The Securities and Exchange Commission's new surprise audits for trustees, required by a regulation that will take effect March 12, are causing reservations among investment advisers about taking on the additional role of trustee with any sort of responsibility for custody of assets. The audits are included in a series of measures taken by the SEC in response to the Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff. The surprise audits, to be conducted at the expense of the advisers, will be performed by independent accountants.

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