Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released a report last month comparing the cost of the various possible options of different agencies examining investment advisers. This report was conducted as a follow-up to a study released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January 2011, which created these scenarios based on Section 914 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The three possible options would be:
- Authorizing the SEC to conduct the examinations and fund them by collecting user fees;
- Authorize a new self-regulatory organization (SRO) to examine the advisers; or
- Authorize the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to examine the advisers
The economic analysis of the options was based on public research along with more than 40 in-depth interviews with various investment advisory firms. The SEC and FINRA were not interviewed or consulted in this analysis. The report concluded that the creation of enhanced SEC capabilities would cost $240-$270 million, while setting FINRA up as the investment adviser SRO would cost $550-$610 million, and creating a new SRO would cost $610-$670 million. These estimates were developed by projecting setup costs, ongoing mandate costs, and the cost associated with SEC oversight of an SRO.
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