Gordian Edge

How is Gordian different from other consulting firms?

Administering a compliance program requires careful coordination between regulatory support and operations. Many other third-party consulting firms offer piecemeal services that don’t cover all aspects of a firm’s program, while lacking flexibility for emergency triage. These deficiencies can drain valuable time and resources away from your advisory business, creating unnecessary regulatory risk. Gordian delivers the comprehensive regulatory and administrative support needed to maintain your entire compliance program, allowing your firm to concentrate on your clients.

What can I expect when I sign up for Gordian services?

Gordian prepares initial investment adviser and broker dealer registrations (SEC, state securities authorities, NFA and CFTC, FINRA), develops and implements a compliance program that fits your business strategy, conducts auditing for your books and records, and provides supervisory support during regulatory exams. Our practice is built on over 50 combined years of consulting experience, offering the streamlined feel and flexibility of an in-house team. Gordian provides firms with a one-stop solution to maintain a strong compliance program and firm-wide culture of compliance that regulators and institutional investors have come to expect.

How is a compliance consultant different from my legal team?

Investment advisers and broker dealers often employ legal counsel to set up their business entities, franchise tax matters, and field formal requests from regulators. However, attorney fees and lack of operations support and experience make legal counsel ill-suited to develop practical and efficient policies and procedures, handle administrative tasks, prepare regulatory filings, conduct marketing review, and answer questions that arise from day-to-day operations. Gordian offers unlimited email, phone, and one-on-one consultant support to handle your immediate compliance needs in a manner that is consistent with both your business values and industry best practices.

I already have a Chief Compliance Officer. Why do I need Gordian?

While many firms have capable compliance personnel, the reality is that many Chief Compliance Officers are often spread too thin, inexperienced, or designated solely because of the requirement to have one selected. This can lead to ineffective, inefficient, and in some cases impractical compliance procedures. Even the most experienced of compliance officers can find themselves overworked, isolated from changes in the industry, or bogged down in administrative tasks. Gordian’s services are designed both to supplement the knowledge and capabilities of experienced compliance personnel and to help take the burden and pressure off of individuals who have been designated as Chief Compliance Officer out of necessity. In either scenario, Gordian helps to reduce the regulatory risks for Chief Compliance Officers.

My strategy/structure is particularly complicated. Is that a problem?

Gordian recognizes that no two businesses are the same; from legal entities, to ownership structure, to intricate investment philosophies, each manager has a unique method for operating the firm. Our staff has a variety of backgrounds and prior work experience that enable them to understand intricate setups and prepare appropriate policies and procedures to meet regulatory requirements. Simply put, Gordian’s specialty is reducing complicated scenarios to streamlined solutions.

How is the Gordian team structured to service my firm?

Each client has a dedicated Senior Consultant, who will act as your primary point of contact and coordinator for all of your tasks. Additionally, we have a regulatory filing team and other consultants who will be assigned both to assist the Senior Consultant and to offer alternative perspectives to provide you with a compliance department that is always available to assist you with whatever your needs may be.

What is a mock exam/annual review and how can Gordian add value to this process?

Gordian conducts mock regulatory exams to test and identify overall risks to a firm’s compliance program. Our mock exams are designed to mirror an actual SEC/state regulatory exam—beginning with an initial document request/review and supplemented with interviews of key firm personnel. Gordian synthesizes that information into a findings and recommendations report designed to enhance and strengthen your compliance program. The Gordian Mock Exam is designed to fulfill an adviser’s responsibilities for an annual review of the firm’s compliance program under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

Where is Gordian located and how does that affect service commitment?

Gordian’s is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York and Florida, ensuring that a consultant is available both during and after U.S. market hours. We find that most consulting can be conducted over the phone or through emails, though our consultants frequently conduct on-site meetings with clients across the country. We additionally have video conferencing capability for remote meetings.