If you forget everything else about the Advisers Act, remember this: investment advisers are fiduciaries. Being a fiduciary simply means that you owe a duty of care and loyalty to your clients and must put your clients’ interests above your own. You should avoid conflicts of interests, but if they cannot be avoided, they must be disclosed. Everything else flows from that. The fiduciary duty has many facets, and you will not find it defined or even used in the Advisers Act. It was shaped by the Supreme Court, and is well defined by common law. Most of the technical rules in the Act are an outgrowth of it, such as the antifraud provisions, obviously, the rules regarding advertising, the principal trading rules. It is instinctive, in an “you know it when you see it” kind of way. — Bettina Eckerle, Eckerle Law
Bettina Eckerle recently published The Ultimate Guide to the Advisers Act: A Practitioner’s Handbook that serves to answer questions many people involved in compliance at investment advisory firms, hedge funds, family offices, venture capital funds and private equity funds face in their day-to-day compliance routine. It is written for executives, as well as staff.