On January 8, 2023, Representative O’Donnell introduced a bill to the 102nd General Assembly that adds to the disclosure obligations of Missouri-registered investment advisers. If enacted, Missouri House Bill No. 824 will amend Chapter 409 (Regulation of Securities) of the Missouri Revised Statutes to require these investment advisers and investment adviser representatives to disclose any socially responsible criteria included in any recommendation to a client or solicitation of a prospective client. Then, before acting on any such social objective, the proposed law would require client written consent, such as:
“I, (NAME OF CLIENT), consent to my adviser or adviser’s representative incorporating a social objective or nonfinancial objective into any discretionary investment decision my adviser or adviser’s representative makes for my account; any recommendation or advice my adviser or adviser’s representative makes to me for the purchase or sale of a security or commodity; or the selection my adviser or my adviser’s representative makes, or recommendation or advice my adviser or my adviser’s representative makes to me regarding the selection, of a third-party manager or subadvisor to manage the investments in my account. Also, I acknowledge and understand that incorporating a social objective or nonfinancial objective into investment decisions, recommendations, advice, and/or the selection of third-party manager or subadvisor to manage the investments in my account will result in investments and recommendations/advice that are not solely focused on maximizing a financial return on my account.”
This bill’s proposed effective date is August 28, 2023, which is very timely considering the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s similar recently proposed amendments to rules and reporting forms that would establish disclosure requirements for funds and investment advisers that market themselves as having environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies.
Since matters such as investment adviser client disclosures are complicated, it can be helpful to hire an attorney that specializes in such areas. Cosgrove Law Group has experience dealing with these questions. If you are a client or a prospective client of a Missouri-registered investment adviser that has questions about these or other investment adviser disclosure obligations and would like to speak with one of our Missouri-licensed attorneys, call 314-563-2490.
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