July 28, 2009
Regarding the proposed changes to Rule 206(4)-2, the "Custody Rule," we beg you to reconsider this change.
An annual surprise audit would only add to the ever-increasing cost of providing investment management services without providing any tangible benefit to the investor. Deeming my business to have custody over a client's account only because we have the opportunity to deduct management fees is simpley overkill.
Currently, with only the fee deductibilty, we as an RIA have no authority or even 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.
We already provide fee notifications to clients and send fee statements each time fees are deducted. The same fee is also noted 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.