Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and Disaster Recovery

Monday’s East Coast earthquake was far from a disaster. I just thought I had too much coffee, until I heard others in the hallway say “Do you feel that?” Then I realized the shaking was not just because I was over-caffeinated.

Even though significant earthquakes are rare on the East Coast, hurricanes are not. Irene, the first big hurricane of the season is also approaching the East Coast.

Perhaps these are some good reminders to blow the dust off your disaster recovery plan. As a registered investment adviser, you need to have a plan. Each of the thousands (hundreds?) of private fund managers getting ready to register as investment advisers with the Securities and Exchange Commission will need a plan.

It’s easy to miss the requirement for having a business continuity plan. It’s in Rule 206(4)-7. Oh, you don’t see anything about business continuity in the rule? It’s not in the rule, it’s in the Release for Rule 206(4)-7:

We believe that an adviser’s fiduciary obligation to its clients includes the obligation to take steps to protect the clients’ interests from being placed at risk as a result of the adviser’s inability to provide advisory services after, for example, a natural disaster or, in the case of some smaller firms, the death of the owner or key personnel. The clients of an adviser that is engaged in the active management of their assets would ordinarily be placed at risk if the adviser ceased operations. [SEC Release No. IA-2204]



Image of 20111 VA Earthquake is by Frank Paynter