There are thousands of advisors in North America advising how to invest money and which insurance products to buy. There are regulators that delve deep into advisors’ and dealers’ offices to find compliance breaches. There are clients who blame advisors for losses, regardless of whether such losses are a result of market fluctuations. Even minor offences lead to penalties and reputational damage. A serious regulatory offence or more minor repeat offences can lead to the regulator suspending or removing an advisor’s license. Without a license an advisor can not sell the very products they have been trained to sell.
When a complaint is issued against an advisor, their typical response is to plead with a lawyer to make it go away. But even the most effective lawyer can not make allegations simply disappear painlessly. An advisor suffers damage from even the most frivolous of complaints. Their best strategy in avoiding this situation is to be proactive in managing their risks before they become threats. It also saves on legal fees.
So, what tools are available to advisors to protect themselves and their assets? There are websites citing the labyrinth of regulations, policies, rules, and procedures, but even those working in compliance departments are hard pressed to keep up with these ever-changing rules. There are courses and books that preach support for advisors, but few of them explain the risks an advisor faces, and even fewer provide guidance for avoiding client complaints or regulatory investigations. With Advisor at Risk, author Ellen Bessner uses her 15+ years of expertise working with the financial and insurance industries to deliver a message advisors need to hear—become proactive in managing and avoiding risk.
Advisor at Risk equips the reader with the tools necessary to reduce the risk of client complaints, by understanding and fulfilling compliance obligations. Doing so places the advisor in the strongest possible position should a complaint arise. Finally, advisors have the power to defend themselves.