Investment Advisory

  • Represented four advisors transitioning from a “wirehouse” to an independent registered investment advisor in a breach of contract and fiduciary duty action. We defeated a TRO after a full-day evidentiary hearing following expedited briefing and discovery.
  • Represented a leading international partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms. Conducted due diligence for the client’s acquisition of an RIA with $16.5 billion AUM.
  • Represented an investment advisor in an SEC investigation of conflicts of interest related to the firm’s recommendation of other registered investment advisors in conjunction with certain wrap fee programs.
  • Represented a senior executive of an RIA in an SEC investigation of the firm’s conversion of mutual fund share classes that charged 12b-1 fees in non-qualified advised accounts to share classes that did not charge 12b-1 fees. The matter was closed without any action against the senior executive.
  • Represented advisors in SEC and FINRA investigations of outside business activities which closed without any action against the advisors.
  • Represented team of advisors in successfully limiting the scope of a TRO that was issued ex parte.

Looking Forward

Recent reports suggest that the record setting growth of the investment advisor sector should continue well into 2020. Strong growth both in regulatory assets under management and in client numbers should continue to create opportunities for those seeking to acquire or transition advisory businesses to new platforms.

Given this trend, and an active year by the SEC promulgating rules and issuing interpretive guidance, we expect that the SEC will focus intently on the economic relationship between advisors and their clients—especially retail clients. We anticipate that the SEC will scrutinize disclosures regarding the nature of the client relationship and conflicts of interests, paying particular attention to the sources of revenue that advisors, and their affiliated entities, receive in connection with advised account.