As the fight against the adoption of the Bachus-McCarthy bill heats up, powerhouse RIAs are pushing toward a possible tipping point. The bill would force SRO membership on independent advisors. This would increase the burden on small RIAs to the point of possibly putting them out of business. This is the argument brought by TD Ameritrade Institutional.
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FINRA is in the fight of its life to become the designated SRO mandated by the bill. And it’s hired Michael Oxley of Sarbanes-Oxley fame to help it make its case. FINRA’s claim is that the bill would enable an SRO to develop exams and create and enforce new regulations that would protect retail investors. It accuses those opposing the bill of wanting to keep the status quo.
Neil Simon, VP of government relations at the Investment Advisors Association says FINRA has basically designed the bill to position FINRA as the designated SRO. Duane Thompson, head of Potomac Strategies LLC is urging TD Ameritrade’s advisors to get on the phone with their representatives to Congress and proclaim the bill a death sentence for jobs.
The message that the bill threatens jobs is one that could resonate well during an economic time of high unemployment. TD Ameritrade’s advisors have the opportunity to inspire
other advisors to make their views known. The fact that the recent Congressional hearing on the bill did not go as predicted may give advisors hope. But hope can only become reality if appropriate action follows.