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What on Earth are They Doing in Washington? – Administrative Law for Compliance Professionals

May 20, 2021
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM EDT
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Course Description:

Your CEO hears about a change in a rule that could dramatically change the way your firm does business. You are tasked with determining, at once, the status of the change, the time available before compliance with the change is required, and the likely impact on your firm. To provide a reasonable answer, you need to have a basic understanding of administrative law – the process by which new rules are proposed, go through a comment period, and are (or are not) adopted – and a working knowledge of effective dates, compliance dates, changes in presidential administrations, rules freezes, and more.

This course will provide the fundamentals of administrative law as they apply to the securities industry. Special focus will be given to recent events, including the recent starting, stopping, stalling and, finally, adoption of the IA Advertising rules and the revised DOL fiduciary rule, and the special considerations needed following a change of administrations. With predicted changes to the Custody and Books and Records rules of the Advisers Act, this panel will provide insight into the process behind those changes.

Learning Objectives

After attending this session, you should be able to:

  • Grasp the key concepts and provisions of administrative law
  • Ascertain when a recently-adopted rule may be effective
  • Explain the rulemaking process to colleagues

This virtual course is being taught as part of the Spring 2021 Virtual Compliance Conference. To learn more, visit our main conference webpage.

William Nelson, JD, LL.M.
Assistant General CounselCertified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.


As Assistant General Counsel, responsible for assisting with the development of standards, including CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, Sanctions Guidelines, Fitness Standards, and Procedural Rules; assisting with the development of guidance materials concerning CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, including formal guidance materials and responses to individual requests for guidance; providing assistance with the adjudication of alleged violations of the Code and Standards; and providing assistance with corporate governance matters.

Prior to joining CFP Board, William served as Chief Compliance Officer for Mercer Advisors, an SEC-registered Investment Adviser. William served as an executive officer providing legal and regulatory guidance on all issues related to SEC, FINRA, and DOL rules and regulations including the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Securities Act of 1933, as well as other state and Federal regulations and securities laws. William also served as the Legal Advisor to Mercer Advisors’ Investment Committee and ERISA Committee.

Prior to joining Mercer Advisors, he served as the Public Policy Counsel for CFP Board. William drafted Amicus briefs in the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary cases in the Northern District of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and drafted several regulatory comment letters submitted to the DOL and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in support of investor protection issues. For seven years, he also served as an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School where he taught Legal Research and Writing and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law where he teaches Securities Law. William has been published in several scholarly law journals across the country and his work has been cited in legal treatises and state and federal court decisions.

William received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa, his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree, with Honors, from the University of Tulsa College of Law and his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from the George Washington University Law School.


Rob Stirling
Executive ConsultantNRS


Rob Stirling has worked with NRS for much of the past four decades: from October 1991 to June 2000, from May 2002 to June 2004, on a part-time basis starting in December 2007, and returning full-time in August 2008. Rob is based in Miamisburg Ohio.

Rob has prepared, reviewed and/or updated hundreds of ADVs representing firms of all sizes and engaged in every aspect of investment advisory services. He has helped design and monitor specialized compliance programs for advisers based in Europe and Asia doing business in the United States and for Internet-based advisers. He regularly reviews advertising and marketing materials, including websites, for compliance with SEC guidelines. Rob has performed well over two hundred mock examinations of advisory firms, and he has spoken at numerous compliance conferences and seminars.

During his times away from NRS, Rob was himself a compliance officer. Rob was Chief Compliance Officer of PrivateAccounts, Inc. from July 2000 to October 2000; when that firm was purchased by E*TRADE Financial, Rob worked at E*TRADE as a Compliance Manager from November 2000 to May 2002. Rob was Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel of Eubel Brady & Suttman Asset Management, Inc. from June 2004 through July 2008.

Rob earned a BA in Religion from the American University and a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Rob has been admitted to the Connecticut Bar.


For Whom: Designed to increase the professional competence of Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers.

Suggested Skill Level: Intermediate

Maximum Recommended Credit Hours for this session will include CLE, CFP, IACCP® and CPE.

CA MCLE = 75 minutes
CFP = 1.5 credits
IACCP® = 75 minutes
CPE = 75 minutes

For more information, check out the NRS Continuing Education Guide.