Investment Advisers Act

Investment Advisers Act: Know the Rules or Pay the Price

Knowing firm requirements as set forth in the Investment Advisers Act is essential, and learning from the mistakes of others in this area can be a valuable and motivating tool for striving for compliance in the financial services industry. In an atmosphere where Chief Compliance Officers (CCO) are being added to disciplinary proceedings, learning and taking immediate corrective action is the name of the game. No longer is the firm the only name blasted across SEC complaints; regulators will ensure that individuals are equally held responsible. Read More…

Supervisory Control

Supervisory Control: The Basics of Rule 3120

Most broker-dealers are aware of their annual requirement to test and document their firm’s compliance program. But, the question remains if firms are meeting the full requirements of the rule. Below are the basics of the former NASD Rule 3012, now FINRA Rule 3120, for establishing and maintaining a system of supervisory control. Read More…

Supervision

Supervision of Supervisory Personnel

FINRA Rule 3110 provides the requirements for building and maintaining a supervisory structure that is in compliance with rules and regulations. Among other requirements, this rule addresses the documentation and supervision of supervisory personnel in 3110(b)(6). What is FINRA Rule 3110(b)(6)? Rule 3110(b)(6) requires firms to document supervisory functions and responsibilities of each registered supervisory Read more about Supervision of Supervisory Personnel[…]

Best Execution

Best Execution Violation Takeaways

Disciplinary actions are often the best way to answer questions such as “how did this happen” or “what can we do differently”. Recently, a member firm named Robinhood Financial LLC was fined $1.25 million for best execution violations. Their shortcomings can provide valuable takeaways to assist other firms in building and solidifying their compliance program.

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FINRA CMA

FINRA Continuing Membership Application (“CMA”)

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.

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Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity in the Time of COVID-19

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.

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Form CRS

Form CRS: Initial Examination Guidance

The June 30th compliance deadline for Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS is quickly approaching. It presents new compliance requirements for broker-dealers and investment advisers engaging in a retail business.

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Teleworking

Teleworking Considerations During COVID-19 Pandemic

Many financial service institutions have been hesitant to create teleworking processes and systems that would give them more flexibility to service clients and build the business. However, within the regulatory framework, landmines appear at every turn.

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Digital Communication

Digital Communications: 2019 FINRA Report

In the recent “2019 Report on FINRA Examination Findings and Observations,” one of the topics highlighted was the use of digital communications. This can include a wide range of social media, email, text messaging, and various other digital tools. The regulatory requirements pertaining to the usage of digital communications are outlined in Exchange Act Rule 17a-3 and 17a-4 and FINRA Rules 3110(b)(4) and 4510. These rules require procedures pertaining to the usage of these types of communications, as well as the appropriate maintenance of the communications in the form of books and records.

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Supervisory

Supervisory Responsibilities – NASD Guidance

If you are a broker dealer or a supervisor at a broker dealer, I’m sure you have come across the terms Written Supervisory Procedures, Supervisory Procedures, and Compliance Systems. How many of you really know the difference, and before your eyes glaze over the rest of the article, how many of you know how to properly execute these concepts…. I’ll wait…….

Great! Now that I have your attention, there is no need to panic. The following post will walk you through the differences, some key concepts, practice pointers, and other factors you need to be aware of.

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