2022 & 2023 Continuing Education Requirements for IARs

2022 & 2023 Continuing Education Requirements for IARs

In November of 2020, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) adopted a new rule (PDF) that will require Investment Advisor Representatives (“IARs”) to complete 12 credit hours of Continuing Education annually, 6 for IAR Ethics and Professional Responsibility Requirements and 6 for IAR Products and Practice Requirements. This will be the first time IARs have been subject to Continuing Education requirements and as NASAA president Lisa A. Hopkins states, is intended to “promote heightened regulatory compliance while also helping investment adviser representatives better serve their clients by remaining knowledgeable of current regulatory requirements and best practices.” 2022 IAR CE Read more about 2022 & 2023 Continuing Education Requirements for IARs[…]

FINRA’s Top Priorities for 2022

FINRA’s Top Priorities for 2022

Early in the year, FINRA released their 2022 Report on FINRA’s Examination and Risk Monitoring Program, which is designed to inform member firms’ compliance programs by providing annual insights from FINRA’s ongoing regulatory operations. In this report detailing FINRA’s top priorities for 2022, FINRA addresses 21 regulatory areas which are grouped into 4 categories: (1) Firm Operations, (2) Communications and Sales, (3) Market Integrity, and (4) Financial Management. From these 21 regulatory areas, FINRA highlights 7 that they feel are the most important and affect a large portion of member firms, which are as follows: Reg BI and Form CRS Read more about FINRA’s Top Priorities for 2022[…]

MSRB Reminders: Regulatory Exam Priorities

MSRB Reminders: Regulatory Exam Priorities

As part of its routine examinations, FINRA will often coordinate with the MSRB to ensure its members are complying with applicable rules. MasterComplaince is posting this blog to remind MSRB members of their obligations and to share recent inquiries.

Read More…

Form ADV-E

Form ADV-E

Investment advisers that have custody of client funds or securities are required to undergo an annual surprise examination by an independent public accountant to verify client funds and securities. Form ADV-E is used as a cover page for a certificate of accounting of securities and funds of which the investment adviser has custody, aka a surprise exam report. Form ADV-E contains both information about the adviser and the surprise exam conducted. The Form ADV-E is filled out by the investment adviser and then submitted along with the surprise examination report or statement by the independent public accountant after a surprise inspection of the adviser.

Read More…

Annual Reviews for State Registered RIAs

Annual Reviews for State Registered RIAs

Investment advisers should review, no less frequently than annually, the adequacy of its written compliance policies and procedures and the effectiveness of their implementation. The states expect annual reviews to take into consideration any compliance matters that arose during the previous year, any changes in the business activities of the adviser or its affiliates, and any changes in the Investment Advisers Act or related rules that may impact the adviser’s policies and procedures. In addition, the state expects that an investment adviser will review its compliance policies and procedures on an interim basis in response to significant compliance issues, changes in business activities, and new regulation. In accordance with state rules, this memorandum summarizes the key components of annual reviews for the adviser.

Read More…

RIA Branch Audit Planning

RIA Branch Audit Planning

Investment advisers should consider the need to perform a branch office inspection of branch offices pursuant to a branch office inspection schedule. Firms should consider whether a branch audit is warranted using factors such as nature and complexity of the branch’s business, volume of business, complaints, disclosures, number of registered persons, and other relevant factors determined by the firm. Firms are to document the exam schedules for each branch office including a description of the factors used to determine the exam cycle for such locations.

Various states require investment advisers to conduct regular inspections of their branch offices. For example, an investment adviser registered in Georgia is required to inspect each office location at least annually to ensure that its written policies and procedures are enforced. Even when an investment adviser is not explicitly required to conduct branch inspections, it should still implement a branch inspection program as part of its supervisory procedures. Also, investment advisers lacking an adequate branch office inspection program expose themselves to significant liability for failure to supervise in the event misconduct at the branch goes undetected.

Read More…