2019 FINRA Renewal Program for BDs and RIAs

The 2019 FINRA Renewal Program for Broker-Dealers, Investment Adviser Firms, Investment Adviser Agents, Investment Adviser Representatives, and Branches is scheduled to begin on November 12, 2018.

Firms should note the following key dates in the renewal process:

  • November 12, 2018 – Preliminary statements are available via the E-Bill section of WebCRD. Preliminary statements are not mailed to firms.
  • December 17, 2018 – Full payment of Preliminary Statements is due.
  • January 2, 2019 – Final Statements are available via the E-Bill section of WebCRD.
  • January 21, 2019 – Full Payment of Final Statements is due.

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FINRA Enhances Disclosure Review Process

As I’m sure you already know from reading our previous blogs on the subject, FINRA Rule 3110(e) (Responsibility of Member to Investigate Applicants for Registration) requires that member firms must “ascertain by investigation the good character, business reputation, qualifications, and experience of an applicant” prior to submitting a Form U4 and requesting to associate and register such an applicant with the firm. However, as recently announced, FINRA has made enhancements to its disclosure review process that will make this verification easier than ever.  Such enhancements will allow member firms to rely upon FINRA’s verification process for purposes of compliance with the requirement to conduct a search of public records relating to bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

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Crowdfunding: Funding Portal Registration – Part II

[Continued from Crowdfunding: Funding Portal Registration – Part I]

Funding Portal Registration Process

Firms seeking to register as funding portals must do so via completion of an application process with FINRA.  The registration process for a funding portal is similar to, but much less comprehensive and exhaustive, the New Member Registration process completed by applicants wishing to become broker-dealers.

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Crowdfunding: Funding Portal Registration – Part I

Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, enacted in 2012, provides guidance and regulation relating to securities offered or sold through crowdfunding activities. In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) added onto this initial act by creating a new ruleset that implemented a regulatory framework for intermediaries that facilitate such crowdfunding transactions. This includes regulations for a relatively new intermediary: the funding portal. Securities Act Section 4(a)(6) (otherwise known as “Regulation CF”) requires that intermediaries in crowdfunding transactions be registered with the SEC as either a broker-dealer or a funding portal.

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What is Form U5?

Upon terminating a registered representative or an investment advisor from a firm, whether voluntary or involuntary, a Form U5 must be filed. The Form U5 is the Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Regulations. It can be filed electronically with the Central Registration Depository (“CRD”) or the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (“IARD”).  Firms can also submit paper filings.  Once filed, the individual’s registration will be terminated in the appropriate jurisdictions and/or self-regulatory organizations. Read More…

What is Form U4?

Form U4 is the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer.  Any individual that wishes to register with a broker-dealer or a registered investment advisor must submit the application to become registered in the appropriate jurisdictions and/or SROs.  If any information changes, the individual must update the form appropriately.   Form U4 is comprised of fifteen sections.  The sections include the following: Read More…

What is the SIE Exam?

As mentioned in our previous post, What is on the Series 7 exam, the FINRA has restructured the examination process and implemented a new exam, the Securities Industry Essential exam (“SIE”).  On October 1, 2018, the SIE exam will become a prerequisite to all of the FINRA’s representative-level qualification exams (“rep-level exams”). PURPOPSE OF THE[…]

How to Become an RIA

A registered investment advisor (“RIA”) is a person or firm that, for compensation, provides advice, makes recommendations, issues reports or furnishes analyses on securities, either directly or through publications.  Typically, an RIA manages the assets of high net worth individuals and institutional investors.  RIAs have the highest standard of care as they are deemed fiduciaries.  As a fiduciary, RIAs owe their clients a duty of undivided loyalty and utmost good faith.  If you’re interested in becoming an RIA, you must first have the proper qualifications and registrations. Read More…

What is on the Series 7 exam?

The financial services industry is heavily regulated.  In order to enter into the industry and sell securities, you must first prove that you have the competence.  In order to showcase your competency, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) requires that you take the Series 7 exam, also known as the General Securities Registered Representative Qualification Exam.  In order to take the exam, you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm. Read More…