Regulators are increasingly adopting — and, more importantly, enforcing — Best Interest rules. More than a dozen states have already adopted the NASAA’s Model Rule 203(a)-1A or similar rules that require registered investment advisors to have a Business Continuity and Succession Plan (BCP) in place. The trouble is, most advisors don’t.
What if you suddenly become incapacitated and can’t run your practice? What if the regulators come knocking? Without a plan to deal with the unexpected, the value of your practice drops to zero.
Your clients deserve to know the fate of their assets if the unthinkable were to happen to you, their trusted advisor. You’ve worked too hard to simply leave them in the lurch should you get hit by the proverbial bus. Don’t betray their faith in you by putting their assets in potential jeopardy.
If your business is part of your legacy to your family and loved ones, an abrupt, unplanned, and uncertain end could severely impact their financial futures, too.
It behooves all advisors in any stage of their careers to prioritize Business Continuity and Succession Planning.
The Model Rule states, “Advisers face significant risks if they become unable to serve clients, either temporarily or permanently. Failing to address these risks with a BCP can result in harm to Advisers’ clients, exposure to regulatory actions, and litigation for failure to satisfy legal, regulatory, or contractual duties.”
Regulators have flagged a number of advisors as “deficient,” and the June 2020 launch of the Massachusetts of Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) will increase fiduciary requirements further. Other states will likely follow this lead with similar regulations of their own.
Consider this scenario: Should you become suddenly incapacitated, who has trading or banking authority? Who will run payroll? Who will access your computer systems — and how? Who’s prepared to answer your clients’ questions and reassure them that their assets are still well managed?
Well before retirement appears on your radar, you should think about Business Continuity and Succession Planning. A nominal $500 annual fee protects your family’s largest asset, gives clients peace of mind, and appeases regulators. If you join AGES Brokerage (the brokerage arm of Trust Advisory Group), we’ll even waive the fee — but you’re under no obligation. All we require is that you fill in all Plan details — including passwords and file locations — and commit to updating the details every time they change.
Developing your Business Continuity Plan with TAG — whether as a prerequisite to a TAG full– or semi-retirement program or standalone solution — will take care of all the “what ifs” and provide peace of mind.
Protect your practice, your clients, and your family for one annual $500 payment. Fill in the form at right for more information or to sign up.
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