic transition planning. Each of these scenarios has a series of regulatory compliance considerations the business must face, whether on the breakaway path or on the merger and acquisition side.

There are many facets to merging, acquiring or owning and operating an independent business other than merely developing new corporate governance documents and registering, as needed, with the appropriate regulatory body.  From unveiling new product and service offerings to research, trading platforms, fee assessments and invoicing clients, there’s a need to determine how to best structure the business. Building a strategic plan helps to chart this vision and plan for how things will be done, which will eventually be disclosed on Forms ADV.

Once a strategic plan is developed, it is important to engage experienced counsel to discuss the regulatory considerations for the proposed business model.

Legal counsel serves as a mentor to clients through the transition process. Counsel is involved in the preparation, development, and execution phases for each step, and serves as a strategic advisor for addressing certain challenges during the transition.


A Focus on Risk Management

Here are some of the most common areas counsel can assist with during the transition process:

  • Adopting and implementing written compliance policies and procedures. The SEC requires advisors to adopt, implement, and maintain written policies and procedures that are customized and reasonably designed to prevent, detect, and correct violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. At a minimum, the SEC expects your policies and procedures to address how the business has changed and the compliance protections developed to address areas of risk.Particularly during a transition, issues related to client disclosures, custody, cybersecurity and business continuity, confidentiality and privacy protection, advisory fee billing and marketing emerge. Regulatory counsel may help to mitigate these risks.
  • Employment contract provisions. Counsel looks for very specific language relating to non-competition, non-solicitation and trade secrets, with detailed provisions relating to final payouts and transference of client accounts and records to an outside entity. Background and compliance checks are made on all new hires.
  • Filings and resolutions for formation of the entity. This includes registration as an LLC, S-Corp, Partnership etc. Forms ADV must be filed to apply for registration with the state(s) or SEC. Forms U4 and Form ADV Part 2B are filed, as required, for those professionals who will provide advisory services. FINRA requires advisors to complete Form U4 and pass qualification exams to demonstrate competence in the securities business.
  • The drafting and development of documents and agreements. While every transition is unique to its circumstances, generally, most transition documents include NDAs and other confidentiality agreements; employee or independent contractor agreements; purchase agreements or onboarding manuals and documents, privacy notices, and marketing collateral.
  • Identifying and engaging key vendors to support the business. This includes custodial arrangements, electronic record maintenance, E&O insurance carriers, information technology (IT) needs, and cybersecurity.
  • Operational and compliance risk management. An evaluation should be made of the internal controls needed to supervise and oversee new products and service areas, including working remotely. A thorough review can determine if existing or new conflicts of interest need to be mitigated or eliminated.

Concluding Thoughts

Complex regulatory requirements are involved when transitioning to a new business model due to breaking away or merging and acquiring a new team. The attorneys at Jacko Law Group, PC, have a wealth of experience in mergers and acquisitions, investment advisory and broker-dealer firm formation, hedge and private fund development, transition risks, and investment counsel on regulatory compliance and securities law.

For more information, contact us at info@jackolg.com to schedule a consultation.


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