Subject: File No. S7-09-09
From: Mark E. Fields, CFP
Affiliation: President, EstateMark Financial, Inc.
July 29, 2009
Regarding the proposed changes to Rule 206(4)-2, the "Custody Rule," we STRONGLY ASK that you to please reconsider this change.
An annual surprise audit would only add to the ever-increasing cost of providing quality investment management services, but will absolutely not provide any tangible benefit to the investor. The fact that my RIA firm has the opportunity to deduct fees for management activities, does not mean the client receives no accountability from the third part fiduciary. They in fact already do, in great detail.
Currently, with only the ability to withdraw fees as agreed to and subscribed to by the client, fully accountable to the client by the fiduciary, we as an RIA have no authority or ability to withdraw client funds. We have no actual custody of client funds and have no ability to access such except to have funds sent directly to the client investor, at the request of the client.
The client already receives regular and timely fee notifications and fee statements each time fees are deducted. A breakdown of all fees are described in each clients agreement, and is also reported in detail on the clients' monthly statements.
Please seriously consider and eliminate the fee deduction test as a basis for establishing advisor custody. This clearly places the RIA in a category that terribly misrepresents their true position as an investment advisor.