Bettina Eckerle

Bettina Eckerle

Eckerle Law

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Latest Publications


Cyber-Attacks, and the Seven Steps to Protect Your Advisory Business Against Them

It sounds futuristic, or like CSI: Cyber, a sci-fi world of white hat/ black hat hackers, and of constant threats to national security and the financial markets caused by the digital world we live in. Based on the latest SEC...more

4/24/2015 - Best Practices Cyber Attacks Cybersecurity Financial Institutions FINRA Risk Management SEC

The Advisor as Fiduciary - 2015, Vol. 2

This is my favorite topic. If you read my last post, you understand why I believe that acting in the spirit of "fiduciary" sets every advisory firm up for success, compliance and otherwise. One of the few remaining items in...more

1/30/2015 - Broker-Dealer Dodd-Frank Fiduciary Duty FINRA Investment Adviser Rulemaking Process SEC

Think Before You Tweet: Top 5 Social Media Tips for Advisers

So Apple announced its new iPhone 6 etc. about an hour ago — it’s probably old news by the time this post hits the wire, which is kind of my point. I am not sure what you will do about the new Apple products, but I do know...more

9/16/2014 - Advertising Compliance FINRA Investment Adviser Popular SEC Social Media Social Networks

Protecting Your Start-Up’s Assets: The Non-Disclosure Agreement

For many start-ups, their greatest asset is a game-changing idea. To build the idea into a successful business, they will invariably need to share it with potential business partners, consultants, suppliers, employees, and...more

8/13/2014 - Non-Disclosure Agreement Restrictive Covenants Startups

Top Ten Things You Need to Know About the Advisers Act

The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Act) is the rulebook for SEC-registered investment advisers (RIAs). The Advisers Act, together with the related rules adopted by the SEC under it, lays down the groundwork as to...more

7/15/2014 - Advertising Chief Compliance Officers Dodd-Frank Fiduciary Duty Filing Requirements Form ADV Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Registration SEC

Regulation: The New Normal for Hedge Funds?

By all accounts, hedge funds are having a great year. According to the Wall Street Journal, fund managers added a net $26.32 billion of new cash in the first quarter, the highest in almost three years. Better yet, many...more

6/26/2014 - Chief Compliance Officers Compliance Dodd-Frank Hedge Funds Reporting Requirements SEC

Protecting Your Start-Up’s Core Assets

In my series of posts with advice for start-ups, I think this is the most important one. It is about protecting the heart of your business, i.e. those assets that form its foundation, drive its prospects and distinguish it...more

5/16/2014 - Confidentiality Agreements Copyright Data Protection Inventions Non-Disclosure Agreement Non-Solicitation Agreements Patents Restrictive Covenants Startups Trademarks

5 Tips for Entrepreneurs Raising Capital

Raising capital for a start-up company can be nerve-wracking. Anyone who has ever bootstrapped a venture knows that looking for outside money lifts your endeavor an entirely new level. Many entrepreneurs have the urge to...more

5/8/2014 - Choice of Entity Due Diligence Entrepreneurs Equity Securities Investment Investment Contract Seed Financing Startups Venture Funding

What Is the Best Legal Structure for Your Start-Up?

The questions that invariably come up for all my start-up clients is: Do I have to form a legal entity, if yes, what kind and why? Entrepreneurs have a number of legal structures available when seeking to capitalize on a...more

5/2/2014 - C-Corporation Choice of Entity LLC S-Corporation Sole Proprietorship Startups

Should Your Start-Up Use Crowdfunding?

Before you jump head-first into crowdfunding, it is important to determine whether your start-up business is ready to tackle a crowdfund campaign to reach your funding goal. Below are a few considerations....more

4/21/2014 - Crowdfunding Marketing Social Networks Startups

Costs of Equity Crowdfunding: Are Companies in for Sticker Shock?

When the SEC‘s proposed new rules for regulating crowdfunding came out in October last year, there was understandably a lot of excitement. What’s not to love about the lofty idea of providing companies access to the huge...more

2/27/2014 - Crowdfunding JOBS Act Regulation A Regulation D SEC

Mark Your Calendars for Your Annual Review

Before you even start reading this, go to Outlook or whatever calendar you use, pick a date, and put in “Annual Review.” Any time in the year that works for you will do, although I gravitate towards getting housekeeping...more

2/19/2014 - Annual Assessments Investment Adviser Investment Advisers Act of 1940 SEC

SEC Issues Risk Alert: Advisers’ Due Diligence Processes for Selecting Alternative Investments

Whether or not 2014 will be the year of the alternative investments, many predict that this asset class will play an increasing role in the portfolio allocation of many advisers, with alternative investments being defined as...more

2/11/2014 - Alternative Investment Funds Broker-Dealer Disclosure Requirements Due Diligence Investment Adviser OCIE Risk Alert SEC

Mark Your Calendars: Key Compliance Dates for Advisers

It’s hard to believe that January is almost over and 2013 just a blur. With matching speed, many of the compliance milestones that an investment adviser faces are fast approaching, and a compliance calendar with the key...more

1/30/2014 - Compliance Investment Adviser Reporting Requirements SEC Securities

Setting the Stage for 2014: SEC Announces Exam Priorities

Pay attention to this one. Earlier this month, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspection and Examination issued its annual list of 2014 examination priorities for a variety of financial institutions including investment...more

1/20/2014 - Compliance Crowdfunding Enforcement Fraud Rule 506 Offerings SEC

SEC Proposes Regulation A+ For Small Businesses

With all eyes focused on the lifting on the ban on solicitation and the new proposed equity crowd funding rules, one major rulemaking proposal mandated under the JOBS Act did not get the attention it deserves: the new small...more

1/13/2014 - Crowdfunding General Solicitation JOBS Act Regulation A SEC Small Business Startups

Year In Review: Crowdfunding Round Up for 2013

It is the afternoon of New Year’s Eve as I am writing my last post for 2013. Crowdfunding seems a logical choice. 2013 put crowdfunding on the map, among filmmakers, inventors, samaritans, start-ups, the crowd at large....more

1/2/2014 - Crowdfunding FINRA Kickstarter SEC Startups

Year in Review: SEC Round Up for 2013

I love taking stock of the highlights of a year as it draws to a close, so I am doing a mini-series of posts on topic. The first one examines the SEC. To call 2013 a big year for them is an understatement....more

12/24/2013 - Compliance Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions JOBS Act Mary Jo White SEC Title II

Open for Comment: FINRA’s Funding Portal Rules

With all the noise about the proposed set of rules for crowdfunding the SEC released in October, one piece of the puzzle almost slipped by unnoticed. In tandem, FINRA released rules and related forms for funding portals as...more

12/19/2013 - Crowdfunding FINRA Funding Portal JOBS Act

The Annual Drill—Calculating Regulatory Assets Under Management for Form ADV

While working on the chapter on Regulatory Assets Under Management for my new book about Dodd Frank and the Advisers Act, I realized that now would be a really good time to blog about the topic. Soon, at the end of March to...more

12/13/2013 - Asset Management Dodd-Frank Form ADV Investment Adviser SEC

SEC Issues Guidance on General Solicitation Rules

On November 13, the SEC released Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) for the new rules authorizing general solicitation and advertising for securities offerings relying on Rule 506(c) under the Securities Act...more

12/4/2013 - Compliance General Solicitation Rule 506 Offerings SEC Securities Act of 1933

SAC Capital, Insider Trading and the Southern District

It would be old news already if the case had not garnered so many superlatives. One of the country’s most famous hedge fund managers. The largest insider trading investigation in history. The biggest fine ever, $1.8...more

11/27/2013 - Fines Insider Trading SAC Capital

FINRA Cracking Down on “No Fee” Advertising

FINRA recently expressed concerns about broker-dealers who advertise “free” or “no fee” services for retail brokerage accounts and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). FINRA Rule 2210 requires that broker-dealers’...more

11/25/2013 - Advertising Broker-Dealer Fees FINRA IRA Marketing

SEC Examinations Targeting Advisers Who Are Still Waiting for Godot

I have worked with a number of advisers who have never ever been examined by the SEC, not once in their 10 +, 15+, etc. years of existence. That may be a thing of the past. They will be the focus of the SEC in 2014, according...more

11/19/2013 - Compliance Enforcement Investigations OCIE SEC

The NYT Dealbook Conference 2013: Opportunities for Tomorrow

The New York Times Dealbook Conference was one of the most inspiring conferences that I have attended in a long, long time. Maybe ever....more

11/14/2013 - Career Development

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