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RIA Compliance: Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) Ultimate SEC Compliance Checklist

by InnReg

Registered Investment Advisors must comply with the extensive provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (also called the “Advisers Act”). 

Below is a high-level checklist describing key compliance areas. These represent the most critical subset of over 150 compliance-related tasks that an RIA must handle either in-house or with the help of an outsourced provider such as InnReg.

Subject-matter experts with decades of experience wrote this analysis, not freelance copywriters, third party agencies, or AI-based tools. We are global regulatory compliance experts.

Initial Checklist of 15 Key Requirements for RIA Compliance

  1. You put clients’ interests first, acting in the role of a fiduciary.
  2. You are equipped to provide full and fair disclosure of any material facts or conflicts of interest to your clients and prospective clients.
  3. You take a programmatic approach to compliance with detailed documented policies and procedures. These should cover:
    1. Portfolio management
    2. Accuracy of disclosures
    3. Proprietary/personal trading by supervised persons
    4. Required recordkeeping
    5. Privacy protection
    6. Trading practices
    7. Marketing and advertising
    8. Fees and valuations
    9. Business continuity
  4. You have filed and continue to file required updates of Form ADV
  5. You have filed and continue to file required updates of Form 13F (if you manage assets of fair market value in the aggregate of $100 million or more)
  6. You provide clients and prospective clients with a written disclosure statement (Form ADV, Part 2).
  7. You have a documented and monitored Code of Ethics for supervised persons within your firm.
  8. You establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to prevent the misuse of material non-public information.
  9. You make and keep true, accurate, and current certain books and records related to your investment advisory business (as specified under the “Books and Records Rule”).
  10. You demonstrably seek to obtain the best price and execution for your clients’ securities transactions.
  11. Your contracts with advisory clients must include specific provisions as set forth in Section 205 of the Advisers Act, such as stating that the advisory services you provide to a client may not be assigned by you to any other person without the client’s prior consent.
  12. You remain ready to provide your books and records subject to compliance examinations by SEC staff.
  13. You refrain from advertising and marketing practices that are prohibited by the SEC “Advertising Rule,” such as testimonials.
  14. You take the required measures to protect client assets from loss or theft if you have “custody” or “possession” of client assets.
  15. You are prepared to disclose any adverse financial or disciplinary information to clients.

Get the RIA Compliance Checklist Now

Is your Investment Advisory organization compliant with all these requirements? 

Unsure about some? Would like to learn more? For further detail, see the SEC publication “Information for Newly-Registered Investment Advisers.” 

For a discussion on how these requirements apply to your organization, how to ensure your compliance programs are sufficient, and what you must do in order to meet the requirements properly, please contact us at info@innreg.com.

The Author

InnReg is a team of over 30 Regulatory Compliance and Innovation Consulting experts helping fintechs succeed in highly regulated markets since 2013. InnReg specializes on mitigating regulatory risk while helping clients launch and grow innovative fintech products and services.

Topics: RIA Compliance

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