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The Adviser Launch Process

The following is a summary of what the investment adviser registration process may look like. Every client and registration is unique. The information provided is not intended to be legal advice and is for general educational purposes only.

You can access our whitepaper on the Adviser Launch Process by following this link.

The Adviser Launch Process
United Atlantic Legal Services

The Adviser Launch Process

United Atlantic Legal Services has created the streamlined Adviser Launch Process to create efficient, transparent, and tailored solutions for the investment adviser registration process. This process begins by United Atlantic Legal Services taking the time to learn – in extreme detail – about you, your firm, and your goals. We then work to ensure that the fundamental building blocks of your firm are established by creating the legal entity and drafting a comprehensive operating agreement. United Atlantic Legal Services then takes all that we have learned about your firm, and we translate that information into the required disclosure and custom registration application. While the firm’s application for registration is being reviewed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, we draft tailored compliance documents to ensure that the firm has the tools necessary to remain in compliance with the Investment Advisers Act and other applicable rules and regulations. In addition, we assist the firm in responding to any questions or concerns the Securities and Exchange Commission may have about the registration application. Finally, you are launched!

The Adviser Launch Process is broken down into the following phases:

  1. Information Gathering – We take the time to get to know you and your firm.
  2. Entity Formation – We register the legal entity and assist in drafting its governing documents.
  3. Disclosure Brochure Drafting and Client Agreements – We prepare the essential documents required for a successful registration application with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  4. Registration Application – We communicate directly with the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide timely and accurate responses to any inquires.
  5. Policies and Procedures Drafting – We prepare your firm to stay in compliance with the Investment Advisers Act and other applicable rules and regulations.
  6. Launch – Congratulations, your firm is now registered and positioned to move forward with confidence.

Information Gathering

We Learn About You and Your Business – We believe the most successful investment adviser registrations begin with a solid understanding of each client’s business and goals. United Atlantic Legal Services dedicates significant time and resources at the beginning of the investment adviser registration process to learn about your firm’s unique vision and obstacles.

We Connect You with the Securities and Exchange Commission – Did you know that investment advisers communicate with the SEC through the FINRA Gateway? New firms are required to designate an account administrator to manage those communications and United Atlantic Legal Services is there every step of the way. Access to the FINRA Gateway allows us to begin communicating with the Securities and Exchange Commission and starts the formal investment adviser registration process.

Entity Formation

Registration – Fundamental decisions relating to your firm’s entity formation can have a surprising long-term impact. UALS can help explain how, for example, the type of entity (Limited Liability Company or Partnership) could impact your personal liability exposure, or your ability sell your firm at a later date.

Operating Agreement – As a law firm, United Atlantic Legal Services can assist you with the legal formation of the underlying entity that will be your investment adviser firm. We draft sophisticated, highly tailored operating agreements that will govern your firm. Establishing proper internal governance processes early can prevent misunderstanding (even lawsuits) later on.

The Investment Adviser Disclosure Brochure

ADV Part 1 – What is the ADV Part 1? Part 1 of the ADV requires information about the investment adviser’s business, ownership, clients, employees, business practices, affiliations, and any disciplinary events of the adviser or its employees.

There are many more questions asked on the form ADV Part 1. United Atlantic Legal Services understands the risks that firms face when information on the ADV Part 1 is inaccurate or otherwise does not reflect the business practices of the firm. In addition, United Atlantic Legal Services can help you better understand when it may be appropriate to adhere to industry norms and where it is safe to venture off the beaten path.

ADV Part 2 – What is the ADV Part 2? Part 2 of the ADV requires investment advisers to prepare narrative brochures that include plain English disclosures of the adviser’s business practices, fees, conflicts of interest, and disciplinary information. This document is provided to clients and prospective clients and, therefore, should accurately represent your firm. UALS has experience tailoring the information provided on this form, so it is not only responsive and accurate (as required by the rules), but also digestible for clients and prospects.

The ADV Part 2 is one of the most important documents in an investment adviser’s disclosure brochure. It is reviewed, not only by current and prospective clients, but also by competitors. It is absolutely essential that this document, like all other parts of the disclosure brochure, be accurate and fairly represent your firm’s business.

ADV Part 2B – What is the form ADV Part 2B? The Form ADV Part 2B is a brochure supplement that must contain certain information about specific individuals, acting on behalf of the investment adviser, who actually provide the investment advice and interact with the client. In other words, this form discusses the background of you and your employees as individuals.

Form CRS (ADV Part 3) – What is the Form CRS? The Form CRS (Client Relationship Summary) is a disclosure document that provides information about investment advisers and their investment-related services and fees. The Form CRS is a relatively new addition to the firm disclosure brochure. There are very strict limitations on how information may be presented on the Form CRS. Further, there are more onerous delivery requirements attached to the Form CRS than other parts of the disclosure brochure.

Client Agreements – Unlike the disclosure brochure, client agreements are legally binding contracts between the investment adviser and its clients. The Investment Advisers Act has very specific prohibitions and requirements when it comes to client agreements.

Registration Application

Congratulations! By this point you have established your investment adviser firm as a legal entity, created all the required disclosure brochures and are now ready to submit an application for registration with the SEC.

Regulatory Compliance Policies and Procedures

For all your hard work in creating an accurate and comprehensive disclosure brochure and navigating the regulatory requirements of client agreements your firm is now obliged to develop a robust regulatory compliance program. Each firm’s compliance program is custom tailored by United Atlantic Legal Services, but generally include the following:

  • Regulatory Compliance Manual
  • Code of Ethics
  • Privacy Notice
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Cybersecurity Plan
  • IRA Rollover Recommendation Documentation
  • Written Information Supervisory Program

United Atlantic Legal Services applies its deep knowledge of your firm when creating these compliance program documents through the Adviser Launch Process. We work hard to ensure that what is on paper is accurately reflected in the day-to-day business practices of the firm.

…and Launch!

Congratulations, you have formed a legal entity and created all the necessary governing documents, you have created highly customized disclosure documents, your client agreements are impeccable and you have a best-in-class compliance program. You are now ready to launch. Or are you?

Please access our whitepaper on the Adviser Launch Process by following this link.

Let’s Work Together

UALS was founded to provide efficient, transparent, and highly tailored solutions for our investment adviser clients in the United States and United Kingdom. We only work with investment advisers, they are our only focus. We understand their business and we know how to help them reach their goals.

We want to hear from you. When you’re ready, we will be ready. Contact us today.

About Our Founder

Michael Rasmussen - founder of United Atlantic Legal Services and the Adviser Launch Process
Michael Rasmussen

Michael Rasmussen is the founder of United Atlantic Legal Services. He is a licensed attorney in Florida and registered solicitor in the United Kingdom. Michael has acted as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer to several investment advisers, including private fund managers, responsible for the management of billions of dollars in client assets. 

You can also find Michael on LinkedIn.

Michael is also the founder of FinProLaw, an online learning platform where Michael has created several courses designed for investment adviser compliance professionals. These courses include: 

  • Investment Adviser Compliance Essentials for Chief Compliance Officers 
  • Investment Adviser Registration 
  • Foundations of Investment Adviser Compliance 
  • What is a “Security”? 
  • Investment Adviser Marketing Rule 
  • Regulation A – Exemption from Registration 
  • Regulation Crowdfunding – Exemption from Registration 
  • Regulation D – Exemption from Registration 

Investment adviser firms who are also clients of United Atlantic Legal Services can receive many of these courses at a significantly reduced fee or, in some cases, at no expense. Contact us today or visit the FinProLaw website to learn more.