It happens to every investment adviser, sooner or later. All the documentation you maintain, all the policies and procedures you put in place, it all goes under the microscope eventually.
The SEC, FINRA, and the State all conduct regulatory exams of their registrants. The amount of registrants examined is increasing each year, and examination focuses change. If you have not had a recent regulatory exam, chances are, you will likely have one soon. Preparing for those exams can be nerve wracking, and you may not have as much time to prepare as you’d like.
It is for this reason that having a Quick Response Team to guide you through the process is so important.
Time is of the essence when responding to regulatory examinations.
Any regulatory body is going to demand accurate and prompt responses to their requests for information.
You’ll want a team on your side that knows what to do, how to do it, and how to do it fast.
While every firm inevitably will have a regulatory exam, it’s rarely a constant aspect of running your firm. In fact, most firms only face a regulatory exam once every few years.
Because of this, certain team members may have little to no recent experience in responding to the exam requests, including in-person interviews with the staff. The risk of missing a detail, responding too slowly, or not responding in the most effective way to streamline the exam process can be daunting.
Partnering with an experienced third party to help prepare and guide you through a regulatory exam can be a major difference in your experience and end-result. A firm that has extensive experience in managing regulatory exams, with a Quick Response Teamin place, can be the difference between a successful experience and failing due to a technicality.
You don’t have to wait for a regulatory deficiency letter to start preparing.
A more cost-effective solution than dealing with the SEC, FINRA or State in a purely reactive way during an exam is to prepare ahead of time. Conducting a mock regulatory exam can be a worthwhile investment. Through exercises involving document production, mock interviews and similar tests, gaps can be identified which serve as helpful training tools.
Unsure of whether or not you should conduct a mock examthis year to prepare? Talk to our team for recommendations on how to be as prepared as possible.
Leaning on the experience of a Quick Response Team means you have that experience in your corner to liaise with regulators on your behalf.
When you must produce documentation and discuss complex issues with the regulators, it can be an anxiety-inducing experience. Being prepared helps to alleviate that. Having a Quick Response Team on your side means having experienced counsel guiding you through every step of the exam process, which will help ensure your examination runs as smooth as possible.
When working with outsourced counsel to respond to regulatory exams, it’s essential that your counsel is capable of an agile response to what regulators demand. Ultimately, experienced counsel will help you prepare so violations don’t happen in the first place.
The SEC will be announcing its 2018 regulatory focus points any day now.
Not only do you need to maintain a holistic culture of compliance, but each year, the SEC has specific regulatory areas of focus that you’ll need to consider as you draft or make updates to your policies and procedures.
There may be areas of focus that are potentially concerning for your firms, such as how you handle aging client issues or cybersecurity.
Your firm’s ability to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements – even recently announced focus areas – is at the forefront of every regulatory examination. If you haven’t prepared, you’re at risk.
Lean on the legal counsel team that has decades of experience helping financial firms navigate the complex waters of regulatory inquiries (and allegations) at both state, SRO and federal levels.
Talk to our team today – request time by clicking here.