Under rule 17a-14 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and rule 204-5 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, broker-dealers registered under section 15 of the Exchange Act and investment advisers registered under section 203 of the Advisers Act are required to deliver to retail investors a relationship summary, Form ADV Part 3, disclosing certain information about the firm. Read all the General Instructions as well as the particular item requirements before preparing or updating the relationship summary.
Advisers have a fiduciary obligation to recommend a share class that will provide their clients with the lowest overall expenses, based on anticipated transaction costs and holding periods. Moreover, if the Firm recommends mutual funds that carry 12b-1 fees when lower share class options exist, the Firm must make full and fair disclosure, including conflicts associated with making investment decisions in light of the receipt of 12b-1 fees; and selecting the more expensive 12b-1 fee paying share class when a lower-cost share class is available for the same fund. Share class selection is a regulatory priority. The SEC has indicated that examiners will conduct focused, risk-based examinations to assess whether investment advisers are meeting their obligations to
- Seek best execution;
- Disclose material conflicts of interest; and
- Maintain an effective compliance program.
Investment adviser should determine its approach for meeting these three obligations and train its personnel to comply with any policies, procedures, and guidelines governing share class selection.
The USA defines an agent as any individual who represents a broker-dealer or an issuer in effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities for their clients. Agents are individuals in a sales capacity who represent broker-dealers or issuers of securities. Any person who meets the definition of an agent must register with the states they do business in. To register with the state securities Administrators, you must:
Form ADV Part 2B is a brochure supplement that must contain certain information about specific individuals, acting on behalf of the investment adviser, who actually provide the investment advice and interact with the client. The brochure supplement is also a narrative format in plain English and includes six required disclosure categories, with a seventh for advisers registered or are registering with one or more state securities authorities:
A wrap fee program is a program under which any client is charged a specified fee or fees not based directly on transactions in a client’s account for investment advisory services. Any RIA compensated under a wrap fee program does not use the normal brochure or Part 2A of the ADV. Instead, that adviser furnishes clients and prospective clients Part 2A, Appendix 1. Appendix 1 consists of 9 items, 10 for advisers who are registered or are registering with one or more state securities authorities.
Under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, no specific financial requirements, such as a minimum net worth, are spelled out. However, there are financial disclosures that must be made to clients under certain conditions. Under the Uniform Securities Act, the Administrator may, by rule or order, establish minimum financial requirements for registration as an investment adviser in the state.