As a state regulated Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Direct Financial is covered under the definition of a “financial institution” in the Federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the “Act”). The Advisor is therefore subject to Act as well as the rules of privacy imposed on Investment Advisors and other financial services firms. The Advisor is also subject to the Privacy Rules established by the State of Michigan which mirror federal rules.
Privacy of nonpublic personal information is an issue that the staff of Direct Financial takes seriously.
In its role as Investment Advisor, Direct Financial routinely collects nonpublic personal information from clients and prospective clients. This information generally will include but is not limited to:
- Information provided from applications, forms and other information provided to us either verbally or in writing, and include but are not limited to your name, address, phone number, account information, social security number, assets, employment, income and debt;
- Information about your transactions, accounts, trading activity and parties to transactions; health and beneficiary information (such as may pertain to planning issues);
- Information from other outside sources;
- Any other data that is deemed to be nonpublic personal information as defined by the Act and state privacy rules.
Direct Financial values our clients’ trust and confidence. We will never sell the nonpublic personal information we obtain from consumers or clients.
All information provided by clients or prospective clients to Direct Financial, (including the Adviser’s personnel), and information and advice furnished by the Adviser to clients, shall be treated as confidential and shall not be disclosed to unaffiliated third parties, except as directed by clients with written authorization, by application to facilitate the investment advisory services offered by the Adviser via an affiliated or unaffiliated financial services provider (such as the client’s custodial firm or broker/dealer), or as required by any rule, regulation or law to which the Adviser or its staff may be subject.
Direct Financial maintains clients records in a controlled environment and records (electronic and otherwise) are only available to authorized persons of the Adviser who have a need to access client information in order to deliver advisory services, provide administrative support, or to respond to client requests. The Adviser has made reasonable efforts and conducts periodic tests to ensure that its electronic network is hack-proof.
Direct Financial’s position on protecting non-public personal information extends beyond the life of the Advisory Agreement. Client information is retained in a protected manner for the time period required by regulators (five years from the data of last use) and thereafter is safely destroyed via in-house shredding or a contracted secure shredding service.
Consumers (those persons who are not clients) who provide information during an initial consultation or for other purposes but do not go on to become clients of the Adviser also receive privacy protection. Original information will be promptly returned in person or via the mail if the Adviser’s services are not engaged. Alternatively, if nonpublic personal information is contained in copies of documents, notes or some other media, this information will be securely filed for a period of up to one year (depending upon likelihood of engagement) before being shredded in-house or via our secure shredding service.
Clients are encouraged to discuss any questions regarding Direct Financial’s privacy policies and procedures with Robert Shampine, Managing Member and Chief Compliance Officer.