June 25, 2009
To Whom it May Concern,
The proposed custody rule requiring a qualified independent audit pertaining to advisors that custody assets at a third party custodian and are only permitted to withdrawal fees is overly burdensome. I understand the intent is to limit improper appropriation of funds by the Registered Investment Advisor. However, the risk of improper appropriation of funds is significantly limited if assets are held by a qualified and respected third party custodian such as FolioFn, Schwab and TD Ameritrade. Clients appreciate custody at third parties, have access to funds and are provided with an independent confirmation of the value and transactions within the account. The fact that the custodian provides these services limits the improper appropriation of funds.
The risk of improper appropriation of funds is heightened by dually registered RIA/BD custodian or where assets are custodied directly. In this instance the risk is significantly higher and should result in a qualified independent audit. The proposed custody rule does not make this distinction, the result would significantly increase the operating cost to the RIA, but would not result in a change in risks where assets are held by a qualified, independent, third party custodian. Consequently, I urge you to withdrawal the audit requirements for the RIA that custodies assets with a third party and are only permitted to withdrawal fees.