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While investment advisors and financial planners help clients execute strategies for economic success, legal advisors ensure the behind-the-scenes needs of investors are also met. Clark Hill’s Investment Management team represents broker-dealers, investment advisors, municipal advisors, and others in matters ranging from initial formation to compliance and mergers and acquisitions.

We represent our investment management clients, including registered representatives, in-state, SEC, and FINRA investigations, examinations, enforcement actions, and arbitrations, and work closely with them in developing comprehensive compliance programs and conducting internal compliance audits.

Clients seek our guidance while preparing initial and continuing registration filings of Forms ADV, BD and MA and related reporting, membership, and registration requirements of the SEC, FINRA, and MSRB. We also aid our clients with employment and termination issues, including proper filings of Forms U4 and U5. Our attorneys provide ongoing counsel regarding issues such as performance and referral fees, advertising and solicitation activities, valuation and trade practices, anti-money laundering and privacy policies, ERISA compliance, municipal advisor and broker-dealer regulatory matters, federal securities political contribution/pay-to-play restrictions, and 529 college savings plan sales practices. Additionally, we counsel investment advisers for applications for exemptive relief and no-action letters.

Our team strives to keep our investment management clients up to date on ever-changing SEC, FINRA, MSRB, and state securities regulations affecting their industry, and to actively assist them in managing their compliance risks.

The following is a list of representative matters handled by members of our team:

  • Initial SEC registration, periodic reports, and proxy statements of publicly traded and listed closed-end investment company.
  • Initial formation and qualification of broker-dealers and registered investment advisers.
  • Multi-state registration, and subsequent merger of dually registered investment adviser and broker-dealer.
  • Acquisitions and sales of broker-dealers and registered investment advisers.
  • Representation of directors of a major investment management firm in a joint SEC/FINRA enforcement action.
  • Settlements of multi-state FINRA arbitrations on behalf of national broker-dealer.
  • Advised broker-dealers and municipal advisors on new post-Dodd-Frank regulatory requirements relating to sales, trading, underwriting, and advisory activities, as well as fiduciary, pay-to-play, and other conflicts rules.
  • Represented broker-dealers and municipal advisors in connection with SEC, FINRA, and state compliance examinations, informal inquiries, and a settlement of fraud allegations.
  • Advised an investment management firm, a structuring advisor, and a sponsor of 529 college savings plans on regulatory compliance and plan management matters.