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
Top 3 Considerations During the Breakaway & Transition Process
Blog Breakaway & Transition Transition & Breakaway Services
June 18, 2020

In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the number of financial advisors who are looking to break-away and transition to careers with registered investment advisory firms (“RIAs”) or even launching their own RIA seeking more independence, control, growth opportunities, and increased compensation.

In January 2020, TD Ameritrade Institutional (“TDAI”)[1] released the results of their annual “Breakaway to Independence Survey”. They found that 55% of respondents were planning to breakaway within the next 12 months, which represents an 11% increase over the survey from the previous year. [i]

2019 saw a record number of advisors breakaway and transition, and it does not appear as if the trend is slowing in 2020.

While many advisors are eager to join a new investment advisory firm or start their own RIA in pursuit of increased independence and revenue, some find the legal and compliance hurdles daunting. Advisors must consider and navigate several key legal and regulatory restrictions during the onboarding and transitioning processes.

To start, we believe it is important to have an experienced attorney guide advisors through these important considerations as well as the myriad of regulations, contracts, filings, and disclosures all required to complete the transition.

The process takes both time and money and it is crucial that the advisor ensures compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. Without proper planning and guidance, the transition could be delayed, more expensive than originally anticipated, or trigger costly and detrimental litigation.

In light of the significant increase and interest in breakaways and transitions, here are the top three (3) considerations that we believe are important for advisors to consider.


Consideration #1: The Broker Protocol

The Protocol for Broker Recruiting (“The Protocol”) is an agreement among parties created in 2004 as a means of allowing certain confidential client information to move between firms that sign and adopt the Protocol.

The goal of The Protocol is to allow clients to follow their financial advisor while ensuring that their personal identifying information (“PII”) is being protected. It also attempts to minimize litigation between firms that are parties to The Protocol. It also outlines the information that an advisor leaving a firm can take with them so long as the advisor follows the terms of The Protocol.

It is important for advisers seeking to breakaway and transition to contemplate the requirements of The Protocol to mitigate the risks of possible litigation by their former firm.

Read the Protocol Here.

Consideration #2: Does My Contract Contain Restrictions on My Activities?

An advisor must carefully review and consider the restrictions in their employment contracts to ensure that they fully understand any provisions that could prevent them from engaging in certain activities.

Frequently, advisors are confronted with a multitude of restrictions including non-solicitation clauses, and in some states where enforceable, non-compete agreements.

Additionally, these employment contracts can preclude advisors from communicating with clients and keeps an advisors from bringing their existing clients to their new firm.

It is important for advisors to fully understand and consider all of the provisions in their employment contracts. They should carefully review the employment contracts with their onboarding team at their new firm, with the assistance of a seasoned securities attorney.

Consideration #3: How Am I Impacted by Privacy Laws?

Regardless of whether you are subject to Regulation S-P[ii] or a state rule such as California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)[iii], there are specific limitations on how and when a new firm can receive 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.

In order to avoid an inadvertent violation of these privacy laws, RIAs have to ensure that the onboarding process for the client is done in an organized fashion; otherwise, if the transition is done hastily it could create considerable headaches for advisors and their RIAs down the road.

For more important considerations regarding Breakaways and Transitions, check-out “Breakaway 101: FAQs for Transitioning Advisors” by Jacko Law Group.

Should you have questions or concerns about the breakaway and transition process or if you require any assistance or guidance with the breakaway or transition process, please contact us at (619) 278-0020 to schedule a consultation. Our legal and compliance experts are standing by to help you.

[1] Jacko Law Group provides transition services for TD Ameritrade as a strategic partner.

[i] “More Than Ever, Brokers Are Keen to Join the Independence Movement, New Survey Commissioned by TD Ameritrade Institutional Finds.” TD Ameritrade, TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, 30 Jan. 2020, www.amtd.com/news-and-stories/press-releases/press-release-details/2020/More-Than-Ever-Brokers-Are-Keen-to-Join-the-Independence-Movement-New-Survey-Commissioned-by-TD-Ameritrade-Institutional-Finds/default.aspx.

[ii] See 17 CFR Part 248

[iii] See CCPA

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