RIAs Compliance

RIAs

RIA Compliance Checklist for SEC Investment Advisors

Apr 5, 2024

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InnReg

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2 min read

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.

InnReg is a global regulatory compliance and operations consulting team serving financial services companies since 2013. If you need assistance with compliance or fintech regulations, click here.

Initial Checklist of 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

    10. Code of Ethics

  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 are an Institutional Investment Manager who exercises discretion of 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. If sponsoring a Wrap Fee program, provide clients with a detailed Wrap Fee Brochure.

  8. If SEC registered, comply with Reg BI and provide all retail investors with Form CRS (Customer Relationship Summary).


  9. You have a documented and monitored Code of Ethics for supervised persons within your firm.

  10. You refrain from charging fees based on a percentage of capital gains or appreciation in the client’s account (“performance fee arrangement”) unless the client is a registered investment company, has in excess of $1 million in managed assets, is a private investment company or is a non-U.S resident.

  11. You establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to prevent the misuse of material non-public information.

  12. You make and keep true, accurate and current certain books and records relating to your investment advisory business (as specified under the “Books and Records Rule”).

  13. You demonstrably seek to obtain the best price and execution for your clients’ securities transactions.

  14. 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 consent.

  15. You remain ready to provide your books and records subject to compliance examinations by SEC staff.

  16. Your advertising and marketing complies with the SEC recently amended Advertising Rule Make sure you are familiar with the new requirements about the use of testimonials and performance advertising. 

  17. You take the required measures to protect client assets from loss or theft if you have custody or possession of client assets.

  18. You are prepared to disclose any adverse financial or disciplinary information to clients.

Is your Investment Advisory organization compliant with all these requirements? 

Unsure about some? Would you 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 InnReg at info@innreg.com.

How Can InnReg Help?

InnReg is a global regulatory compliance and operations consulting team serving financial services companies since 2013.

We are especially effective at launching and scaling fintechs with innovative compliance strategies and delivering cost-effective managed services, assisted by proprietary regtech solutions.

If you need help with RIA compliance, reach out to our regulatory experts today:

Published on Aug 20, 2020

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Last updated on Apr 5, 2024

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