Brightstar provides a broad range of RIA compliance and legal services custom-designed to meet your needs.

Whether you’re just starting out or well underway in your journey as an independent RIA, we offer a wide range of legal and compliance services designed to suit your needs. 

Transition and Business startup Services

Employment Transition Services 

If you are a financial advisor thinking of leaving your current firm to start your own RIA or join another firm, we can help in many ways including: 

  • Reviewing your specific circumstances and designing a transition path to meet your goals and avoid regulatory and legal risks.
  • Reviewing employment and other agreements that impact your transition and advising on how to navigate the risks associated with any pertinent post-employment restrictions, including non-competes and restrictions on taking your clients with you.
  • Reviewing pertinent laws and judicial decisions that impact your transition plan. 

Business setup Services 

If you are launching an advisory firm, we can provide the following corporate services: 

  • Providing critical strategic guidance on appropriate choice of entity for your RIA (e.g., LLC vs. corporation), and structuring of the ownership and management of the RIA.       
  • Drafting operating/partnership agreements for the RIA designed to clearly define the rights and obligations of the business owners, including outlining management and economic rights, as well as buy-sell provisions.

Click here for a video discussing important considerations when structuring your advisory firm.

Corporate, Commercial and Employment Law Services

Ongoing Commercial Transaction Support 

Whether you’re starting an RIA for the first time or have been in business for years, we can help you build relationships with RIA vendors, clients and business partners in many ways, including: 

  • Drafting appropriate and custom investment advisory agreements for your clients to adequately protect your RIA’s interests and comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts with vendors providing services to your RIA firm, including custodians, third-party managers, technology service providers, parties that refer clients to your firm, bookkeepers and marketing support services.
  • Reviewing and negotiating leases with landlords.

Employment Law Services 

We offer the following services to protect your interests when it comes to your relationships with employees and independent contractors: 

  • Drafting employment and independent adviser representative agreements tailored to the needs of your firm and your employees/contractors.
  • Drafting agreements designed to grant equity in or profits interests in the RIA to your employees.
  • Drafting employment handbooks to comply with employment laws where your RIA conducts business.

Business Transaction Services 

If you are contemplating a potential business transaction, such as an RIA merger, RIA acquisition, joint venture or divestiture, we can support in the following ways: 

  • Providing strategic guidance for buyers and sellers on structuring RIA deals.
  • Making introductions to potential business transaction partners.
  • Reviewing, negotiating and drafting letters of intent and business transaction documents to protect your interests.
  • Addressing regulatory matters related to RIA deals.

Succession Planning 

Every firm needs an RIA succession plan to address transition of ownership and management of the firm in the event of the death, disability, retirement or resignation of one or more owners. We can assist by:

  • Consulting with senior management to adopt a consensus approach to succession planning and evaluating different strategic planning options.
  • Introducing and coordinating with other service providers, as appropriate, to adopt and implement a succession plan.
  • Drafting documents to accomplish your succession planning goals.

Regulatory Support Services

RIA Registration and Reporting Services 

Brightstar provides comprehensive RIA registration and reporting support — whether you are looking at registering as an RIA with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or one or more states. We can assist with the following:

  • Advising on whether an RIA should register or notice file as an investment advisor with the SEC or another securities  regulator or determining if there is an applicable exemption from registration.
  • Advising as to which employees must register as investment adviser representatives and in what states.
  • Drafting an RIA registration documents for the firm, including Form ADV.
  • Drafting investment adviser representative registration documents for the firm’s employees (Form U-4).
  • Updating Form ADV and Form U-4’s as necessitated by regulatory developments impacting the RIA and its employees.
  • Assisting with renewals of investment adviser representative registrations and RIA notice filings.

RIA Compliance Support Services

We can help you navigate the complexities of investment advisor compliance in the following ways: 

  • Conducting a comprehensive risk assessment to identify and mitigate regulatory risks facing your RIA.
  • Developing a compliance program (or individual policies and procedures) customized to meet your RIA’s specific business operations and needs.
  • Training your firm’s chief compliance officer on regulatory requirements and testing of the compliance policies and procedures.
  • Training firm employees on the firm’s compliance policies and procedures.
  • Providing ongoing advice on compliance matters that arise on an ongoing basis.
  • Providing a custom suite of services designed to manage the RIA’s compliance program.
  • Conducting a mock audit of the RIA’s compliance program to identify any regulatory risks before regulators come in.
  • Representing the RIA in SEC exams and investigations.
  • Where appropriate, assuming the title and responsibilities of chief compliance officer for your RIA.

Our compliance support services are offered on an as-needed or ongoing basis and are customized based on your firm’s needs.

Click here to learn more about how to choose the right compliance consultant for your firm.