Tardy midsize advisers warned about registration

June 28 is the day for advisers managing $25M-$90M to sign on for state oversight

By Dan Jamieson

Jun 28, 2012 @ 3:05 pm (Updated 4:00 pm) EST

midsized adviser registration deadline

State regulators are warning tardy midsize advisory firms to get on the stick and start their state registration process.

Today is the day advisers with $25 million to $90 million in assets were supposed to be approved by their new state regulators while at the same time starting the withdrawal process at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The so-called “switch” process was mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act.

“There are some stragglers who have waited until the last minute, and we encourage them to take immediate steps to begin the state registration process,” Jack Herstein, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc., said in a statement today.

The “vast majority” of the estimated 2,400 to 2,500 midsize advisers expected to switch to state oversight have done so or are in the process of doing so, he said.

The SEC has said it will begin a “deregistration” process for tardy advisers.

But "no decisions have been made as to when to deregister advisers," said Robert Plaze deputy director in the SEC's Division of Investment Management, in an interview.

The agency will send out warning notices to midsized advisers who have not become state registered, he said, but has not decided when notices might go out.

A deregistration process "will eventually come," he said. "But that said, we understand the situation in some states, and the difficulty some advisers are facing."

His advice for tardy filers at this point?

"The same advice as for anyone who hasn't filed their 2011 tax returns," Mr. Plaze said.

Legal observers have warned that advisers who have not even begun their state registration process have the highest likelihood of facing some regulatory consequences for missing the deadline.