State regulators pursue increased oversight of advisers

Denise Voigt Crawford, NASAA's new president, wants states to regulate advisers with up to$100 million

Sep 16, 2009 @ 9:27 am

By Sara Hansard

In the coming months, state securities regulators will focus on increasing the threshold for state regulation of investment advisers to $100 million, according to Texas securities commissioner Denise Voigt Crawford.

Ms. Crawford, the new president of the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc., outlined a broad policy agenda at NASAA's annual meeting in Denver this week.

Currently, the Securities and Exchange Commission regulates all advisory firms that manage more than $25 million. Advisory firms managing less than $25 million are regulated by the states.

The SEC would have to authorize the increase that NASAA is seeking.

Ms. Crawford also expressed NASAA's opposition to having a self-regulatory organization for advisory firms.

“A self-regulatory organization is inherently conflicted and is not independent,” she said.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has called for bringing investment advisers under such an organization.

NASAA also will concentrate on extending fiduciary duties to all financial professionals who provide advice, and it will push for ending mandatory, industry-run arbitration for investors.

State regulators also are looking to influence the direction of financial regulatory reform “so that it works for, not against, investors,” Ms. Crawford said.

“A one-size-fits-all model of regulation is not the best model,” she said in a statement.

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