CEFEX serves various types of organizations:
An organization which is responsible for providing comprehensive and continuous investment advice (including wealth managers, financial advisors, trust officers, financial consultants, investment consultants, and financial planners). More Information
Fiduciary Adviser (United States only)
In the U.S. a person or firm that renders investment advice for a fee or other compensation, direct or indirect, to IRA accounts or ERISA retirement plan participants (per the Pension Protection Act of 2006).
CEFEX registration, since it includes an annual audit, is a demonstration of compliance with the requirements of the Pension Protection Act, specifically final rule §2550.408g-1, pertaining to the furnishing of investment advice to participants and beneficiaries. This registration includes the audit of any applicable eligible investment advice arrangements, which would be listed in the scope if applicable.
The Department of Labor regulation requires that the auditor:
The DOL has stated that the selection of the auditor is a fiduciary act and therefore must be carried out in a manner consistent with the prudence requirements of ERISA section 404(a)(1), taking into account the nature and scope of the audit and the expertise and experience necessary to conduct such an audit. The audit itself does not cause an auditor to be a fiduciary under ERISA.
Investment Support Services Provider
An organization providing support services to other Investment Fiduciaries. The definition includes organizations providing services to ERISA plans (“parties in interest”) as well as those providing consulting, custodial, investment advisory, investment management, investment brokerage, or other similar services to investment fiduciaries.
This CEFEX certification is an independent recognition of a firm's adherence to the prudent practices required to provide support to fiduciaries. It implies that a firm can demonstrate adherence to the industry's best practices, and is positioned to earn the trust of client fiduciaries. The scope of registration is a discrete list of the support services provided, including identification of where fiduciary responsibility is assumed, if applicable.
The Prudent Practices for Investment Support Services align directly with the fiduciary responsibilities detailed in the Handbooks Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors and Prudent Practices for Investment Stewards.
Please click here to view the Prudent Practices for Investment Support Services.
Depending on the candidate, the services which may be assessed in this certification program are:
At the outset, the candidate identifies which of the above services are to be assessed, and whether or not fiduciary responsibility is assumed.