Looks like new regulatory requirements for RIAs mandated by Dodd-Frank are causing a lot of agita, as well as confusion, among advisors.
According to a TD Ameritrade study of 500 RIAs, nearly 60 percent say their greatest concern with the regulation is the increase in time and money they'll have to spend to meet the new compliance requirements. A smaller number, 15 percent, worry that regulators won't understand their business. And an even smaller percent, 6, suspect the fiduciary standard will be adversely impacted.
In addition, nearly 70 percent say they will have to add resources to manage the new requirements and 85 percent figure they will have to dedicate more of their own personal time to compliance issues, taking them away from managing their business and working with clients.
At the same time, nearly half report they know little to nothing about the impact Dodd-Frank will have on their business.
There's good reason for all that concern and confusion, of course. For RIAs, the bill means fairly big changes. Most important, it rejiggers the threshold for registration under the Investment Advisers Act from $25 million in assets under management to $100 million. While fewer RIAs will have to register with the Securities Exchange Commission, as a result, more will need to sign on with the primary state in which they do business, if the state mandates that. And, in many, if not most cases, that will mean registering with multiple states.
The study also indicates that there will be a significant group of people benefiting from the changes, however: third parties to whom RIAs will outsource compliance duties. Nearly 75 percent said they would use attorneys, consultants or their custodians to help them manage their new compliance responsibilities. There's a silver lining after all.