When a broker-dealer implements a significant change in the strategies and activities of the business, FINRA requires firms to file a continuing membership application (“CMA”) to modify its membership agreement. Through this requirement, FINRA seeks to help protect investors by ensuring that firms reflect these changes in their policies, procedures, and supervisory and compliance systems.
For many firms, a remote workforce is now a new reality. Even with many states’ shelter-in-place restrictions lifting, firms are continuing with their work-from-home strategies for the majority of their staff. This transition and the related challenges have forced firms to re-evaluate their current cybersecurity and remote policies and procedures. The following considerations are important to ensure that your remote staff has the tools in place to adhere to regulatory rules, firm procedures, and best practices.
Associated person disclosures and attestations are not a “one size fits all” list of documents. The purpose of disclosures and attestations is to educate your employees on the expectations of the firm based on firm procedure and regulatory mandates. Another important purpose is to give representatives a chance to know relevant updates and changes that may require pre-approval and/or added compliance responsibilities.
Failure to timely update information on an individual form U4 may lead to potential fines and suspensions for a registered person, especially if the act is willful. Examinations and sweeps performed by FINRA generally reveal exceptions.
Reviewing your current mid-year compliance budget plan and adjusting for the rest of the year is important. With COVID-19 taking up a substantial portion of the first half of the year, your vision and budget for 2020 may have drastically changed.
Complete reliance on third-party outsourcing may negatively impact your compliance program. Other firms’ mistakes can serve as valuable cautionary tales to guide your decision-making process when establishing and maintaining relationships with third-party vendors.
FINRA Rule 3130 serves as an annual requirement to focus on the firm’s overall compliance programs through purposeful interaction between executive members and compliance officers. You might be wondering how firms ensure compliance with this rule. In this blog, we will address some frequently asked questions related to the annual certification requirement and the surrounding process.
The messages are clear. Sales practice concerns, fraud, and operational issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic have arrived. Compliance professionals who are responsible for the surveillance and review of targeted areas of the compliance program should understand what may be coming down the pipe and ensure that their programs are sufficiently flexible to identify potential red flags.
MasterCompliance has been assisting clients with the purchase or sale of broker-dealers and the related FINRA application process since 2003. At times, clients will come to us with the need for a broker-dealer, and often, the best way to accomplish that goal is to buy an existing broker-dealer. There are many benefits to purchasing an existing broker-dealer. We have years of experience and vast expertise in putting these deals together to benefit all parties involved.
Since 2003, we have been assisting firms with starting new broker-dealers and the related registration process with the FINRA, SEC, and MSRB. Some of the types of broker-dealers that we have assisted in starting new firms include Investment Banking firms; Private Placement firms; Retail firms with clearing relationships; and Merger & Acquisition firms.