House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) has reintroduced his bill calling for a self-regulatory organization (SRO) for investment advisers. The bill has a Democratic co-sponsor, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), indicating that it may have some bipartisan support. Rep. Bachus said that the bill was drafted in response to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) study which showed that the SEC does not have sufficient resources to adequately monitor and regulate the 12,000 registered investment advisers. The SEC examined only 8% of advisers in 2011, which is significantly less than the 58% of broker-dealers that were examined.
The bill calls for the creation of one or more SROs which would be called a “National Investment Adviser Association” (NIAA). NIAA would report to the SEC, and investment advisers with retail customers would be required to become members. The bill provides an exception from the membership requirement for investment advisers with less than $100 million in assets under management. The bill gives individual states the authority to regulate those investment advisers as long as the states conduct periodic on-site examinations.
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