January 31, 2024 — Letter

In June 2023, the SEC released a report to Congress analyzing the use of mandatory arbitration among SEC-Registered Investment Advisors. The report estimated that approximately 61% of SEC-registered advisers serving retail investors incorporated mandatory arbitration clauses into their investment advisory agreements. Arbitration clauses restrict investors’ ability to access the legal system to resolve disputes with broker-dealers and investment advisors and instead funnel investors into expensive and secretive extrajudicial systems and without the right to appeal arbitrator decisions. We think mandatory arbitration clauses in advisory agreements should be permanently banned now.