July 27, 2009
The Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms defines a Custodian as "a bank or other financial institution that keeps custody of stock certificates and other assets of a mutual fund, individual, or corporate client". That is not what we do.
Definition of a Custodial Account "usually held at a Bank or Brokerage firm".
We, as an RIA do not hold assets and to think that the Rule should change and consider us Custodians simply because the client gives us authority to debit fees from their account is completely unnecessary. There is no need for this to happen because it serves no purpose. Each and every client when billed receives a copy of that debit on their monthly statement from the Custodian. If the client has questions about the fee they have access to our firm or can call the Custodian. The extra expense of an annual audit is also unwarranted. What is the purpose? If the client receives a copy of the debit showing the fee then what is the purpose of the audit?
Thomas J. Lo Manto, Sr Vice President,
American Portfolios Advisors, Inc.