Advisers Should Think Twice About Taking the SEC Up on its ADV Filing Extension

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Investment advisers should think twice before taking the Securities and Exchange Commission up on its offer of a deadline extension for filing their annual registration forms, according to compliance experts.

Late last week, the SEC issued an order giving investment advisers an extra 45 days to submit their registration documents, or Form ADVs, because of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Firms usually file ADVs at the end of March. The order covers those due through April 30.

The SEC states in its order that disruptions caused by the coronavirus “may limit investment advisers’ access to facilities, personnel, and third-party service providers” and cause them to delay filing Form ADVs and delivering them to clients.

The order says advisers must notify the SEC and their clients that they’ll miss the deadline and explain how the coronavirus caused the lapse.

That admission poses a danger for advisers because it may point to a problem with a firm’s business continuity plans, said Brian Hamburger, chief executive of MarketCounsel, a business and regulatory compliance consultancy.

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